Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Agent Carter' Puts Marvel Woman Front and Center

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Agent Carter' Puts Marvel Woman Front and Center

Article excerpt

ABC's attempt to woo fans of the Marvel movies to TV with "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." hasn't worked out all that well in the ratings but the network will give it another go with a comparative Hail Mary, "Marvel's Agent Carter" (8-10 tonight, WTAE), a superhero show without superheroes, starring a supporting player and set in the 1940s. Talk about having the deck stacked against success.

Regardless of ratings, "Agent Carter" is a welcome, interesting entry, a far cry from the "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." large ensemble and a welcome opportunity to put a woman front and center. In addition, the 1940s production design is admirably detailed and deep, from costumes to computer-generated sets and backgrounds.

Essentially a spinoff of 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger," the series begins with a wealth of flashbacks to the film where Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) lost her love interest, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, when he crashed a plane in the Arctic and presumably died.

It's now 1946 and peacetime has not been kind to Carter, who's trying to find her place in a sexist New York. Despite her wartime triumphs, she's marginalized at SSR, a forerunner to S.H.I.E.L.D., where co-worker Thompson (Chad Michael Murray, "One Tree Hill") refers to her as "kid" and assigns her to do the filing. Only sensitive agent Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj, "Dollhouse") stands up for Carter, which she doesn't entirely appreciate.

"I'm more than capable of handling whatever these adolescents throw at me," Carter tells him. Regardless, Sousa is clearly the front-runner to eventually replace Steve Rogers as Carter's love interest.

In the first of two episodes airing tonight, the only hour ABC made available for review at deadline, Carter proves herself quite capable, engaging in multiple fights and deactivating an explosive device. Of course, she did none of this on the clock - she had to take a sick day away from the boys' club at SSR to get the job done. …

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