I finished my Agent Carter season one rewatch -- I was originally planning to post about the episodes as I watched them, but as I've said before, I'm terrible with follow-through on that kind of thing. Also, it took me like a month
to watch all eight episodes, and it was taking even longer to watch new episodes because I kept feeling like I should write a post about the last one. I only seem to have two settings on TV shows: "binge-watch" and "snail".
Anyway, I'm still blown away at how good this show is. It's such a perfect, perfect little piece of television ... though of course the usual caveats apply: perfect for me
. I know other people have criticisms and various ways the show let them down, and those are entirely valid for you! Of course nothing is really perfect, or can be all things to all people.
But rewatching season one after watching season two makes me love season one all the harder (and I loved it pretty hard to begin with), because the character stuff is so good.
The character development for everybody, and the growth of all the different character relationships, unspools so well and so seamlessly from the first episode of season one to the last episode of season two. There's just so much thought that went into it. It's fascinating to remember watching this season the first time, because season two went ahead and gave me all the stuff I thought
I had at the end of season one. I remember being so excited that everyone was starting to come together and get teamy and become friends by the end of season one, but now after watching season two, it makes me go, "Wow, it's really just the seeds
of it so far, isn't it?" Everything I wanted at the end of season one, I got. (Well, okay, not quite
everything, but so much more of what I wanted than I ever dared hope for, as well as a bunch of truly lovely things that I didn't even know I wanted!)
There is not a single episode in either season that I can't just start playing on a random scene and have it make me happy.
But I also think some of the things that make this show "my show" are reasons why it didn't do better on network TV. Not just the central and integral female POV, but also that doesn't have the fast pace and dazzle that is the modern TV action-show aesthetic. It's a show that unfolds slowly, with a lot of talking, a lot of low-key character stuff, and very few big fight scenes. It's not all quippy one-liners, gunfights and car chases, and sexy young people having relationship drama.
I really think part of the problem is that the show had an audience, but the audience never really found it -- they would be people who like period stuff, people who like spy stuff, people who like dramas. The audience who liked Mad Men or The Americans are the people who should have been watching this, but I think ABC just never managed to get the show in front of those people, because they're not really into superhero stuff and it was marketed more as a superhero show.
Plus, ABC's lackluster promotion of the show is pretty obvious. It's STILL not streaming on any of the fee-per-month services, that I know of, and the season one DVDs were an Amazon exclusive, so not available in stores. Netflix doesn't even have the DVDs! You can buy the episodes individually from places like iTunes and Amazon, which is great for hardcore fans (... me), but you're never going to pick up casual viewers that way, and that's what a show needs to do well.
But it has a very enthusiastic audience (the "save the show and bring it to Netflix" petition is already over 80,000 signatures
!). Ambivalent though I am about the changes the show might make in a possible season three (especially after all of this; I can't think of a single show off the top of my head that got better
after being dropped by its network and picked up elsewhere, and a number of shows that got markedly worse) I would of course be over the moon if it actually did get picked up somewhere, on Netflix or a cable network or something.