Peggy Carter is one of my favorite female protagonists on television today. Last season of Agent Carter was set only a year after Captain America “died” in 1946– Carter was in New York working for the SSR while working with Jarvis (not the computer program, the actual human butler) to secretly protect Howard Stark against false allegations. If you aren’t caught up, you’ll want to be, because season 2 is here. A character in the world of superheroes while not using any superpowers herself, Carter shows through this television series just how powerful any regular human can be. Here are some reasons why you should tune into Agent Carter tonight
If you’re an Agents of SHIELD fan, it’s a must-watch
Have you ever wondered how the Black Widow program came about? Maybe what the inspiration for Jarvis was? Perhaps why SHIELD was even created in the first place? Agents of SHIELD has given us plenty of information about current-day SHIELD and where it’s headed. In the meantime, Agent Carter gives us a glimpse of what the world was like before SHIELD was a fully functional organization. SSR, the team Carter works for, is basically a police force that handles top secret security threats and Carter is a key player. Essentially, she was one of the founders of SHIELD, and I personally can’t wait to see how the SSR evolves into a worldwide security team—hopefully in season 2!
It has an interesting take on gender roles in the 1940s
Being a woman in the 1940s in America was no easy task, and Agent Carter proves that. Carter’s constant obstacle at work is that the men she works with don’t trust her with larger tasks than picking up phones and taking notes. In radio renditions of her relationship with Captain America, voice actors portray her as weak and constantly crying for help and Captain America saving her every time. This could not be farther from the truth; as we know from Captain America: The First Avenger, Peggy Carter held her own against every enemy she came across, and Steve Rogers actually had quite a bit to learn from her. Underestimated and undervalued by her coworkers, Agent Carter demonstrates the general attitude held towards women by society in the 1940s. It really reminds us how far we’ve come!
Carter completely dispels the “Damsel in Distress” stereotypes
In the first season, Peggy is paired with Jarvis, Stark’s loyal butler, in going against the bad guys. However, just because she’s the woman in the picture does not make her a damsel in distress in the least bit. Rather, Jarvis took the role of whimpering in the background, waiting for the coast to clear before confidently proceeding. Carter was the one who cleared the coast, every time. From keeping poor, defenseless Jarvis safe every time there was a potential risk, Peggy completely turns the tables on the gender role she is expected to conform to and teaches even today’s viewers that our gender has no bearing on our capability.
The female relationships are fabulous
Oftentimes in movies and television shows, female characters really don’t like each other very much. In this show, however, not only is there celebration of female empowerment in the form of making Peggy Carter defy all gender expectations, there’s also a solid friendship between Peggy and Angie, an aspiring actress who helps Peggy find a place to live. Throughout season 1, Peggy keeps Angie at arm’s length while Angie makes obvious attempts to get closer to her. Despite Peggy’s closed-off nature towards Angie, Angie evidently knows better; when she sees Peggy in potentially grave danger (unknowing of the circumstances), she goes with her gut and helps Carter. Ultimately, even though Peggy can’t tell her everything, Angie can tell she is eternally grateful. Yay, friendship!
Romance isn’t as big a priority as foiling the bad guys
I’ll be honest– nowadays, when I see a television show starring a female protagonist, I assume it’s just a matter of time before the producers dedicate an extensive portion of the plot line to developing her love life. And it’s not like Agent Carter has none of that; Peggy is an eligible woman in her day and age, and having gained respect from some of the more progressive men in the SSR, she definitely catches more than one man’s eye throughout the first season. However, not once have those potential love interests been explored beyond the bare surface. By all means, seeing Peggy in a relationship would be awesome, but at the same time, I’m incredibly glad that the writers focused on just her for at least the first season.
Agent Carter has become one of my favorite television shows, and I thoroughly look forward to what season 2 has in store for Peggy. She might not be a superhero, but her story is fascinating. Here’s to being transported back to the 1940s and seeing what Peggy is up against in LA!
(Image via ABC)