The two-hour Marvel’s Inhumans series premiere was a bafflingly bad episode of television. So far this show seems like a failure on every level. I know sci-fi shows have a long history of looking terrible. I’m fine with some bad CGI and ludicrous costumes. But, Inhumans is truly an aesthetic nightmare. The stilted dialogue was made worse by bad acting. Furthermore, it’s impossible to get invested in the characters.
Inhumans tells the story of a war between two brothers, Black Bolt and Maximus. Neither of them is compelling. Black Bolt represents the status quo, deep inequality and a fear of people who are different. The society Black Bolt is leading obviously needs an overhaul. Yet, most of the main characters are fighting to keep the system in place.
Maximus is slightly promising as someone to root for. This is partially because Iwan Rheon is a stronger actor than most of this cast. Maximus was born without powers and wants to bring about a more equal society. He has the makings of a decent anti-hero.
But, Maximus doesn’t quite manage to be the ruthless but compelling anti-hero the show seems to be hoping for. Maximus revealed that his underlying motivation is simply that Black Bolt’s wife Medusa rejected him romantically. This motivation is tired and off-putting.
Inhumans is supposedly part of the MCU, despite scenes like the one where a scientist is fired for daring to suggest that they’re could be aliens or the regular police deal with Black Bolt even after he displays obvious powers. Even if you ignore the context of the MCU, Inhumans own internal logic is hard to follow. Sometimes the existence of these people seems like a complete secret, yet in one scene someone casually says, “You’re one of those Inhumans I’ve read about.”
So far Inhumans is one of the worst superhero TV shows I’ve seen. At least it’s better than Constantine.