With the Premiere of [Marvel's Agent Carter](series:1119765) (hereafter referred to as "Agent Carter" now less than 24 hours away, it is worth noting that not only is this the unveiling of another piece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe , but a crucial component of it's future.
Let us count the ways:
1.) As the first movie or TV series from Marvel Studios with a female lead, you can bet they will be watching it's success - or lack thereof - closely in weighing the possibility of giving the green light to other projects with women warriors. Seriously, it's all about what the studio thinks is viable. The history of successful films with a woman as THE star is quite small. If "Agent Carter" proves there is a demand for such characters, those inside and outside Marvel clamoring for films starring "Black Widow", "Ms. Marvel", "Gamora" and others will have something huge to point to that will bolster their case.
1A.) From the "The Bionic Woman" to "Wonder Woman" to "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" to "Alias", TV has been a bit kinder and more fertile ground to give women the spotlight. Some characters that Kevin Feige and Company may feel are not ready or able to carry a $150 million film, just may have a greater shot at the small screen if "Agent Carter" is successful.
2.) "Agent Carter" can potentially show that Marvel Studios can have a huge success on the small screen. It's clear Marvel Studios wants the show to be a HUGE success. They've been promoting the hell out of it for months, not only on Disney-owned ABC, but on cable during other shows with strong female characters like "Law and Order" reruns.
2A) Because even they and the most ardent fans of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." have to agree it has been far from a big hit, with it's ratings middling at best. After over 12 million people watched it's Series Premiere during the 2013-2014 season, that had dropped to a meager 5.45 million during it's season finale, despite episode tie-ins to "Thor: The Dark World" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
In the all-important 18-49 demographic, it earned a scant 3.0/9 rating/share - only the TWENTIETH best for that demographic. In contrast, even a show considered a "cult favorite" like "Once Upon A Time", averaged 9.38 million viewers in 2013-2014 and had a 3.3/8 rating/share, the TWELFTH best ratings in that demographic.
In short, if it weren't for it's ties to the MCU, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." would be in serious danger of cancellation. Marvel Studios needs "Agent Carter" to prove a true hit TV show starring one of their properties can be successful on broadcast TV.
3.) It will lay the groundwork for exploring the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Between detailing SSR, the predecessor to S.H.I.E.L.D. and featuring characters like Howard Stark and Jarvis, "Agent Carter" will help fill in some of the gaps in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is reinforced by the fact that the character is slated to appear in BOTH of Marvel Studios' 2015 film offerings, "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Ant-Man". Speaking of which...
4.) Marvel Studios is banking on a huge premiere for "Agent Carter" not only for the sake of the series itself, but so as many people as possible catch the Premiere of the trailer for the so far low-buzz "Ant-Man" film.
5.) Called "'Alias' meets 'His Girl Friday; "Agent Carter" has a different feel from other Marvel Studios properties. Seriously, the only way the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to stay red-hot is if all their offerings have a different flavor. Having "Agent Carter" take place in Post-World War II America not only gives "Agent Carter" different obvious issues, such as the different treatment of women, to deal with - it also gives it a different look. In short, I love her hat too! AND the pin curls in her hair AND her pantsuit.
6.) Much like [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](series:722469) has introduced audiences to live-action versions of characters like Deathlok and Absorbing Man, it is quite likely "Agent Carter" will introduce us to other characters from Marvel's past, like...Original Human Torch? Original Nick Fury? Or...Namor?
7.) Again, a successful "Agent Carter" could lead to the green light being given to films on older characters, like possibly...."The Invaders".
8.) "Agent Carter" is the first Marvel Studios property RUN BY WOMEN - writers Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas to be exact - and if it is successful, it will guarantee there will be a second and third and more sooner than later.
9.) "Agent Carter" will be the first Marvel Studios lead heroine - save for maybe ScarJo in [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973) - who actually seems sexy, substantial AND fun. She seems to have a witty sense of humor about her, which can't really be said for Liv Tyler's Betty Ross, Jaime Alexander's Sif, Zoe Saldana's Gamora or even Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts. Oh, and she won't have to have Pepper ridiculously steal the lead's thunder (see "Iron Man 3" ending), since she'll be able to supply the majority of the thunder on "Agent Carter" on her own .
Don't know about the rest of you, but I am pulling for this show...Can't wait!