Jeremy Likes TV

I like TV. Probably more than any human should.

Posts Tagged ‘The Americans

Marvel’s Figured It Out

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Agent Carter

Marvel is on a hot buttered roll right now, with its tentacles touching everything from movie theaters, television networks, and even on-demand giants like Netflix. The world’s arguably foremost comics company is currently in the midst of a near-unprecedented, sprawling journey that sees it bringing its characters to screens everywhere in an interwoven narrative, and ABC’s Marvel’s Agent Carter is the latest offshoot on this voyage.

Taking the Peggy Carter character from the Captain America series and building a show around her, Marvel’s Agent Carter stars Brit Hayley Atwell as the titular Carter. As the central personality, Atwell has a strong screen presence that allows her to anchor a cast of familiar faces that that includes Dominic Cooper returning from the films as Howard Stark (AKA Iron Man/Tony Stark’s father), Shea Wigham (Boardwalk Empire’s Eli) as her superior at the S.S.R. (Strategic Scientific Reserve), and One Tree Hill’s Chad Michael Murray and Dollhouse’s Enver Gjokaj as fellow agents. The thrust of the series sees Stark enlisting Carter to clear his name after he’s accused of treason by way of selling weapons to enemy organizations, thus putting the S.S.R. on his tail and Carter in a number of precarious positions as she hides her clandestine mission from her co-workers. There’s also a twist near the end of the first episode that puts allegiances in question in an interesting manner as the narrative moves forward.

What sets Marvel’s Agent Carter apart from the Marvel series that it’s replacing in the ABC lineup – Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – is that is has style to spare, which is evident almost immediately with the shot of Carter walking to work in her bright red hat and lively blue suit, the only hint of color in a sea of drab gray commuters. It also feels – at least in its first two hours – less like a television show and more like a Marvel film that’s been chopped into eight equal parts, as the first season will run only eight episodes. That, along with its production values (which are high), already make it feel more like a true Marvel project than Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does, though I’m admittedly only halfway through season one of that show and have heard that there was a quality uptick. Its fight sequences are also impressively staged, making Atwell potentially the next in a long line of strong female television action heroines.

With more Marvel television shows on the way as a part of the company’s deal with Netflix – which includes April’s Daredevil as well as series based on the Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist characters – Marvel’s Agent Carter stands perhaps as the template for the quality that we can expect in future series that promise to bring all of the fun of Marvel’s big-screen adventures to the comfort of your couch.

Episode 1.01/1.02 Grade: B+

Stray Thoughts:

*Shea Wigham just can’t stay away from period pieces, apparently, as his Roger Dooley has more than a little Eli Thompson in his DNA.

*In addition to the actors listed above, other TV vets like Lyndsy Fonseca (Nikita) as Carter’s new neighbor, Andre Royo (The Wire) and Ray Wise (Twin Peaks) as notable guests in the first two episodes respectively, and Costa Ronin (Oleg from The Americans) as Howard Stark’s future partner Anton Venko are all present in the first two hours. Agent Carter apparently has one hell of a casting director.

*As someone who’s only familiar with the majority of these stories via the films, the fact that Howard Stark’s assistant Edwin Jarvis shares a name with the butler/OS software that Tony Stark uses in the Iron Man films and in The Avengers isn’t a coincidence, is it?

Where to Watch: Marvel’s Agent Carter on ABC.com / Marvel’s Agent Carter on Hulu

Morning Links: 3/8/12

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Welcome to the Morning Links. Each weekday, I’ll provide you with some interesting television-related news items culled from the various TV websites I frequent on a regular basis with a slight bit of commentary attached. Pretty straightforward – no fuss, no muss. Thursday, I don’t care about you:

*This blows. Cougar Town still isn’t finding any ratings traction even with Glee out of its path on Tuesday nights as it drew just 4.4 million viewers and a 1.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic two nights ago. Sadly, I think it’s about time fans (including myself) start coming to grips with the likelihood that this third season will be the final one. (Via EW)

*Now this, on the other hand, I do like. Keri Russell (Felicity) has signed on as the female lead in a new FX drama pilot, The Americans, that’s co-helmed by Justified creator Graham Yost and follows to 80s-era KGB spies embedded as American suburbanites. I’m there. (Via TVLine)

*Community’s first animated short debuted Wednesday leading up to next Thursday’s long-overdue return. Check it out here. (Via The Hollywood Reporter)

*Wait… Alison Brie and Mazzy Star? WHO ARE YOU AND HOW DID YOU GET INSIDE MY HEAD?! (Via Elle Canada)

*Terra Nova and Netflix. Why didn’t I think of this the other day? (And why am I continually asking you questions?) (Via The Hollywood Reporter)

*Not that I’d ever watch a crap reality/competition show, but I have to give NBC – NBC? – credit: Scheduling Howard Stern’s debut as a judge on America’s Got Talent for May sweeps (May 14 to be exact) instead of waiting for summertime. Shrewd move, NBC. I’ll give you that. (Via EW)

*Party Down’s Ken Marino and Archer/Arrested Development’s Judy Greer in the same sitcom? Where do I sign? (Via The Hollywood Reporter)

*The Dollar Shave Club is apparently something that exists. (Via Warming Glow)

*China is apparently about to film its own version of Gossip Girl. FFS. (Via The AV Club)