6. Agent Carter (ABC)

If Hayley Atwell starred on every show on TV at the same time, I would find a way to watch every show on TV at the same time. And I’m not just saying that because she was nice to my daughter.

In season one of Agent Carter, she was the show—almost entirely—but it worked, as she took a secondary character from the Captain America movie and made her deserving of her own limited run.

A few things didn’t work in season one, namely most of the supporting cast outside of James D’Arcy as Edwin Jarvis, and hopefully season two, which debuted with a two-hour premiere on Tuesday, will develop more robust characters other than Peggy Carter.

There were no real villains on the show worth remembering and it’s not really a super hero show at all, so much as a fun period piece about a strong woman doing work in a man’s world, but that—and ABC’s juxtaposition with SHIELD—somehow made the show that much better.

I had the chance to sit in on Atwell’s Q&A at the Philadelphia Wizard World convention last year, and the number of girls and young women (my daughter included) who looked up to both her as a strong lead actress and Peggy Carter as a character was incredible.

While the show is just kind of okay, Peggy Carter is amazing, and for a dozen or so weeks a year, let’s hope Marvel and ABC decide to keep her around for a while.

Show Hero/ Show Lead Support Cast Main Villain Other villains Overall Storyline Crisis of the Week Show “Look” Overall Score
Agent Carter 8.38 6.46 5.15 4.81 7.25 6.04 8.42 6.64

“I’m not sure that this is a good show, so much as a fun sidebar to the Captain America/S.H.I.E.L.D. mythology. Above all, Peggy Carter is just a cool character and Hayley Atwell is enjoyable to watch, which is the only reason why this show has appeal.” – Ian Casselberry

“While Hayley Atwell is delightful and brings Peggy Carter to life wonderfully, the show suffers from a rather vanilla supporting cast.” – Jordan White

“It could be the setting of the show. I can’t really pinpoint it, but this is probably my least enjoyed “superhero” show. That said, I don’t think it is even a good TV show. Superhero-ish or not.”

“Agent Carter is overall dependent on the work of Hayley Atwell (who is fantastic) and to a lesser extent, James D’Arcy (who is very good). The rest of the cast seems either cookie cutter or devoid of any advancement. The villains could’ve been explored far more, and the hope is that there will be more of that in season two.”

“I don’t really remember the villains that well on Agent Carter.” – Paul L.

“I’ll admit I was a bit intrigued when the show debuted last year. A one-shot miniseries on a minor supporting character in the Avengers-verse? Sure, I’ll bite. But halfway through the pilot, I was like, ‘Oh right, this is why Agent Carter is a popular supporting character — and not a main one.’ I’ll tune in to see what S2 brings, but I’ll probably just do what I did with S1 and Agents of SHIELD — drop after a few episodes.”

“The show felt the need to spend a lot of time in the first season on the ‘her against the boys’ theme. I guess they felt that was important to the story, but we already knew who Agent Carter was/became. I look forward to Peggy Carter just being a hero instead of just proving the boys wrong.”

“This may be the best and fully formed show of the lot, and yet it is the only one not set in present day (yes, Gotham is a flashback series, but it is set in the present day, it seems; and it won’t really cross over or be in continuity with any other current DC property televised or cinematic)” – John M.

“I want to like this show more than I do. – Mike M.


Arrow-arrow-cw-35978968-1366-768 copy

5. Arrow (CW)

For a while, Arrow was the tentpole superhero show on TV. After shows like Smallville cycled out, the CW show proved that superhero shows that were actually about the superhero and not about them fitting in to everyday life, could work. Sure, there was some of Oliver Queen’s readjustment to civilization, but at the heart of Arrow was the fighting, the saving of his city and the amazing way the show worked in flashbacks to the everyday storyline.

Stephen Amell exudes superhero. He’s maybe the perfect Arrow for the CW world.

The supporting cast is a mixed bag, with the good—David Ramsey as John Diggle and Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak—with the really, really bad—Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance and Colton Haynes as Roy Harper. There are others, and they aren’t much better or worse than average.

The show really suffers from secret identity crisis, too, as anyone with half a brain would know that Oliver Queen is the Arrow. It’s actually pretty stupid the lengths the show has gone to make its characters NOT figure it out, and I can imagine it’s something of a running gag with those who write the show.

The biggest problem with Arrow is that there’s too much of it. It’s a 23-episode season and they are on season four, which means they’ve had nearly 80 episodes, making it impossible to really compare to Agent Carter’s 13 or Supergirl’s seven or eight.

Show Hero/ Show Lead Support Cast Main Villain Other villains Overall Storyline Crisis of the Week Show “Look” Overall Score
Arrow 8.13 7.78 7.35 7.00 7.57 6.91 8.00 7.53

“Oliver Queen just isn’t that interesting a character and may be becoming even less so. Producers figured out that he’s defined by how he interacts with others, and that’s when Arrow found its identity. But if those supporting characters become intolerable, the show becomes a chore to watch.” – Ian Casselberry

“The main players are the best part of Arrow.”

“Arrow is the oldest show on this list and probably the least fresh. Each season seems to make not only the main character but also all of the supporting cast grate on viewers more and more. It’s a solid show, but it needs a kick to the pants, which is unlikely to happen with production energy split between this, Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.”

“Main villain for me is Slade, Merlyn is included in other villains I guess. This show is the hardest to judge because sometimes it is awesome and other times it is awful. So a lot of 7’s.” – Paul L.

“I only started watching because of the tie-ins to The Flash and now I’m rightfully hooked. Amell brings a gravitas and levity to the Green Arrow character, but the supporting cast is arguably my favorite part. There were some real high notes for plot complexity in S3 — even if the Ra’s Al Ghul storyline wasn’t the greatest — and S4 has been really good so far. Plus, like a zillion bonus points for bringing back Matt Ryan as Constantine, which was been the best superhero show on network TV. (Damn you NBC!)”

“I think this show came out the gate running and the first two seasons kept me fully engaged. I found I becoming a bit more campy as it went into season 3/4, but it is slowly drawing me back.” – Zach Burke

“I like Thea even with her awful lisp. Much of the rest of the supporting cast is awful.” – Joe Coblitz

“Laurel Lance bumps the supporting cast from a 9 to an 8.”

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About Dan Levy

Dan Levy has written a lot of words in a lot of places, most recently as the National Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. He was host of The Morning B/Reakaway on Sirius XM's Bleacher Report Radio for the past year, and previously worked at Sporting News and Rutgers University, with a concentration on sports, media and public relations.