You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Marvel’s Agent Carter,’ Season 2

Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Enver Gjokaj, Wynn Everett, Reggie Austin, Chad Michael Murray, Currie Graham, Lotte Verbeek

“Marvel’s Agent Carter” remains something of an enigma – a show with a beguiling setting and appealing star that, since the initial promise of its premiere, has generally failed to spark to life. Returning for a second stint spelling “Agents of SHIELD” on Tuesday nights, the show relocates its title character to Hollywood, which would seem to offer great possibilities tapping into the glitz of the era. What emerges, however, at least in the two-hour launch, is a rather prosaic affair, offering some nice moments but relatively little to merit the jauntiness of Christopher Lennertz’s terrific theme.

Hayley Atwell once again cuts a smashing figure as the secret agent who made Captain America’s heart go pitter-pat, this time serving the Strategic Scientific Reserve (or SSR) by investigating a mysterious murder that involves a shadowy energy company. She is also reunited with Howard Stark’s loyal butler Jarvis (James D’Arcy), who even introduces her to his wife (Lotte Verbeek), a proper mate for her hubby in all things, including eccentricities.

Despite some good casting, though – including Currie Graham as a wealthy mogul; Bridget Regan back as Peggy Carter’s equally matched nemesis, Dottie; and Reggie Austin as an African-American scientist, to whom Peggy is drawn – the series hasn’t done much to develop its supporting players, with a ho-hum, soapy subplot involving Peggy’s colleague Daniel Souza (Enver Gjokaj). And the initial threat, involving a strange and volatile substance that the energy company is seeking to exploit, feels a bit too much like a retread of the recent “Agents of SHIELD” arc about the interdimensional portal, which has largely been a doorway to nowhere, story-wise.

Indeed, for all the potential built into exploring this post-war period – including the early threat posed by Hydra and the blatant sexism Peggy faces – “Agent Carter” feels too slavishly locked into the “SHIELD” formula, which, frankly, hasn’t exactly been setting the world ablaze creatively with its trip into the world of Inhumans.

In that respect, the interlocking nature of the Marvel universe – linking across series and movies – can become a pair of handcuffs for this kind of show, which would probably function best as a stand-alone lark. And while it makes sense for ABC to cultivate its Marvel connection given the popularity of the latter’s movies, one can argue that those efforts haven’t been successful enough to merit many more extensions of the line.

All told, it’s sort of a shame “Agent Carter” isn’t more compelling, since the impeccable period trappings and costumes make the series a nice change of pace, at least visually. Get past the surface, though, and it once again looks as if the show has been relegated to the role of little more than handsome placeholder to break up “SHIELD’s” season – all dressed up, perhaps, but as outfitted, with no real place to go.

TV Review: 'Marvel's Agent Carter,' Season 2

(Series; ABC, Tues. Jan. 19, 9 p.m.)

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios.

Crew: Executive producers, Tara Butters, Michele Fazekas, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Chris Dingess, Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Joe Quesada, Stan Lee, Jeph Loeb; director, Lawrence Trilling; writer, Brant Englestein. 60 MIN.

Cast: Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Enver Gjokaj, Wynn Everett, Reggie Austin, Chad Michael Murray, Currie Graham, Lotte Verbeek

More TV

  • Bristol, CT - March 13, 2017

    Mina Kimes Helps ESPN Kick Off 'Daily' Podcast

    Mina Kimes is preparing to take ESPN into a new frontier. The sports-media giant has launched a “SportsCenter” for Snapchat and tested baseball telecasts for kids. Now it’s hoping to set up shop in another media venue. Starting tomorrow, the Disney-backed company launches “ESPN Daily,” a weekday morning podcast that aims to tap its vast [...]

  • MIA Wrap

    Rome MIA Market Wraps With Stronger U.S. Presence, Boosts Italy's Industry Standing

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries wrapped positively Sunday with organizers boasting a bump in attendance just as some 2,500 executives departed in an upbeat mood after four days of dealmaking and presentations of mostly European fresh product, which elevated Italy’s global standing in the industry, especially within the TV sector. [...]


    Showrunner Stefano Voltaggio on Netflix's 'Zero' About Black Youths in Italy (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix recently announced a new Italian original titled “Zero” that will mark the first Italian series centered around the present-day lives of black Italian youths. “Zero” is based on several books by young writer and TV music show host Antonio Dikele Distefano, who was born in Italy from Angolan parents. The project was originated by [...]

  • Content-is-King

    Top TV Execs Tackle New Distribution Landscape in Rome

    ROME – In an increasingly complex TV market, with a host of new big-ticket streaming services preparing to enter an already crowded arena, both buyers and sellers are rethinking some of the fundamentals of the TV business as they grapple with the best way to reach global audiences. A host of top producers, network executives, [...]

  • MIA-MARKET-2019_Europe-Producers-Club_4

    European Producers and Broadcasters Debate How to Weather Streaming Storm

    ROME – The impending rollout of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other new streaming services promises a new era of uncertainty—and opportunity—for broadcasters and producers in an industry already disrupted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. At a panel hosted by the European Producers Club Friday afternoon during the MIA market in Rome, executives [...]

  • Kevin-Beggs

    Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs on Streamers and TV’s ‘Platinum Era’

    ROME – Over the course of two decades in the industry, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs has witnessed the ups and downs of a business that has frequently found itself confronting both dizzying new possibilities as well as existential threats. But these days the veteran exec, who oversees the development of all scripted and non-scripted content [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content