Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Pilot Review: Marvel’s Inhumans

Marvel’s Inhumans (ABC)
Premiered September 29 at 8pm

The television world is going crazy for superheroes, particularly Marvel ones. I’ve watched all four of the Netflix shows that led into the megaseries “The Defenders” which I’m about to finish, and I’ve stuck with “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” over the past four years, watching it slip in quality and then return back with a strong framework orientation towards the end of the latest season. The introduction of the Inhumans as a major idea was interesting and took an unexpected turn with a few of its characters, but I would definitely have chosen the axed spinoff starring Adrianna Palicki and Nick Blood in a heartbeat over this show. There’s something about this Atlantis-like pilot that feels infantile, like this was a show made for children rather than for adults. While the other shows aren’t necessarily all that sophisticated, they still have layered characters who interact like adults. The archaic nature of the technology possessed by the Inhumans doesn’t help either, since they have these comms that appear to work anywhere yet otherwise aren’t anywhere near fit for the lives they’re about to lead on Earth. I watched Anson Mount for six years on “Hell on Wheels” and actually thought he was a good actor, but this non-speaking role is hardly a fitting follow-up, and I’m not too impressed with any of the other performers here. I was trying to figure out who the actor portraying Karnak was, and I now see that it’s “Lost” alum Ken Leung in quite a new kind of role for him. There really isn’t anything worth writing about regarding this show, and I’d hazard to suggest that it’s even worse than “Iron Fist.”

How will it work as a series? I honestly don’t care at all. I have no interest in finding out what comes next, why Auran didn’t die when Medusa stabbed her, and how the scattered Inhumans find each other on Earth and acclimate to human life. Also, is this supposed to be set in the present? I’m confused but again not remotely willing to stick around to find out the answer.
How long will it last? Not long. Though the ratings weren’t all that bad, this show needs to perform strongly on Friday nights to be able to last until ABC’s other Marvel show returns. A dismal 27 on Metacritic is pretty hard to beat, and I suspect that this show will be pulled from the air before it completes its eight-episode order.

Pilot grade: D-

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