Television Review: Inhumans




Synopsis: Black Bolt, the enigmatic, commanding head of the Inhuman royal family and King of Attilan, possesses a voice so powerful that the slightest whisper can destroy a city.

After a military coup splinters the family, the group — which includes Black Bolt’s wife, Medusa; his brother and rival, Maximus; his cousins Karnak, Gorgon and Triton; and Medusa’s sister, Crystal — barely manages to escape to Hawaii, where surprising interactions with the lush world and humanity around them may prove to not only save them, but Earth itself.


Programme: Inhumans

Company: ABC

Date: 2017

While I have never properly watched X-Men, I have seen plenty of Marvel films/shows to have relatively high expectations from their productions. When I saw the synopsis for Inhumans, I was hopeful.

Unfortunately, that hope was misplaced.

I love shows that involve people with abilities, mainly because it’s the premise of a novel I’m working on. I thought this would be an interesting watch because of the range of different abilities the characters have and the process they go through in order to get their gifts.

I watched the first episode a couple of times, and it was only on the second viewing I started to pick up the characters and their abilities – I was confused on the first viewing and couldn’t quite figure out what they were able to do. The gifts were too apparent for some while invisible for others. Even by the finale, I hadn’t figured out the limits to Karnak’s abilities.

I struggled to connect to any of the characters, even as the series unfolds and their powers become obvious. Black Bolt has charisma, but is to all extent and purposes a mute, meaning you have to rely on those around him to interpret his sign language. Despite ending up being my favourite, it took a few episodes to get to grips with his character.

Medusa spends half the show stating they are not defeated etc, and the second half saying they need to be cautious and diplomatic. Crystal acts as nothing short of a spoilt princess for the majority of the show. Maximus is unhinged and Auran’s loyalty goes from one to the other – which doesn’t say a lot about her considering the show is only eight episodes long!

The banished royal family are supposedly the ones you root for. But there is a deep prejudice at the heart of the system and a sense of people without gifts being inferior beings. Medusa, Crystal and Max all voice this unfairness out loud. But it makes it hard to want them to win when this injustice has been going on for so long – even if they become aware of the problem and vow to change. Crystal, especially, looks down on those without a gift.

The show is only eight episodes long. Yet the pacing felt like it dragged and the tension never built. It was better in the second half when the characters started to come together more. To begin with, they were so scattered that you never got to know any one character enough to feel their plight or emphasis with their predicament. When you don’t care about the characters, the show loses its impact a lot!

Overall, this was a disappointment. I got through it purely because I knew it was eight episodes long – if it was longer, I would have given up. Shallow characters that I couldn’t connect with and a lack of tension despite a country being torn apart by civil war. I just couldn’t engage the entire way through the show.


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