Why ‘Marvel’s Agent Carter’ Should Battle On

Agent Carter cancelled
Courtesy ABC

Newly minted ABC president Channing Dungey will be tempted to not renew the low-rated series “Marvel’s Agent Carter.” But letting the show die would be a serious mistake, for the network and for the bigger Disney-ABC conglomerate.

Keeping “Agent Carter” — perhaps just for the Watch ABC app or ABC.com — would show that Dungey, who has said that she is deeply committed to diversity, truly does care about a program that showcases a female hero and has two female showrunners (executive producers Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas).

That’s a laudable reason, but there’s a bigger picture to consider as well. These days, entertainment properties have to be viewed not just through the lens of their ratings (admittedly weak for “Agent Carter”). They have to be evaluated within the context of the overall value they bring to any entertainment colossus, and what “Agent Carter” adds to Disney-ABC is simply too valuable to give up.

Even if it doesn’t stay in the ABC family, the company should do everything in its power to make sure it lives on elsewhere, in part because it brings something different to the company’s superhero portfolio.

Marvel has released a string of straight-ahead, big-budget superhero movies and has plenty more on the way, but it has also made space for loopier fare like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and (literally and figuratively) small offerings like “Ant-Man.” DC is readying the very serious-looking “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” but in the TV arena, the company offers the warm-hearted CW series “The Flash” and CBS’ even more optimistic “Supergirl.” Comic-book fans and pop-culture consumers enjoy all kinds of tones, worlds and characters, which is why it’s wise for these media behemoths to offer a varied array of settings and themes.

Unlike most superhero and superhero-adjacent properties, “Agent Carter” is light, semi-comedic and has a jaunty tone. And there’s no doubt that the show works like gangbusters as presently constituted. “Carter” made a charming impression when it arrived in January 2015, and the show and its cast only improved on their admirable track record in the delightful second season, which ends Tuesday. There’s nothing to fix here, let alone improve — aside from the overnight ratings.

But the show’s low viewership is most likely the result of the questionable scheduling decisions made by Dungey’s predecessor, Paul Lee. “Agent Carter” took over the slot of “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” — a much-improved show that has its own ratings woes — and Peggy Carter’s drama has received lackluster promotion, especially this year. The botched rollout of Season 2 included a changed premiere date and episodes that were difficult to access in advance on Marvel’s dreadful media site. Capping the mishandling is the fact that the full first season was only made available on ABC.com days before Season 2 began, which frustrated viewers who might have wanted to jump on board in advance.

The good news is, we’re past the point where ratings alone are the main determining factor regarding a show’s cancellation or renewal chances. Marvel has sunk millions of dollars into the 18 hours of “Agent Carter” it has already made, and it should build on that investment with a Season 3.

Fans of super-heroic storytelling already flock to Netflix, which has released Marvel’s “Jessica Jones” and “Daredevil.” Adding “Agent Carter” would give the streaming giant a family-friendly Marvel drama, which it now lacks. “Jessica Jones” and “Daredevil” have their adherents, for good reason, but there’s an optimism to “Carter” that sets it apart from Marvel’s darker Netflix fare.

It’s also worth noting that “Agent Carter’s” status as a period piece — which may have harmed it on broadcast — could be a real draw for Netflix viewers (a reminder that “Downton Abbey” grew into a huge hit partly because its first season was one of Netflix’s hottest offerings at the time).

Gender is an important consideration for Marvel as well. It shouldn’t keep the show on the air simply because it has a female lead, but because Peggy Carter is a wonderfully nuanced and complex female character, one who’s imbued with exceptional charisma and charm by star Hayley Atwell. Having just one major female lead in the Marvel TV universe — Jessica Jones — is not enough, and settling for that state of affairs smacks of tokenism. That is not the route a company that’s been hammered for its lack of female representation wants to take.

Marvel’s lag in this arena is especially apparent in the wake of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which is, in large part, the story of a well-conceived female character coming into her own. Peggy Carter is not unlike Rey — they’re both scrappy, resourceful, thoughtful women who rely more on their wits and bravery than on any superpowers. You’d think the success of “The Force Awakens” — which, like the second season of “Agent Carter,” gave a prominent role to a black actor — would serve as proof of the hunger for the kinds of characters that have been underrepresented in the past.

When it comes to keeping the show going, ABC and Netflix aren’t the only options, of course. Perhaps Marvel could copy what CBS is doing with “Star Trek” by making “Agent Carter” an attractive part of a subscription service. Consumers could pay a monthly subscription to access parts of the company’s comics library and some of its movies and TV shows — as well as premium exclusives like a third season of “Agent Carter.” I’d certainly fork over a monthly fee to re-read Marvel classics and see what Peggy and Jarvis (the fantastic James D’Arcy) get up to next. Yes, there are practical considerations to be dealt with here: Atwell has signed on as the lead of a new ABC drama. But there’s no reason she couldn’t head to work on a new round of Peggy Carter adventures once that show wrapped.

A third “Agent Carter” season could help solidify Marvel’s standing not just with female fans, but with everyone who appreciates excellent and adventurous storytelling. As Peggy Carter might say, “Don’t make a fuss  just carry on.”

There’s a discussion of “Agent Carter” (as well as “The Carmichael Show,” “Of Kings and Prophets,” “And Then There Were None” and “The Americans”) on the latest Talking TV podcast, which is here and on iTunes.

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  1. Veronika says:

    I really wish they would renew Agent Carter. There are so few good adventure period pieces lately. I can even watch this with my girls running around, unlike Jessica Jones. I was addicted to Downton Abbey and raced through the first season of Agent Carter. If advertised properly and actually marketed to the target audience that is out there, I believe there would be several more successful seasons for Agent Carter and the gang SSR agents.

  2. Michael Cassella says:


  3. michelle says:

    i agree with you. we need peggy carter

  4. Catie says:

    Agent Carter does it for all us girls. There is a magnitude of male heroes out there, please Marvel leave our fem hero ON. Give us another 10 fantastic episodes.

  5. Debra says:

    I hope Agent Carter stays on. I never missed it.

  6. zorban99 says:

    Agent Carter is great stuff. Looking forward to an extension, bigtime. Where is that petition?

  7. Micki says:

    The fans are still fighting to save Agent Carter. The petition already has over 101,000 signatures! Sign and tweet about it

    • Bruce Tracy says:

      Agent Carter is a great show please do not cancel it! It’s good family show with good story lines and morals, something very much lacking from a lot of shows today. I also like the 1940’s time frame. I would like to see more of Captain America along with Peggy Carter somehow tied together again in WWII but that’s probably not realistically going to happen. Anyway please renew Agent Carter and keep it on network television!

  8. loco73 says:

    Well with predictable stupidity and imbecility, ABC showed how short-sighted they are, especially the new network president, Channing Dungey (anybody with a name like that should be automatically disqualified from any leadership positions) whose commitment to quality programing proved to be nothing more than a wet brainfart.

    Too bad, because “Agent Carter” was a rare thing on network TV…a show I actually wanted to watch and follow….Moves like this cancellation, are what drives people away towards places like Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Showtime, Starz, AMC and FX. Maybe “Agent Carter” never really belonged on network TV in the first place, seeing all the bungled up and anemic marketing efforts, the crummy rollout of the episodes etc., etc.

    I do hope that Netflix takes a chance on the show and gives it another chance at life, even if only for one more abbreviated season. To at least show Peggy Carter come fully into her own, personally and professionally, with the founding of SHIELD, that would tie-in even more neatly with Captain America: Civil War.

    A few years ago Netflix rescued one of my favourite shows ever, The Killing, and gave it a proper and thrilling conclusion, with a shortened but very poignant and relevant season. Please, please, please do the same for Agent Carter!!!!!!!

  9. Andrew says:

    Since When , eight episodes at forty two minutes is a season , I love the series , Now thet movie audiences are aware of ” SHIELD ” and the downfall in Captain America : Winter Soldier . I am sure Hayley Attwell did not mind doing the series and her cameos in the” Marvel films. Please ” Netflix buy it ,
    as I said eight episodes equals a season.

  10. Steve says:

    This is just apropos for the new US created in the liberal view. Keep a TV show that no one watches just because it has women in it. And I ***love*** the show. It’s one of the few I don’t miss. But the reasoning is beyond comprehension. Pay for a program no one watches. Keep up the great work Maureen.

  11. Jackie says:

    Peggy arter MUST BE RENEWED. We find it ridiculous that it is being even talked about to cancel it. It is one of of the few shows that is worth watching!! The whole cast is fantastic. My daughter and I have a YouTube channel, and we even talked about Agent Carter in one of our vlogs, saying what a fantastic show it is!!!!!! PLEASE DO NOT CANCEL THIS GEM OF A SHOW. We love it, and would miss it terribly.

  12. Scott R says:

    I don’t know about all the so called executive reasons for the decision making regarding the show but what I do know is this: Agent Carter is a good show. It has a great continuing story and characters and it’s interesting to watch. So interesting in fact that I’m usually surprised when suddenly the episode is over because I’m looking forward to the next scene and it’s not coming till next week! Not very many shows have done that to me, IE: keeps my attention. I personally like the twist of seeing a show that takes place during a different time period and plays on the characters skills of the period, in this case the 1940’s. It’s different. It’s entertaining and I enjoy it because it takes me somewhere else than reality for just a little while. I’m also pretty sure others feel the same way. This show has a lot of potential for creative storytellers. What a shame it would be to watch it go to waste.

  13. Katina Staple says:

    Agent Carter is a show that every one in the family can watch and there is not to many out there left. I love watching the show with my girls. We couldn’t wait each week to see what was next. Please don’t cancel the show, seeing that you left it on a cliff hanger we all want to see what happens next, Between Carter and Sousa and Officer Jack Thompson. We love all of the cast they do such a wonderful job each week making us either loving them or hating them. It would be a shame to get rid of a family show when there are very little of them out there. Please think about that before you decide.

  14. Mary Holzmann says:

    Please don’t cancel Agent Carter. I honestly love this show more than anything else on television. I love the character and cast. She represents so much. If it is cancelled I will just give up on watching TV because this show has it all to me. Season 1 was awesome I couldn’t get enough. Season 2 took too long to get back on so you lost viewers. It is the network’s fault. Don’t mess with the viewers so much. I see I am not the only one who wants this show to stay. Please keep it on and develop plots worthy of this amazing character and cast. Season 1 was great, always a surprise with great twists and had ou wanting more. Season 2 was good. One was better but I still want more because of the magic that was Season one. Please don’t disappoint the viewers.

  15. Gary Kelley says:

    Perhaps great programs like this would get more viewers if they were not “one-offs” If you don’t catch it now, you never will, no encores, no reruns, over NINE MONTHS with nothing between seasons and they wonder why viewers don’t come back. At least with Agent Carter, you can watch Peggy in the spring, Coulson in the fall.

  16. Eddie Sharp says:

    They should let the fans vote, to or not to,
    cancel the The program. Or as was stated, move to another channel or time slot. I think Agent Carter is a super great Drama. I would hate to see it cancelled.

  17. wow says:

    if they don’t wanna renew it then sell it to netflix maybe they’ll do a better job at it

  18. Jordan Lund says:

    The showrunners gutted the show from the start by choosing to view the One-Shot as the end of her story and not the beginning.

    I wasn’t going to tolerate an entire season of “Oh, you wacky dame, go make us some coffee…” when we already saw the One-Shot putting her in charge of SHIELD with Tony Stark. That’s the story we should have gotten.

    • Jaime says:

      I have to agree with you Jordan. I love Peggy carter but I got tired of her character being treated like “the help” and could not take it anymore. So, I stopped watching. I tried to watch for the second season and could only make it through the first episode and then I turned it off again. I love the character, and Haile Atwell(sp?), but just could not connect with the story. I will give it another go because I want to support this female hero and this show.

  19. Joanna James says:

    I agree with Nancy!!!! I wonder where the channels get the ideas for some of their shows. They cancelled Forever because of ratings too, even though it was one short season!!!! Personally I stay away from reality shows, who really cares about all their drama?!?! Keep Agent Carter !!!

  20. Nancy says:


  21. Andrew says:

    There are . not many series , that families can view together, without mum and dad have worry of having to explain e.g. nudity meaning love making etc ,well Jessica Jones which is the other of the coin .

  22. Erica says:

    This FABulous show is fun, intellectually engaging, AND action-packed! ABC, let it finds its audience (and, BTW, how about a REAL ad campaign?). As for the supporting characters not being three-dimensional, the truly MARVELous Mr. Jarvis is reason enough to watch season after season.

  23. Justin says:

    I wantes to watch this show, to get into it and, hopefully, come to love it. Alas, these feelings never came and the show does not have the Marvel feel. It feels like a period piece, and very little else. It has tie-ins, as should every property under the umbrella, yet it has little else that defines and seperates itself from the pack, besides its main chracter.

    Peggy is wonderful, she’s tenacious, scrappy, sassy, and wicked smart. Her cast are great foils, who often are oppositional in their attiudes and behaviors. She is, by far, the one reedeeming aspect of the show. Her supporting actresses and actors are less so, they are often boorish and not as three-dimensional as Carter. In many ways she is like Tony Stark, at first you only care for Iron Man. And that’s fine, so long as you develop other chracters to invest in and care about. This show does not do this well enough, and its a shame.

    If Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has born out, in its slow and plodding first two seasons, is that the elements of the show must be coupled with a human element. It’s first season was about betrayal, its second about evolution, its third was about fear. And Carter has near to none of these elements. Daredevil was, at its core, about faith and morality. Jessica Jones is about adversity, struggle and the triumph of the human spirit (she ends up becoming the hero she claimes she wasn’t). Cage and Punisher will also have to be based around a core theme. Again Carter is just about defying expectations, we want to root for her because she defies these norms ans mores, and cause she is compelling and intresting. Is that enough, not so much.

    Jones also defies these expectations, by broaching subjects thought squeamish or taboo, or just uncomfortable. It pulls no punches and does not apologize for challenging us. Carter, on the other hand, just has moxy. And that’s simply not enough, in a cinematic universe where every property has a point to make.

    Carter, in my honest and humble opinion, should be cancelled and should not be renewed. And this is not out of hate, the show has run its course, set a blazing trail to follow. Another more nuanced and ground breaking show could follow, such as a She-hulk series. As a lawyer the show could be a a hit, focusing on the challenge of work and career. She could be a smart, gritty, down to earth woman who worka in a industry that still has a ways to go in terms of equality and equity. And it could also adress one of the startling facts: there are few super heroines or heros. It can be a comedy, a genre we sorely need, mixed with a courtroom procedural. Think my cousin vinny, meets law and order, meets Iron Man. And to boot, you would have a heroine who struggles with understanding her new found powers, how to control and use them, without a mentor figue. And in that sense you would have a coming of age type of feel (especially if shes a young attorney).

    If Ant-Man has shown us anything, its that we can have fun, not too serious films. We can have the same for shows, with characters with more depth than Carter.

  24. Jane says:

    Absolutely LOVE Agent Carter, and will be gutted if they do not renewed it for a third season – especially after that cliffhanger! The fact that this is a show in the superhero vein, without the heroes actually having superpowers, or random graphic sex scenes, or horrid language, makes it all the more important to renew. There are times and places for the above mentioned, but it’s nearly impossible now to find something smart, funny, and ENJOYABLE to watch for the whole family that isn’t a cartoon/animation lately, something that shows you DON’T need superpowers, or need to use sex to get things done. Agent Carter is a great way to introduce a new generation into the superhero genre, without immediately tossing them in the deep end with graphic sex, language, and gory violence. As I said, there is a time and place for that – Daredevil and Jessica Jones are meant to be dark, violent, and show the seedier side of humanity. Agent Carter reminds those of us geeky enough to remember, the roots of heroes like Captain America, who stood for something while actually doing so with moral fibre. Please renew Agent Carter for a season 3!!

  25. Kelly Carr says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with everything in this article. I hope this viewpoint is heard and heeded by ABC and Channing Dungey. I have found enjoyment and encouragement by such a strong female lead in the Marvel universe; the time period and character banter make it fun also. Even my male friends and nephew who are Marvel fans have found a hero in Agent Carter.

  26. cogrady53 says:

    Great piece by Mo with really good arguments making the case for Agent Carter. There is nothing quite like it on TV – a Marvel show but with no superpowered superhero, just a wonderfully resourceful heroine who is just brilliant! Totally in love with Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy. I do think there were soe missed opportunities in the second season. The actress/inventor based on the extraordinary Hedy Lamarr was a great idea but she was just another insane villain for most of the time. I lost track of why they were running around and what they were trying to accomplish at times. More stand alone episodes would have been better IMO.

    Considering some terrible shows get high ratings, how does a classy, high quality show like this slump? Hopefully it will be back – and more Dottie please. Angie too!

  27. amyleeweeks says:

    Yes please!! Keep Agent Carter around!! This series is fun, funny, and family friendly!!! The series did not have the greatest time slot — competing against The Biggest Loser and The Voice. Plus with it being family friendly, busy young families like mine watch it via Amazon or on their DVR. I paid extra to watch this series and to be able to watch it again and again!! Finding family-friendly, original and exciting series that is not at all raunchy is proving more and more difficult. Keep this gem around!!

  28. A. Evans says:

    A third season is a must in my eyes. I am a woman whom works very long hours. A wife to a wonderful man whom drives an 18 wheeler whom drives long distances and is out most nights away from home and mother of 3 young adults a son whom works and goes to college and two daughters one whom is works long hours and expecting her first born and the other a junior in high school . Our family enjoys the thrill of great stories of heroics. The fight between good and evil. Although we are unable to watch at it scheduled time due to our very long hours of work and studies throughout the week. Our family records Agent Carter and other series like it and watch them when we are off. Another good point about recordings is we can rewatch at any time.. Viewer ratings of people whom are able to watch these wonderful series are just plain rediculous. Our family are not the only ones whom can’t be sitting infont of the television at the time it is scheduled. If only the producers and networks would understand this. They would know that we the viewers hang in the balance to see what new adventures will bring and that not only a third season but a continuation of seasonal series that is a must for not only our family but for all its avid views..

  29. Feminists Unite says:

    Not surprised to see that a woman wrote this. Good try.

  30. Kthulhu says:

    I have to take some issue with a quote from this article:

    “You’d think the success of “The Force Awakens” — which, like the second season of “Agent Carter,” gave a prominent role to a black actor — would serve as proof of the hunger for the kinds of characters that have been underrepresented in the past.”

    The success of “The Force Awakes” serves as proof that they released a new Star Wars movie. They could make the leads Jar Jar Binks and Wicket the Ewok, and just the fact that it was a Star Wars movie would mean killer box office.

  31. Jamie Curtis says:

    Brilliant cast, wonderful writers.
    (And the shoes! And the cars! MmmMmmm.)

  32. josh says:

    This is a wonderful television show!

  33. This is a well-written piece that understands the nuances of the “super hero” fan base. I am 61, female, and have been a comic geek-girl since the 1960s. I appreciate the retro tone of Agent Carter, and love that the violence is neither graphic nor gratuitous.

    Though, I never watch Agent Carter when it airs—always on Hulu the next day. Actually, I rarely watch anything on network TV when it airs because the commercials are intrusive to the story-telling, obnoxious, repetitive, and loud.

    ABC would be wise to give it at least one more season, and have a wrap-up ending in place if needed. With many viewers who prefer their media streamed, networks are wise to avoid cliff-hanger endings when there’s a chance a show might not return. When deciding on older shows (those no longer in production) to binge-watch, I often google to see if the series has a satisfying ending. I’ll rarely waste my time on those that don’t.

    • Couldn’t agree more. I’m 46 but have a similar background to you in that I’ve loved comics since I was a fairly young girl in the 1980s and I also watch Agent Carter on catch up not live (as I’m in the UK).
      Even if they did a reduced season three of only say four or five episodes, they do need to do this show justice and give it a proper ending – including us finally seeing Peggy and Howard Stark creating SHIELD.

      • Peggy Carter says:

        It’s so nice to read these! I’m so happy there are more who enjoy the show who don’t fit into the typical box of the superhero demographic. The second season was tremendous fun, and a third is practically necessary!

        We have to, at the very least, arrive at the moment that concludes the Agent Carter One Shot. The scene where she’s back in New York, discovers secrets for the Hydra? project Zodiac, and the call comes in from Howard that she’s promoted big time to the top of the S.S.R. – it ties in perfectly with her position in the prologue of “Ant-Man” where she appears in her 60s or 70s.

  34. apartamente says:

    marvel is the best

  35. Janiece says:

    We just love Agent Carter. The cast and the writers have brought to life a strong woman in a man’s world. This season has been an especially intriguing story line. Love how this show is prequel to Agents of Shield. The acting is superb, The props and language are precisely spot on for the time period. Please, bring this show back next season!!

  36. X's and O's = diversity says:

    All of the arguments presented for keeping this show actually work against it. First of all is the diversity argument. On a network that desperately needs young male viewers, they ought to be pursuing a show with a male hero or a respectable male lead. Every single show on ABC is female centric, even their ONE SHOW with the name of the male lead in the title, CASTLE. And contrary to ABC’S perspective, men and women, husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends/partners, actually enjoy watching TV together. The network that thrives is the one that builds it programming on shows that appeal to everyone (diversity) rather than having every single show told from a female perspective, which often is from a lesbian perspective on ABC, further limiting the appeal of ABC programming to most women. They’re not in rating free fall for no reason! Additionally, when your show is pulling a ZERO POINT SEVENTY demographic rating and barely 2 million viewers in a nation of more than 300 million viewers with TV sets, you add nothing to the Disney/Marvel brand. Agent Carter is just a woman stuck in a tired 50s procedural on a network that has a boatload of shows featuring female heros (GREY’S ANATOMY, SCANDAL, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, CASTLE, ONCE UPON A TIME, QUANTICO, etc., etc., etc.,), and female showrunners/writers/creators and directors.

  37. melissa75 says:

    I love Agent Carter!!! I have just started watching the marvel shows in the last two years, never was really interested in super hero shows or books before. But I’m hooked on this show! I truly hope they bring it back next season!

  38. John Haynie says:

    Bring it back next year!

  39. MAC is the Golden Age of Sci Fi, writ large for the small screen. At the show’s roots is a wonderful, strong script, founded on a fantastic IP and presented to us, the viewer, by an extremely talented team of actors and crew.
    Hat’s off first to Hayley Atwell, an actor of breathtaking scope who greatly contributes to bring the Marvel Universe to life. And hats off to ABC for producing such iconic entertainment.

  40. Dean Vukovic says:

    this show is great and I hope it somehow gets season 3, but because it had low ratings I wouldn’t be suprised if they cancel it. This show is much better than that boring Agents of Shield…

  41. Zac C. says:

    Why exactly should they renew it? Because it’s good for diversity? If no one is watching it, if even women aren’t watching it, then who is it being diverse for? What’s the point?

    • George says:

      Alot of good shows get discovered down the road and develop a cult fan base. The Wire had low ratings but since it ended in 2008. It’s still one of the fews shows that represents prestigious tv standards.

  42. erdehoff says:

    I already pay for a Marvel Unlimited subscription (where you can read those classics to your heart’s content, Maureen!) and use it often. I also subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime. I would gladly up my subscription fee to any of those outlets to see a third season of “Agent Carter,” and I’ve purchased both seasons from iTunes even though I watched them when they aired and can access them through Hulu. Yes, I care that much! I think Netflix would be a perfect fit, but I like the idea of incorporating Marvel’s TV offerings into Marvel Unlimited. Maybe a partnership with Netflix could make that work?

  43. Pam says:

    I really liked season 1 of Agent Carter, and when I heard there probably wouldn’t be a season 2, I was disappointed. I was glad when I found out there would be a 2nd season of Agent Carter and have watched all or it.

    It would be a mistake not to have a 3rd season of Agent Carter. It is a good program, and if you think about it, it continues her life where Captain America left it. And it really does tie to Captain America, Agents of S.H.I.E.LD and somewhat the Avengers. Agent Carter really should be renewed for season 3.

    As for watching any future seasons on ABC.com only, I have cable for TV but not as my Internet Provider, so because my email address doesn’t end with my cable’s .Com address I can’t view TV episodes on ABC.com

  44. Sorry, you want the viewers to show up you need to make a show that does more than perpetuate stereotypical social justice. The formulated methods which are put in place to appeal to authors such as this only hit those of us hoping for a good show as painfully obvious and detract from my ability to separate my enjoyment of the show from my disdain for the pandering.

    I love strong women in shows, but when you have to elevate their ‘strength’ by making everyone around them caricatures, you ruin any message you may have been trying to get across. Oh, sure, it appeals to those who have a chip on their shoulder for such things, but most viewers aren’t out on those fringes. We tune in to be entertained, not treated as so stupid we have to have the political message spoon fed to us.

    You want to prove that strong female characters can lead a show AND keep viewers at the same time? Write a good story and write good, strong supporting characters and the rest will take care of itself. Writing a strong female character surrounded by idiots and hoping that the male demographic will simply show up to see an attractive woman doesn’t do it.

    Go read an Honor Harrington book and come back with some idea of how a fictional strong woman can be portrayed without resorting to making the supporting cast misogynistic morons. If you need a TV analogy – check out most of Castle. They didn’t surround Beckett with a bunch of idiots in some stupid attempt to make the character stand out and she still manages to pull off a confident, strong woman far better than Agent Carter.

    • Roy says:

      Great points. I too like a strong female lead character on a TV show, but you can’t make the supporting cast dull, boring, weak, etc. around the said character. That’s what turned me off from Agent Carter from the first season, and I didn’t care for the second. “Orphan Black”, “iZombie” and “Supergirl” are great because they have great female leads and fun supporting casts. If you want to make a political statement while being creative, do it without alienating part of a potential audience.

      • @Mirrigold – Where are all the stupid people surrounding Carter? Are you kidding? Did you even watch the show? Every agent (save, of course, the cripple) is represented as an idiot who only got their job because they dangle. Even in those days, special agents actually had to be more functional than they are represented. List ANY of them that had any brains at all. In fact, other than the cripple and, towards the end when he dies, the boss, they were all a bunch of morons. Jarvis is a buffoon there for comedy relief at best and certainly not a vital contributor. Stark isn’t any better with more Misogyny thrown in.

        So, please, what strengths and abilities did this cast offer as a compliment to AC? Other than comic relief sidekick, what did Jarvis bring to the table? This show had nothing but a rabid feminist bent. My favorite example of this was her lecture to the cripple when he offers to help her since she can ‘take care of herself.’ A few scenes later, we’re in a diner and she abuses a rude patron to save the poor waitress. So, it’s not that helping is bad or condescending, it’s only that if a man offers. It would have been more consistent if the waitress had said the same thing to her about taking care of herself instead of playing the helpless woman.

        I was looking forward to the first season very much but it was so bad I refused to even watch a single episode of season 2 – not even on any of the web alternatives.

        I get it, though. There are a few of you (a very few by the ratings) who revel in this kind of thing. Maybe it appeals to your feminism or social justice. Maybe you just think (as the author does above) that there should be more women comic book venues just because there should be more (regardless of quality.) I disagree and will continue to refuse to watch shows that refuse to put on a good story while pandering to political viewpoints. I’m happy to see that I’m not in the minority in regards to this show being poorly done. The lack of viewership backs that up. Maybe, just maybe, Hollywood will stop pandering to politics and get back to the business of entertainment. Tell the diversity idiots to bring a good story to the table to go with their diversity or get bent.

      • Where are the “stupid people” surrounding Agent Carter? Oh, that’s right, there aren’t any. All the supporting cast in this show have strengths and abilities which are complementary to Peggy Carter.
        Jarvis is certainly not a second rate misogynistic moron, are you sure you watched anything other than the original pilot where it was being set out that Peggy was a woman in a man’s world?
        The show has massively moved on from that while still retaining the truths of the social situation at the times its portraying.

  45. gpageau says:

    What are you talking about, “small offerings” like “Ant-Man?” “Ant-Man,” while not a great movie, pulled in more than $500 million worldwide, which is better than “Thor” performed.

    I get your point about wanting “Agent Carter” to continue – and I like your idea about a streaming option – but ABC/Disney has no obligation to continue a show that is underperforming; fewer viewers mean less they can charge for advertising. They are in a business, and it’s “Agent Carter’s” job to pull in the viewers. It’s just too bad more people didn’t tune in, because it’s a well-done show.

  46. randy says:

    And it’s hard to stream the show with ABC’s ridiculous “sign in to watch” online. Other network’s shows are more readily accessible, making the ratings more accurate. ABC’s out-of-date approach means many of us are forced to watch Agent Carter on…more accessible streaming sites rather than wait for ABC to open up episodes.

    • FromTheAshes says:

      I agree. I don’t have cable; I’ve actually never paid for cable; so if I am not home when Agent Carter airs and I want to see it before the next episode, I need to watch it from an unauthorized website because ABC will not let me view it on their website. The one-week-delay is stupid; it only makes it so that people who would be watching it when it airs can’t watch it when it airs because if you miss one episode ABC gives you No Way to Catch Up because the next episode airs BEFORE the previous episode becomes available on the website. That is backwards thinking on ABC’s part. And it stinks too because the majority of network shows that I watch are ABC shows, so I constantly have to deal with their crappy logic.

  47. Winslet says:

    If Agent Carter isn’t renewed, I’ll never tune into ABC again.

  48. Debi C says:

    I like it better than Agents of Shield. The plots are good and the characters are wonderful.

  49. Kate says:

    It’s a great show. Period.

  50. BillUSA says:

    I always liked the Agent Carter character even back in my comic book reading days. I especially like any film or television fare that is set during the WWII Era. The women and men of that time dressed with class and it was a pleasure to look at the women. Hayley Atwell does a great characterization of Peggy Carter and she is adorable in that 1940’s look.

    On another note, one pointed at Variety, et al. That is, the WAY in which diversity is handled. I notice that there is never a point made about the drawbacks of tokenism. Admit it, that’s how diversity is being handled. But people write as if diversity will deliver everything positive. Actually that isn’t saying it all. It’s like there are no checkpoints in place to critique the inclusion of otherwise exclude demographic representation. Is it fear of reprisal in the way of boycott or are your ranks filled with militant activists?

    It’s not a perfect world, yet not a word is posted about the decline of ratings as they might relate to the quality of those ascended to jobs they previously would have been shut out of. Why isn’t it questioned? The better inquiry would be, why is that Variety and other entertainment publications are in the flag-waving, torch-carrying, protesting activist business anyway?

    I go to news sites to get my dose of reality. I watch movies for escapism. The line separating them is beyond blurred.

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