Inhumans 1-8

Well, it wasn’t like I’d spent the last three years hearing all this underground buzz that ABC’s Inhumans TV series was really so much better than its reputation and its low ratings. Nevertheless, since we’re paying for Disney+, our son and I checked out the eight episode TV series over the course of the last three weeks, and he enjoyed it and I didn’t. Marie bailed after two installments, saying the only character that she liked was the dog. I liked Anson Mount. I also liked Jamie Gray Hyder, who gets to play the human who shows Karnak more of this Earth thing we call kissing in episodes 3-5. And I liked the dog, too.

But, if we can have some real talk, this premise stinks and it has always been thus. Not everything that Jack Kirby and Stan Lee came up with was a winner. I’ve never been interested in the Inhumans, and Maximus really might be the lousiest villain that Kirby ever created. So Iwan Rheon, the poor actor stuck with playing Maximus, has an unbelievably thankless and practically impossible job in finding any empathy or charisma in this one-note villainy, and I’m sure he must be really good in other roles – he was also a baddie in Game of Thrones and got all sorts of praise there – but I just couldn’t stand this character.

But overall, the big problem with this series is that it didn’t give us any reason to stand any time with any of these characters and their backwards, awful society. I spent the whole time wondering why we should be worried that this gang of snobs should lose control over their jobs ruling a hidden kingdom on the moon. Why shouldn’t they? Why should we care? The series proceeds from the premise that we’re supposed to care about the protagonists because they’re the “super heroes,” but the producers never gave me any reason to. For all I could tell, Maximus might well be better for the moon people than the characters we are told are the good guys.

Was anything genuinely good? Well, the few scenes in Honolulu’s busy streets were visually very interesting, and I liked the honest friendship that developed between Medusa and a scientist played by Ellen Woglom. And of course it has a great big teleporting bulldog. Anybody who doesn’t think that Lockjaw was the best thing about Inhumans is fooling themselves.

Inhumans has apparently never been released on home video, but it can be found and avoided on several streaming services.

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