After a State of the Union hiatus, Agent Carter returned without missing a beat. In very short order, this show has become everything I wanted out of a Marvel TV show—exciting action, a mix of fun and dramatic character moments, and meaningful connections to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The best part about that last one is that the show’s writers are managing to create those connections without banging you over the head with reminders about what’s gone on in the movies. You don’t need to have seen both Captain America movies in order to understand Peggy Carter, and if you haven’t seen Iron Man, you can still enjoy caddish Howard Stark. This week’s episode was chock full of those sub-connections, which went a long way to enhance the movie characters, especially Tony Stark.
Michael Mann is a difficult filmmaker. His style is ugly on purpose, especially since he started playing with digital cameras while making Ali in 2000, and he isn’t particularly interested in engaging the audience. On the surface, he makes action movies, but his movies, even the less-good ones—I don’t think Michael Mann ever really makes a bad movie, just one that’s less good than the others—are never just an action movie. Blackhat, Mann’s first movie since 2009’s Public Enemies, looks like any run of the mill action-thriller, and by rights ought to have been terrible (certainly most people thought it was anyway).
I haven’t done one of these in forever!
It was a boring night for fashion so it’s not like anything here was a jaw-dropping fashion moment, but these are the people who managed the best individual style for the night.
Lorde is my favorite in a Narciso Rodriguez tux with a crop top. I like that she’s learning to find eveningwear to fit her style, and not changing her style to fit into eveningwear. Also, I love that the tux isn’t body-con. Tina Fey wore a pretty great tux, too, but I’m giving Lorde the points for going with the wide leg and menswear jacket. Julianne Moore in Givenchy had the best silver/grey of the night, Laura Carmichael managed the best “not a nominee but still happy to be here” look in James Galanos, and Allison Tolman proved it’s possible to look beautiful and stylish when you’re not a size two in a Gauri and Nainika gown. Melissa McCarthy should take notes. Jessica Chastain had a personal best with a plunging Versace gown that was also the best boobs-out display of the night, and finally, Ruth Wilson’s “inside out” Prada was the closest thing to a gasp-worthy dress for the night.
Before we go any further, just a reminder that this is your average Academy voter:
In its third episode, Marvel’s Agent Carter builds on the solid start of its doubled-down premiere and accomplishes in three episodes what Agents of SHIELD hasn’t quite managed to do in one and a half seasons—become a fun, engaging, must-watch hour of nerd TV. Agent Carter is doing so much to expand and shade in various corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and beyond that, it’s giving us the female superhero we’ve all been dying to see. Because while she might not have superpowers, Peggy Carter is CLEARLY a superhero.
In which I attempt to employ better formatting than in previous installments of this feature.
I really enjoy Adventureland, so I’m excited to see Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart re-team, this time in a comedy about a stoner (Eisenberg) who becomes the target of a government operation that forces him on the lam with his girlfriend (Stewart). Written by Max Landis (Chronicle and Victor Frankenstein, also on this list), and co-starring Connie Britton, Walton Goggins, and Tony Hale, I’m hoping this is the comedy hit 30 Minutes or Less didn’t quite manage to be.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Last night was the two-hour premiere of Marvel Studios’ latest TV venture, Agent Carter, a spin-off series starring Captain America’s main squeeze, Peggy Carter. It’s the second network show for Marvel, following last year’s Agents of SHIELD, and since there are only eight episodes in what is being billed as a “limited series”—aka, “we’re not planning on renewing this unless it’s REALLY popular”—I’ll be recapping episodes each week. Let’s start with this two-hour premiere, which set up Peggy’s post-World War II, post-Captain America life in New York.