Television: Agent Carter, "Pilot" & "Bridge and Tunnel"

Once again, a twofer shows the second installment to be stronger than the first. (I say "again" because it was true earlier this week of Galavant.)

After the first hour last night, I turned the show off. They hadn't made me like or care much for any of the characters, and the continual mooning over the loss of Captain America weighed everything down. I also didn't love the sexism—and before you start telling me "that's how it was," I don't mean the way the guys treat Carter. I mean the way Carter uses her "feminine wiles" to put things over. Not only is it clich&eacute, but it defeats the purpose of having a strong woman at the center of the story if she still leans on the fact she's a woman in order to have things her way.

I understand as a writer that having a female lead gives you a lot of opportunities to do things differently. For one, you can dress her up nice and have her wear wigs. Yay for Barbie! Then you can have her seduce people, or at least look like she's seducing them. Way to use your "assets," lady! For once I'd like to see a man's role written this way. Dress him up, have him dye his hair and have to turn on the charm. Wait . . . Did I just describe James Bond? (Except the dying the hair part.)

Whatever. The short answer is, the pilot did nothing for me. But I decided to give the second hour a chance, and it was much better. Of course, the best thing about the show is Jarvis, but that might just be because I like tall, thin British men.

And if you're asking, "Jarvis? Like in Iron Man?" the answer is yes. But not Paul Bettany. One supposes this is either an earlier generation or the prototype for Tony's version. In any case, James D'Arcy does a lovely job.

If you want to know the plot, well . . . Sigh. Howard Stark is in trouble because something very dangerous and secret got stolen by bad people, leading the government to believe he's selling weapons to the enemy, so he hits up Carter to go outside the lines and get it back to clear his name. Jarvis acts as a sidekick. Hilarity would ensue if Carter didn't take herself so damn seriously. It's difficult to like her, she's so stiff. I mean, she makes Jarvis look footloose.

I'll watch again next week, if only because the second episode really was better than the first. Though it seems they do plan to beat us over the head with how Carter is sad Cap was lost. The radio show thing . . . They really do need to lighten it up a bit. A little more Jarvis? I wouldn't say no to that.


Christine Rains said...

I watch about 40 minutes of the pilot and then turned it off. Jarvis was the highlight for me too! It was like they were trying too hard to get some of the Madmen quirkiness to it.

M said...

I really was tempted to just drop it after the first hour, but the second hour was moderately better. Which means I'll give it one to two more to see if it can sustain any kind of interest in me.