Friday, 20 February 2015

Agent Carter vs Black Widow of 1946 should be some showdown

You are not watching Agent Carter and The Americans because.. There is something better on !?!

I blacked out in a pub night before last, just after seeing Kingsman for a second time (it gets better). Because I can't get over this bloody flu I'm still stranded in London and had to get car MOTed here instead of Devon.
Would London garage this mean it is more expensive?
Apparently it is £700 in  - I'm sure-  essential break disk replacements.
I am Jack's total lack of surprise.


What keeps me perky is my favourite tv of the moment, which is so good I'm unable to wait for the entire thing to become available before I watch it. This usually happens to me at the end of long runs series like Breaking Bad. Agent Carter has been instant watching material right from the off. There is enough Internet gushing over this as it is so I'm not going to add to this things already said.

It is actually teaching a creaking old misogynist it's like myself some things about how men relate to women that I wish I'd known long ago. In last weeks penultimate episode Peggy has to come clean completely with her male coworkers. After dealing with 1940s attituades in the workplace for first half of the series she loses it and tears a strip off them all, not just listing their sexist attitudes but categorising them, showing that their treatment of her varies from dismissive to over protective depending on their attitude to her - AND SHE DOESN'T NEED ANY OF IT.

Example : poor office nice guy Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj, even better than he was in Whedon's Dollhouse) gets ripped into for putting her on a pedestal...
I must have hit That button a few times over the years myself. It is the supposed proto feminist angle to Agent Carter that is putting viewers off so I won't lay it on any thicker than I have but a tv that makes you question you own attitudes for the better has to be good.

It's as instructive and funny about the period as Mad Man. Automats, all women boarding accommodation.... It almost seems more alien than 1920s Atlantic City.

And, it's funny. Cast members obviously aren't afraid to adlib and the banter between Carter and Jarvis fizzes like a unlikely cocktail of Fleming and PG Wodehouse. Atwell is obviously adding her own Britishisms, calling out Tony Stark's father as a 'wanker' at one point and breaking the seriousness with classic old school profanity like "Crikey Oh Riley!"
- the next.

The combat is about the best on tv. Actually its about level with The Americans to be fair, which I really should have covered on this blog before now. (Actually I'd probably also be watching that future classic series as fast as I can get hold of it if it wasn't so generally ignored and low profile that I'd not idea it had re-started. I promise to cover it when I get to season 3. Is The Americans the most ignored quality small screen drama ever?)

Here is ..Peggy and Jarvis dealing out bruises in refreshingly period fashion. You feel Bogart would have loved this, music is the very period Peggy Lee - "It's a Good Day"

In what might be Agent Carter's final episode next week she will finally get to face the Black Widow of this era, "Dottie" (chilling performances from Bridget Regan) who has been skillfully built up as a scary superKGB psychopath, trained and indoctrinated from childhood. Dottie is  a character easily recognisable from  the doomed KGB recruits in The Americans in that she's been brutalised since infancy and sleeps handcuffed to her own bed, and easily recognisable as a Marvel character in that she can parkour down the levels of in an open stairwell like Daredevil.

Up against that Peggy's main superpower seems to be that she's ex S.A.S., and is an adorably feminine  total badass. I can't wait.

Aside from the pulp period thrills there is something deeply satisfying about the world buiding here if you are into this level of nerd-dom. History of the Marvel universe is being filled in from Agent Carter, slowly colouring in the background with the care of a landscape painter. Nothing so far looks out of place.
Serial incompetence at Strategic Scientific Reserve obviously leads to formation of S.H.I.E.L.D., less concerned with HYDRA now a new soviet threat, Leviathan, is making its presence felt. Leviathan's girl assassin program obviously leads to Scarlet Johonsenns Black Widow of 2012. If the path of Natasha Romanov from KGB to S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't follow a similar path to Elizabeth (Keri Russell) in The Americans I'll be amazed.

Peggy Carter will after this be seen in May in her 1960s incarnation recruiting Michael Douglas as Ant-Man, probably not long before Stark senior and his wife discover the truth about S.H.I.E.L.D and are assassinated  in an apparent car accident.

Hayley Atwell looks like has a career for life now, she can appear in flashbacks for various others characters for years and she can return to playing Carter in different eras as she matures herself. I would say though that if they want to cover Peggy Carter in 1940, busting out super soldier scientist Erskine from a Bavarian Castle under the rapidly mutating noses of HYDRA
(as depicted in the tie in comic CAPTAIN AMERICA : FIRST VENGEANCE)

and they want to use Hayley Atwell  - don't keep us waiting.
Marvel's WHERE EAGLES DARE starring Hayley Atwell, Hugo Weaving and Stanley Tucci ?
Please god give me this now.

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