Thursday, 29 January 2015

Save us, Agent Carter!

It may shock you to discover that I watch telly sometimes… Okay, it's no shock, I'm an unrepentant square eyes. I luffs my telly and radio. One thing I will not be watching, however, is Agent Carter. Why? Because no UK broadcaster is showing it! It's annoying enough when stuff gets snapped up by Sky Atlantic, which I can't get via cable, but I just have to tell myself that I pays my money, I takes my choice there. (And my excellent friend Kai sends me Game of Thrones on DVD for my birthday each year so I don't miss out.) That NO British broadcaster has seen fit to pick up the series is just bizarre. I'm not sure why no British channel has picked up this series. Perhaps they think people who watch period shows won't like superhero storylines, or people who like superhero shows won't want to watch one with a female lead (especially one not in lycra). Well, they're wrong. It's already a big hit in the US, so it could be here too.


Channel 4, which shows Agents of Shield, would be the logical channel to broadcast it. Personally I'd like to see it on the BBC, because then it'd be advert-free. It'd slot quite nicely into Saturday evenings – it's not as though they're overburdened with SF/fantasy programmes, despite all the Who-ha every time the Doctor pops up again.

Mmm, Capaldi.


Ahem! Back to Agent Carter. If you're not into comic book things, you're probably horribly confused. Here's what you need to know:

The titular Agent Carter is female – you might remember her from Captain America: The First Avenger.

The show is set in the 1940s.

And the costumes are just gooooorgeous. I'd watch it for those alone. ABC, which makes the show, has recognised this and has dedicated a page on its website to the fashions of Agent Carter, with input from the costume designer Giovanna Ottobre-Melton. It's really interesting, as she is very serious about accuracy, and does use some authentic vintage garments, but the action-packed nature of the storylines mean a lot of the costumes have to be made from scratch as they need multiple copies of each piece. Let's face it, no-one needs an armpit tear during filming! It's fascinating seeing and reading about her fabric and style choices.

The red, white and blue costuming is a deliberate choice
I'm hoping Agent Carter's success has a knock-on effect in the same way Mad Men did, briefly. People loved the late 50s/early 60s styles in the early series of Mad Men, leading to a slew of articles on getting the look and High Street stores getting in on the act. It'd be great to see a revival of 1940s style. (On which note, Liz Tregenza's latest book is ALL about getting the 1940s look.) I've been feeling lately as though 'vintage' nowadays is getting less and less about actual old stuff or any sort of authenticity, and as pretty as the poofy-dress-and-victory-rolls combo is, it's become ubiquitous and isn't from any period I could name. It's absurd to get to the point where you (okay, I) can rock up at an event and feel out of place in actual vintage.

Agent Carter, if you can reboot vintage fashion, you really will be my superhero!

13 comments :

  1. I've been loving the Agent Carter series so far. It's not my normal type of thing, but I've found it to be surprisingly well done. And yes, the costumes are great!

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    1. You get to see it?! *Envies* It's getting such good reviews, I'm really annoyed at missing it.

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  2. I SO want to see this series. I managed to watch episode 1 on Youtube, but now I want to see the rest. Fingers crossed it does get picked up in the UK eventually. As to vintage clothing, I couldn't agree more! Sadly, there are more and more people at 1940's events who think if they slap on some red lipstick and wear it with any era hat and a poofy skirt, then they've got it nailed. More annoyingly, said people are often the ones who appear in print, advertising the events!

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    1. It's interesting seeing the dynamics of 'Vintage' - vintage as a modern lifestyle choice/subculture versus vintage as hardcore recreation. And different eras move in and out of popularity; the 40s seemed much more 'in' a few years ago whereas now it feels as though there's massively more 50s - and far less deco-era stuff.

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  3. I'm so annoyed that this isn't being shown here - what fools! I loved her in Captain America, and she was in another film set during the war in England, but I can't remember the name of it. She played a secret agent in that too. Who wouldn't mind that kind of typecasting?

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    1. It would be great typecasting. I wonder if she's ever tempted to 'borrow' any of the clothing long-term?

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  4. I really want to see this and was flabbergasted when I heard that no one was picking it up here. What's wrong with these people? What's even more frustrating is ABC block anyone outside the US from viewing the video clips on their website. Oh, and totally agree with the 'poofy-dress-and-victory-rolls combo' comment too!

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    1. It honestly makes no sense. Maybe a little network will pick it up, like SyFy or even Horror (they show loads of Dr Who, so you never know).

      I feel kind of bad for the poofy-dress-and-victory-rolls comment, as I don't mean to upset anyone, but it is my genuine opinion. It wouldn't bother me if it was one person's invidual style to mix-and-match eras in that way (we all do it, I'm a weird midcentury/deco hybrid myself) but it's the fact that it's become a sort of uniform that people seem to don without thinking, and that the mainstream then tells us is/tries to sell as vintage.

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  5. Its really odd that no one has picked this up in the UK. Maybe C4 feel SHIELD has underperformed (though I like it) and C5 have Gotham. Knowing my luck Sky Atlantic will get it!

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    1. NOT SKY ATLANTIC.

      I have a bazillion TV channels but not that one.

      I really like Gotham. Wasn't sure at first, but grew to love it. And The Flash on Sky is my guilty pleasure.

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  6. Sounds like I would love it if I could see it! Waiting and waiting for the next Game of Thrones dvd to come out!

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  7. I've heard great things about this series too, am yearning to see it as well! If it doesn't make it to TV over here let's hope it comes out on DVD at least? That's what I've done with Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries from Australia (absolutely brilliant, will be posting all about it soon). Oo and you've been watching Gotham too? I wasn't at all sure at first but actually became hooked all the same. I can't imagine you looking out of place at vintage events in your lovely ensembles, I bet you just look like the Grand Dame and all the girls in the poufy dresses are jealous (I would be! My original vintage has deteriorated!!) x

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    1. Yes, I've seen Miss Fisher on Alibi - the books are good fun too.

      Like you, I really wasn't sure about Gothan but it's grown on me. A bit of Sean Pertwee doesn't hurt, either ;-)

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