Hate Is A Strong Word: Marvel’s Inhumans (Spoilers)

INhumansI finally took the time to view the highly-anticipated, critically-panned premiere of Marvel’s Inhumans, a new comic series on ABC. The show compliments the MCU’s already established TV narrative about a race of beings with extraordinary abilities. Viewed as abnormal they reside on the moon under the reign of a king and queen. But when a coup ruptures their kingdom, the royal family is forced to flee to Earth.

Expectations were high for the series, as Marvel aimed to capitalize off their wildly popular cinematic and television universes. However their latest ventures – last year’s Iron Fist and this summer’s The Defenders – both failed to deliver on the same level as their predecessors.  And unfortunately, Inhumans has followed this downward trend.

Frankly it’s failure to launch after the success of ABC’s Agents of SHIELD was puzzling. Of course SHIELD had it’s own issues early on, but it seemed to fair much better even with the blemishes. And it has since become one of the better superhero shows on TV.

What’s wrong with Inhumans? A lot. But let me start with what I did enjoy. I love that they’re in Hawaii. The destination is vast and gorgeous; and, it specifically highlights a multitude of Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders actors. Something we don’t see everyday on TV or in film. I also enjoyed some of the fight scenes – specifically with Maximus’ diabolical right hand.

Speaking of Maximus he is pretty good in all his scenes, given he is the axis of the plot. I also enjoyed Karnak. These two along with Medusa delivered some of my favorite moments.

Now the bad:

  • The pacing for two episodes was not good.
    • There was no time to establish these new characters strong enough to care about them. A 10-minute stop-animation prologue to describe their history would have been great. And then we could have seen the familial bond among them and their people. Instead of rushing the coup at the end of episode one, they could have saved the betrayal as the cliffhanger in the second episdoe, making Maximus’ eventual turn more dramatic, unexpected.
  • Some scenes were so horribly acted/dramatized they became hilarious.
    • The opening scene with Triton was horrendous. The dialogue was elementary and his demise so early carried no emotional weight
    • The actress playing the princess is the weakest link in ALL her scenes. She’s giving high school theater and it’s uncomfortable
    • Gorgon’s encounter with the surfers felt incredibly tone deaf (thematically and racially) and added nothing to the story
    • Medusa’s scalping was unintentionally hilarious; where did Maximus find clippers?
    • The dynamic between the cop from Barbershop and Felicity Smoak’s doppelganger is incredibly basic and keenly sexist. Maybe it was suppose to be sexist but why? And how could he not believe in her theory when he lives in a world with Iron Man?
    • The Inhumans’ inconsistent knowledge of Earth made for some vast plot holes. Black Bolt doesn’t know what handcuffs are, but Medusa knows what a bus is. How have they examined Earth from a far and not know anything about its culture and/or customs?
    • There isn’t a single black woman or girl in Hawaii or in Attila. Why come we never can give a sister some play?

Those were my main gripes. I may give the third episode a chance (SHIELD did get it together) but I can’t promise anything. From initial thoughts, to the trailer, IMAX reviews and now the actual premiere, bad has been the constant synopsis. If this misfires, hopefully it fades as quietly as Black Bolt appears in all his scenes. If not we do have Netflix’s The Punisher, Hulu’s Runaways and Fox’s The Gifted to drown it out.

Hate Is a Strong Word: ‘The Defenders’ Ep 1-4

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Marvel set a tone for their mature Netflix series beginning with Daredevil, Jessica Jones and the somewhat lukewarm Luke Cage. Accompanying that tone was a level of hype and anticipation with each new series. It’s peak definitely soared with the groundbreaking debut of Cage’s edition. Sadly it was missed with the tumultuous release of the latest hero-for-hire — Iron Fist.  Read More

Hate Is a Strong Word | This Is Us: S1 Finale

 

Like most of America, I too, was caught up in NBC’s hit drama after the pilot’s jaw-dropping last five minutes. The reveal of the Pearsons then, being the same family now, was touching, bold and smart. Since then Tuesday’s at 9 p.m. have been a new version of the network’s “must-see TV.” Not only is the writing brilliant, but the performances are good, almost each and every episode. And the same way Scandal gathers Twitter viewers every night with an “OMG” moment, Us has gathered faithfuls with the simple complexity of human experiences. Tears of joy or sadness are shed as these characters hit real-life peaks and lows without jerk-move antics or over-the-top outcomes.

That was until last night.  Read More