Some thoughts about Marvel’s half-baked “The Inhumans” miniseries:
1) Despite things I’ve heard, “Inhumans” is clearly set in the Marvel onscreen universe occupied by Ant Man, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Vision, Nick Fury, Phil Coulson etc. etc. Remember the Terrigen Mist we saw released into the Earth’s water supply on “Agents of SHIELD”? The reason Inhuman king Black Bolt dispatches an agent to Earth from his long-hidden Moon base is he’s concerned about the persecuted Inhumans transformed by the sea-born Terrigen.
2) In our universe it can be hard to get cops to show up to investigate the theft of your $40,000 Lexus. In the Marvel universe Hawaiian police send multiple speeding squad cars when Black Bolt shoplifts a $100 suit from Men’s Wearhouse.
2a) (The funny thing is, Black Bolt doesn’t even need the new suit to blend in; his leathery Moon supersuit doesn’t look all that different from motorcycle garb. Stand him next to a row of Suzukis and no one would offer a second glance.)
3) Here’s some particularly off-putting exposition! At one point the Inhuman Queen Medusa repeats back to her mute husband what he just told her via sign language. I know this project was put together in a big hot hurry -- because Marvel and ABC were trying to accommodate an early-September IMAX cinema release of an edited version of the first two “Inhumans” episodes -- but come on!
4) Black Bolt beats up a bunch of cops and destroys a police car during his arrest – but when he’s brought into the station for booking, the cops suddenly decide he can be left alone to chat with other Inhumans with his special moon communication bracelet.
5) A lot of the second hour is spent trying to unite the Inhumans, who have been teleported to various parts of Hawaii by an adorable elephant-size computer-generated bulldog who looks after the Inhumans. But how difficult would it have been for the bulldog (he goes by “Lockjaw”) to simply transport all the Inhumans to a single bus stop in Honolulu?
6) I, ahem, marvel at the ease with which the hoofed (he has hoofs) Inhuman security chief Gorgon convinces a bunch of (stoned?) surfers to help him fight an otherworldly, superpowered menace. Would the surfers be more or less willing to help him, I wonder, if Gorgon sported horns as well?
While “Inhumans” has way too many problems, I can’t yet quite bring myself to hate it. I can’t say I’ll bother with its third episode next week but I can’t say it bored me as much as Netflix's “The Defenders” did either. The fellow who played Ramsay Bolton on “Game of Thrones” makes the most of the chief villain Maximus, a moon-dwelling Inhuman who didn’t get any superpowers when he was long ago ceremoniously exposed to the Terrigen mist. (It’s also mildly annoying that the Moon version of the Terrigen mist doesn’t encase Inhumans in black cocoons the way it does on “SHIELD,” but whatever.) And while the CGI for the bulldog is often pretty sloppy, but I’m always a sucker for dogs -- even giant, fakey ones.
... Watching the astonishingly bad premiere episode, you may wonder how it was ever greenlit. …
... Inhumans is pretty much all weak spots, as cynical as it is awful, clearly made by people with no idea how to tell a story about these characters, or perhaps interest in doing so. …
... This could be a recipe for something fun; but "Inhumans" doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. It tries for a joke now and again, but it is overall somnolent and solemn where it should crackle and kid; the oft-forgotten lesson of the original "Star Wars," sometimes forgotten by later "Star Wars," is that sci-fi is allowed to be dumb fun, and "Inhumans" could afford to push a little harder in that direction, to embrace the dumbness it already contains. It does seem to want to. …
... “Iron Fist” looks like “Citizen Kane” next to this slapped-together, incoherent, cheap-looking mess. …
8 p.m. Friday. ABC.