Tuesday, January 6, 2015

TV REVIEW: Agent Carter (Two Hour Premiere)

Well since "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is still on hiatus, did you think I wouldn't have anything to talk about?
"Agent Carter" will be filling in "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." top slot until the show returns in March, and as a show that is connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I feel compelled to watch and discuss. "Agent Carter" picks up not too long after Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) said her final goodbyes to Captain America (Chris Evans) before he sank the HYDRA flying-craft into the frozen tundra. Now she works with the Strategic Scientific Reserve (not quite S.H.I.E.L.D. yet) and she is trying hard to become a powerful member of the team. Its hard because nobody takes her seriously, not her boss Roger Dooley (Shea Whigham, yes freaking Shea Whigham is in this show!) and not her co-worker Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray). But she tries, trying to become something she recognizes from her days in World War II.
Then something happens, the SSR is after Howard Stark, as they believe he maybe selling powerful weapons to enemies of the USA, and Stark has secretly asked for the help of Agent Carter to clear his name. While if she is discovered, she'll never work again and eventually be put in prison, she reluctantly agrees to help Stark. Stark hands over his butler Edwin Jarvis (GET IT? played by James D'Arcy) for assistance. She soon uncovers that those behind Stark being a target of the USA is a mysterious organization called Leviathan, and if you know Marvel comics, you will know Leviathan. The company Roxxon Oil comes up and perhaps the company may have a link with Leviathan. Again, if you know the comics, you know all about Roxxon Oil and I am happy to see both as potential antagonists for this show.
The performances are all solid. I loved Hayley Atwell in both "Captain America" movies and I liked her in the little snippets of scenes she has had so far on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." She proves right away that she can handle a television series as a lead effortlessly. I am wildly excited to see her flesh out her character more. It's hard to argue against Shea Whigham, and I curious to see where his character leads us. James D'Arcy's Edwin Jarvis will probably end up becoming the series favorite, if I had to put a guess on it. I love that he isn't some thankless Alfred-type role and he actually has lots to do. I was actually quite surprised by his scenes and I look forward to D'Arcy's work in the future. Lyndsy Fonseca had the other major role as a waitress who befriends Peggy Carter, and it seems she will be a crucial role in the future of the show. She does good work and it'll be interesting to see how her character materializes.
I liked that this two block of programming revolved around one story. Sometimes when two separate hours are put together, it can feel disjointed. I don't know if this was planned or not, but the flow of the two hours is handled very well. The attention to 1940's detail is also quite remarkable. There are scenes that take place in the studio of a radio show, and it is quite accurate of early times. I love the authenticity of the costumes, cars, music...it seems every detail was carefully etched to paint a world that once was. I have to say I was very impressed.
I also had a good laugh when I realized that Kevin Hefferman from "Beerfest" made an appearance on this show, nice call Marvel.
Now...about that "Ant-Man" trailer.
Its really short, its pretty much over before it begins. But from the footage we see, I can firmly say that it felt like Ant-Man alright. The trailer didn't give too much of the story away, which is good. But it seems Henry Pym (Michael Douglas) will recruit Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) for something...which will turn him into Ant-Man. It seems that even though Rudd is playing a hero, that he still has his comedic persona intact, and I am sure there are going to be some very funny moments in this movie. The action scenes involving the ants are...well, they are quite strange. But that's okay, they should be. The way the trailer painted Lang's relationship with his ex-wife and child indicates that I won't bet on Scott and Evangeline Lily's character becoming an item, although I maybe wrong. Overall, I liked the material, and I am ready for more.
Marvel has once again hit the ground running and it seems they are not trying to make the same mistakes as they did when they began "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." If this show continues to be strong, then our anticipation for their Netflix shows will be unbelievably high.

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