2016.38: Agent Carter Series 2 (TV)
Ah, it’s that time of year again. I finally catch up with a series backed-up on my Tivo when word arrives that it has been cancelled. Which is a pity, as I quite enjoyed season 2 of Agent Carter and looked forward to seeing some of its outstanding plot-threads resolved in a series 3.
It’s tempting to think that the Meta-Story stuff that Marvel Studios is so accomplished at in their movie series has leaked into its tv stuff, but really it’s more a case of the movie franchise copying post-Babylon 5 television. So anyway, there’s a few arcs that will fail to ever get resolved. Its the most annoying thing about some of these tv series- certainly the ones that get cancelled. Its like what happens at the movies when a John Carter bombs at the box-office; you always have to wonder at whatever happened next and what might have been. So yeah, the lesson here is clearly don’t make anything with the name ‘Carter’ in the title. It stacks the odds against you from the start.
I remember when stories had a beginning, middle and an end, and that was it. Sure there’s some limitations to storytelling with that approach, as ‘bigger’ stories that arc over seasons like in shows like Game of Thrones and Babylon 5 offer unique rewards and possibilities. But yeah, it’d be nice for a show to wrap things up properly without teasing stuff. I’m just about to start watching The Expanse, a well-regarded space opera that has intrigued me for months but hasn’t been aired over here in the UK yet (I finally folded and imported the Blu-ray). It’s really tempting fate as its just one series in with an ongoing storyline in print that could take years to unfold. You start watching new shows like The Expanse almost as an act of utter blind faith.
So farewell Agent Carter, failing some resurrection via Netflix maybe, which I suppose can’t at present be discounted. The show followed the adventures of Peggy Carter after Steve Rogers ‘died’ in Captain America: The First Avenger. A period piece, it had a rather unique feel for one of the many superhero series invading our television, and ‘looked’ great, particularly in the second season which moved Peggy Carter over to LA. Sure it was fairly light but it was fun. I wasn’t convinced by series one, but the second series seemed rather more confident in approach (this view seems to be at odds with wider prevailing opinion though). The cast was likeable and I enjoyed the sense of humour- Agents of Shield grinds on with a withering sense of endless self-importance but Agent Carter never took things too seriously. Set in the period before Carter became one of the founding members of S.H.I.E.L.D. it had a delightful sense of time and place and a sense of where it lay in Marvel continuity.
I suspect that the quality of the show wasn’t the cause for the show’s cancellation. Hayley Atwell had just signed-on to a new series of her own (Conviction) which would have led to inevitable scheduling problems for Atwell shooting any further Agent Carter series. Viewer figures were down this series so maybe audiences are tired of diluted Marvel on tv (certainly tv stuff can never match the big-screen Marvel outings). Maybe there is just too much comic-book stuff on tv now (I’ve given up on Arrow this season myself, can’t see my interest in The Flash progressing to another season, and I’ve never bothered with Supergirl or Legends of Tomorrow). At least a lack of any series 3 gives me more time for some films or something. God knows there’s plenty other stuff on the backlog. Black Sails, Mad Men…