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Inhumans - Behold... The Inhumans & Those Who Would Destroy Us - Review - "Is it Getting Better or Is It Just Me?"

Inhumans finally premiered on television this week. I’ve already reviewed the movie version, but the first two network episodes actually worked better than the movie, so it’s worth re-treading this ground again. “Behold… The Inhumans” and “Those Who Would Destroy Us” were both written by Scott Buck and directed by Roel Reine. Buck would appear to truly be the weak link here. The seasons on which he was showrunner of Dexter are considered the worst of the series. Up until Inhumans, Iron Fist, which he was also showrunner on, was considered the worst Marvel show. He was removed from Iron Fist in July...

There are definitely some weak links in the cast of Inhumans too. Serinda Swan as Medusa continues to completely underwhelm me. And forget about her having a believable fight! Her fight with Auran (Sonya Balmores) continues to be one of the low points of the entire episode.

        Isabelle Cornish as Crystal is also thoroughly unlikeable and not terribly good. The spoiled princess who is clearly a racist – you are just a human! Though I will admit that adding in a storyline that Medusa and Crystal’s parents had tried to overthrow the Bolts did add a layer of complexity to the storyline.

There is simply no excuse for Gorgon’s (Eme Ikwuakor) feet. They are terrible. Ikwuakor grew on me as I watched and re-watched these episodes. I think I deserve a prize for wading through these three times for our readers, don’t you? Anyway, he is the most incompetent head of security ever. Stomping on that rover was just the beginning. At least he doesn’t seem to be racist against humans. I did love the gang of Hawaiian surfers who rescue him and take him in – completely unfazed by his being Inhuman or from the moon.

Ken Leung as Karnak is truly a highlight of the show. I have nothing but praise for his performance. I loved how troubled he is by his own dark visions and his inability to stop them. His fight scene was one of the highlights – all three times!

On first watch, I wasn’t impressed by either Bolt brother. In the first episode, Anson Mount (Black Bolt) is too intent on being enigmatic. And while I applaud his insistence on creating his own sign language rather than simply using American Sign Language, it’s still stupid for two reasons. One. They do seem to be able to speak English and have some contact with Earth. Second, even if it’s an Inhuman Sign Language, why is Medusa the only one who can understand it? If your King only communicated that way, wouldn’t you learn it? Wouldn’t it be required? Also? The show really missed an opportunity to reach out to a community that is so often marginalized – it could have been a showcase for ALS. How much better to have fans obsessed over learning ALS rather than another new language like Dothraki or Klingon?

I did really warm up to Mount’s performance in the second episode. Who knew he was such a master of comedy? His much more expressive face works for the drama too, but his fish out of water moments were classic. And the cop car he sends flying with a simple grunt was just as spectacular on second watch too.

I was completely unimpressed by Iwan Rheon as Maximus on first watch. He shows a lot more range and depth on re-watches. However, I really feel like they are simply relying on us thinking of him as Ramsey Bolton. It’s also not clear that he is supposed to be unhinged mentally. I simply found myself thinking, is he really repentant here? Is he being written inconsistently? I will say that on third watch, in the full version, his entire plan and motivation does seem clearer.

Finally, the one element that is actually added into the show is the entire Louise (Ellen Woglom) plot. Yes. Here is a character who is actually a regular who flew completely under the radar in the screener and theatrical releases. Finally, there seems to be some connection to Earth! Louise is the one who insists that it was a hoof that destroyed the rover. However, it also seems likely that her boss (Tom Wright) has some idea about what’s going on. He relieves her of her duty when he finds her tracking heat signatures from the moon to Hawaii. When he suggests she moved from brilliant to nutty and needs to take some time off, she agrees. The last we see her, she’s packing a bag and heading – presumably – to Hawaii. I think they desperately need her help!

What might save the show? If Buck actually lets some talented writers dictate the storyline. Rick Cleveland who wrote the next episode has some great credentials and maybe there are other good writers plugging away at this. With so much Marvel library to draw on, you have to wonder how you could struggle to come up with a good, rich plot. But then, so much of it also has to do with pacing and structure too.

What did you think of the show? Did you see it in the theater and decide to watch on television for the extra 10 minutes? Did you just wait to see it on tv? Did you tune in to see a train wreck? Were you surprised by your reaction – though you’d hate it and it was great or vice versa? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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