Agent Carter is probably one of the most interesting shows I have seen in quite some time, as it not only has quite an incredible source behind it, but it also works as a sequel to the original Captain America: The First Avenger film. Exploring a world that many of us probably never thought we would see, the US in the 1940s in a world where superheroes live, or at least one did. While the one-shot was showing us her time as she became involved with the foundation of SHIELD alongside Howard Stark and teased something called the Zodiac, we are actually now visiting her time at the SSR. Now we are focusing on her trying to help Howard Stark and meeting his butler Edward Jarvis, who would be the inspiration for the electronic butler we love from the Iron Man franchise. Yet with all that I wonder who is the actual target audience for this TV show? It is comic book inspired yes, but is it trying to reach a male or female demographic?
Why am I even taking this under consideration in the first place? As much as it pains me to say, Agent Carter has not been doing well in regards to its ratings. So far the ratings have plummeted from a 1.9 to a 1.3 within the last few weeks, which, for a limited series, is quite concerning. Still, the issue remains and questions must be raised as to who they are truly measuring as the show is on ABC, a network that is quite famous for its female-centric shows. Yet as Agent Carter is a bridge show for the winter break of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. it seems they are still focusing on the male demographic, who are the goal for the show it is substituting. I will state that I am still inexperienced when it comes to how TV marketing functions, but one would be confused that a show with a very strong female lead wouldn't focus more on a female audience.
Anyone who follows the show will know that it heavily focuses on the life of a woman in the 1940s, which certainly was no easy task. Add up that the main character works for a government agency, where she is treated badly simply because she is a woman. While I will state that this show is not about feminism in any way, it may be that that is the issue. To many, this show focuses strongly on this factor as it is an obstacle the character must face and be shaped by and also shows that the Marvel Cinematic Universe also is capable of handling very human problems. But if men are the main demographic for this show, isn’t it telling them something bad about themselves? Women as the main target audience would feel more empowered with Agent Carter becoming a role model for many woman: she stands up for what she believes in no matter what people tell her. She redefines what people see in her through her actions. Many great messages in one show, but it is not trying to reach the demographic it is displaying as the thematic villain of the show?
There are some great things about this show, the 1940s shows us a world where Captain America lived in but now has vanished. We are introduced to characters we were only able to see once, like Howard Stark, Dum Dum Dugan, hell we even see Anton Vanko from Iron Man 2 and get a look at Roxxon Oil, who has been a constant presence over the course of the franchise. It truly managed to make itself relevant through what ideas and concepts it introduces. This is not a prequel to a Marvel movie, but it is laying the groundwork for many storylines we have already seen. This is probably the reason the show seems to strongly focus on a male demographic, because the sense of adventure is stereotyped to males and I will say that it is partly the fault of being a bridge show to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Not to say Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is destroying the audience for the show, as it too offers quite a number of strong female characters. The issue seems to be overall that the show was meant as a bridge and as a ratings boost for each. Sadly, it seems the show has taken a toll on Agent Carter, as many seem to treat it as nothing more but an extension to S.H.I.E.L.D. Moreover, this feeds into the issue that the audience is stuck within a male demographic. Maybe if they give the show its own timeslot focusing on that very audience it could see quite a change in ratings overall, but at this point that is just a theory.
So, do you agree or disagree? Tell me why in the comments below and give me your thoughts on the matter! Are you enjoying Agent Carter?