I was a huge fan of the first season of Agent Carter. I loved pretty much everything about it, but most of all I loved Peggy herself. Peggy Carter has been one of my favorite characters since we first met in Captain America: The First Avenger, but I had long assumed that, because of the time jump in Steve Rogers's story, that we were unlikely to ever see her again, except maybe in an occasional cameo. Her story was done, consigned to the dustbin of Steve's backstory.
And then, suddenly, it wasn't. First came the Agent Carter short, included with the video release of Iron Man 3, and then everyone was clamoring for more. And, by some miracle, Marvel listened, giving us one excellent season and renewing it for a second despite somewhat soft ratings numbers. And truly excellent it was — not perfect, for various reasons, but a solid, engaging show with a wonderful female character at the center. For this reason, I had high hopes for season 2, which premiered in mid-January, with two more episodes than the first (ten instead of eight). As of this writing, we're halfway through the season, and I think that's a fine time to check in with the show and see how it's doing. Short version: pretty well, I'd say, although it hasn't improved on the major flaw of the first season nearly as well as I might have hoped. But they've put us on a heck of a roller coaster, and I can't wait to see where the ride takes us.
( Cutting for spoilers through S2E5 )
I can't talk about this show without mentioning its place in the current trend of superhero ladies on the small screen. In the 2015-6 TV season, we've had no fewer than four comics-based shows with female leads and a healthy representation of women among the supporting cast: Agent Carter, Supergirl, Jessica Jones, and Agents of SHIELD (Daisy Johnson is the show's co-lead along with Phil Coulson, and the main cast is about half women). (I don't know enough about the DCU shows outside of Supergirl to comment on whether they fit into this trend.) Meanwhile, movies lag sadly behind, with DC's Wonder Woman set for 2017, and Marvel's Captain Marvel now pushed back twice, into 2018, and no other female-led projects on the horizon. It's so strange to me that we can see female heroes gain critical and popular success in television — not to mention the obvious success of related films with female leads and co-leads such as The Hunger Games series, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens — and yet executives can still claim that making a movie about a female superhero is too risky.
I'm glad to see that Agent Carter continues to prove this assertion wrong, and I hope it keeps doing so for many seasons to come.