Marvel's Agent Carter

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Marvel's Agent Carter TV Poster Image
Strong female lead defies stereotypes in tantalizing series.
 Popular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 10 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Peggy has solid principles, but that makes her vulnerable to other people's ulterior motives. It's difficult to decipher good from bad, and allegiances sometimes change. Peggy often breaks rules but for good reason. Examples of sexism in the workplace are rooted in historical events in the post-WWII era. Emotions such as grief, guilt, and regret are explored. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Peggy has all the qualities you'd want in a female role model: She's brilliant, determined, clever, courageous, headstrong, self-confident, and a physical force, even in her male-dominated field. That said, her willingness to trust puts her in danger of betrayal by colleagues and friends. Most men around her underestimate her abilities because of her gender and are outwitted because of it, but a few recognize her value for what it is. 

Violence

Fistfights, gun use, and explosions. Dead bodies are shown with bullet wounds, but the effect isn't gory. The concept of nontraditional weapons development is explored. 

Sex

Occasional kissing and hints at sexuality. Peggy uses her physical appeal to manipulate men on missions, wearing plunging necklines and tight dresses and flirting with them.

Language

"Damn." 

Consumerism

The story is part of the Marvel Comics franchise and references the protagonist's lost love, Captain America.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink at parties and other social gatherings. Some of Peggy's spy gadgets utilize drugs, including a lipstick that puts her kissing partner to sleep.   

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Marvel's Agent Carter expands on the story of Captain America's female liaison and love interest, Agent Peggy Carter, cast now as an underemployed secretary-type at the covert Strategic Scientific Reserve. This series is notably less action-packed than the Captain America movies, which gives the cunning Peggy the upper hand in a male-dominated field of villains, but you'll still see gun use, fistfights, and some dead bodies. Historically rooted gender stereotypes will jump out at viewers, but it's Peggy's dogged defiance of them that will linger after the show's end. If you're already a fan of Captain America and his entourage, then this is a series you'll want to watch; if not, you might be motivated to check out the movies after being swept up in this enticing story.

User Reviews

Adult Written byPanda Incognito January 30, 2015
I am not a big Marvel fan, but greatly enjoyed the Captain America movies and was thrilled to hear about this spin-off. I am very interested in this time in his... Continue reading
Parent Written bylenaj March 11, 2015

Excellent acting and quality of story

Great to have a female lead character that has as strong will and is independent. The contrast between the English and American accent could also be a reason... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byrebma97 January 8, 2015

Decent Captain America Spinoff

The first two episodes are the only ones that have aired so far, so I'll change my review when the other episodes air. It was OK. The show has potential bu... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byTotally28 January 13, 2015

Agent Carter

Finally, there is a quality action show (set in the 1940s) with a strong unobjectified female heroine. Peggy Carter, the show's protagonist, is the only fe... Continue reading

What's the story?

Set in 1946, MARVEL'S AGENT CARTER follows Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), a brilliant operative for the Strategic Scientific Reserve whose skills go mostly unutilized now that the men have returned to work following the end of World War II. Feeling expendable and pining for the kind of action she saw during the war, Peggy also is still grieving the loss of her love, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America. So when Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) shows up to ask her for help in clearing him of traitor charges, she jumps at the chance to go undercover for her old friend. With the help of Stark's devoted butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D'Arcy), Peggy infiltrates a hidden market of weapons development, facing traitor allegations herself if she's ever caught. But as she follows the clues, she begins to wonder whether her old acquaintance is being entirely honest with her. 

Is it any good?

This series' best-selling point by far is the character of Peggy Carter, who in Atwell's hands is as able as a solo act as she ever was at Captain America's side. Marvel's Agent Carter brings a couple of supporting characters from the Captain America stories to the forefront in Carter  and Howard Stark. Obviously this will appeal to Marvel's faithful fan base most of all, but the efficiently written series gives just enough backstory to bring newbies up to speed in no time flat, inviting a wide pool of viewers and setting the scene for a scintillating action series. And speaking of action, there are plenty of sequences that involve explosions, shoot-outs, and some hand-to-hand fighting, but Peggy often heads off others with her considerable brains rather than her brawn. There also are some laughs, mostly at the hands of the mild-mannered butler-turned-spy-associate, Jarvis.

But the series' best-selling point by far is Peggy herself, who in Atwell's hands is as able as a solo act as she ever was at Captain America's side. Marvel does itself a real service by letting this beautiful, clever, self-reliant female operative crush the gender stereotypes of the time, even if it does come at the expense of a somewhat naive male clientele that's overly susceptible to her guile. What's more, as opposed to many of Marvel's heroes, she's remarkably normal, having no "super" qualities other than her intellect, courage, and determination, making her an even more likable female lead. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about female role models in movies and on TV. Who are some of your favorites? How does Marvel's Agent Carter's Peggy fit in among that group? How are their admirable qualities different from those of their male counterparts? Is this distinction a good thing? 

  • What are Peggy's motivations for what she does? Do good motivations always excuse breaking rules? How do you think she'd react if she was double-crossed by those she trusts? 

  • How does the violence in this series compare to that in the Captain America (and other superhero) movies? Does the fact that Peggy is a woman account for some of the change? Is violence ever the appropriate response to conflict? 

  • How do the characters in Marvel's Agent Carter demonstrate courage? Why is this an important character strength?

TV details

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