As the saying goes, all good things must end. While I had hoped that “Agent Carter” would get six seasons and a movie, I am happy that we got two seasons (and parts ranging from major character to cameo to photograph in five movies). Still, I will sorely miss Peggy Carter, played so well by Hayley Atwell. Here’s why:
- The woman could hold her own—and everyone else’s. She was a strong, uncompromising female character who I have been proud to share with my young daughter. She doesn’t get rescued by Prince Charming; she gets things DONE.
- She had zero fucks to give. When a male counterpart asks why she lets someone take the credit for her achievement, she tells him she doesn’t need the credit, and delivers that defining line: “I know my value.” #LIFEGOALS.
- Femininity without fetishism. Her feminine wiles were but one tool in her toolbelt, and were used sparingly—usually on only the least formidable opponents. She did not, however, abhor femininity; in fact, her outfits, hair and makeup were the perfect mix of beauty and function. Not to mention a possible camouflage—what better way to get away with more in a man’s world than by flying under the radar and playing by the rules, at least on the surface?
- That 40s style. I know it’s cliche, but what a fun time to revisit in fashion and style. TV has largely abandoned the era for hipper turns of nostalgia, such as the 80s mania that never seems to go away. It’s refreshing to see something set in this time period, which also shows the all-too-real struggles that women faced when they decided they liked working but the men came home from war and were given their jobs.
- This is a show that didn’t take itself too seriously. As such, it was able to blend into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and to do so seamlessly, since it didn’t have to keep up with the ever-evolving story.
- Not for nothing, but this was a charming cast. The baddies got a bit cartoony at times, but in that “Dick Tracy”-kinda way that made sense for a show set in the 40s. In addition to Hayley Atwell’s stellar performance, James D’Arcy as Jarvis was often comic relief, at times a calming influence, and when it came down to it, a serious moral center for the show. Dominic Cooper’s Howard Stark was comic relief’s comic relief, coming into the picture not often enough to be overbearing but just enough to leave you wanting more. Another highlight was Enver Gjokaj as Daniel Sousa, a real character to root for. Maybe some day I’ll write that fan fiction I’ve been meaning to get to wherein Howard Stark designs a bionic leg for him.
- That red hat! (A replica of which may or may not be living in my closet for use every Halloween or so.) DON’T JUDGE ME.
We were lucky to have the show as long as we did, due to sinking viewership from season 1 to season 2, though I don’t think it ever got the promotion it deserved. (I know, tiny violins …) A girl can dream, though I’m not expecting “Agent Carter” to get rescued by Netflix like some have suggested. I hope, however, that this show and this character are the beginning of stronger female-driven positive storylines on television. Thanks, Agent Carter. We know your value too.
UPDATE: Don’t tease us, Hayley!
In honor of the Women in the World Summit coming up in New York this week, Tina Brown has some suggested reading on her regular feature on NPR, “Word of Mouth,” pertaining to women’s issues in the developing world. I’m especially interested in the Vanity Fair piece about Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani student who was shot by the Taliban after voicing demand for school access for girls.
Making sure my kid has all the educational opportunities she needs to be successful at whatever she wants to do, and making sure she knows that her gender in no way affects her ability to achieve, is a big priority for me. Imagine living in a place where girls must fight for their right to education. We are lucky humans, to have been born in a developed nation.
Newsweek and the Daily Beast are recognizing 125 Women of Impact all over the world. Check it out. (I love #25, Women of the CIA.)
I enjoyed this post on Boing Boing about writing about women scientists; for me it comes down to wiping the tone of surprise out of your article. (I love the idea of flipping the statement and deciding if it would sound ridiculous to write that about a man.) It sounds like such common sense, but then again, not …
Interesting piece on Slate.com about Kate Upton’s recent prom date invitation and gentle let-down. Not sure why this boy is getting this “Oh he’s so adorable” attention from everyone … Gee, a teenaged boy thought a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model was attractive and wanted to try to hang out with her. How original. Now, if his Youtube invitation would have been to someone known for brains rather than just beauty– say, Lena Dunham or Amy Poehler, that would have been original.