Marvel Made a Woman-Led, Anti-Sexist Superhero Show. It’s Mostly About Men.

January 6, 2015 8:55 PM

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Marvel Made a Woman-Led, Anti-Sexist Superhero Show. It’s Mostly About Men.

After obligatory flashbacks to 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, from which ABC’s new period entertainment/marketing opportunity/sleep aid Agent Carter springs, Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) struts into the top secret offices of the Strategic Scientific Reserve in a royal-blue skirt suit with a bright-red hat cocked at a jaunty angle and shadowing her face. It’s 1946 in New York City and the gutsy Agent Carter, with her posh British accent, bold color choices, and concealed firearm, is a brash independent woman—until she walks into work, takes off her hat, and is told to get the phone by her sexist male superior. Agent Carter goes back to the grind and so does her television show, never to capture the flair and attitude promised by that hat, even though the incessantly springy soundtrack insists otherwise.

Like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Agent Carter is a spinoff of Marvel’s hugely lucrative Avengers franchise, which is as good a fiscal reason as you’ll ever hear for making a TV show, if not a particularly inspiring one. As the series begins, Captain America’s friend, the inventor, industrialist, and play...

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