Early previews for a TV show are often a tricky thing. When releasing material for critics to review, shows and the creators behind them run the risk of getting preemptively bad-mouthed. Inhumans went through this exact dilemma when its pilot episode – and several negative reactions to it – surfaced online, although the latest reactions to the IMAX premiere tell a different story. Luckily, the case seems to be different with Hulu’s . Most early reactions to the show have been highly positive. And this early review from Comicbook.com goes in depth on what makes the first few episodes so great:
First of all, the story makes a few changes to those initial issues of Runaways that came out over a decade ago. These are still the same six characters we came to know and love in the comic series. Some of the changes are minor, others more significant, but the heart of Runaways beats true in these episodes. Nico, Gert, Molly, Alex, Chase, and Karolina leap from the pages, though their circumstances might be altered.
Ever since those early reactions to the show came out, the description “Marvel’s Riverdale” has been increasingly used to refer to this live-action iteration of the Runaways. CB assures us that this is not entirely the case:
Some have called it “Marvel’s version of Riverdale,” and while it’s not entirely inaccurate it’s also not the fairest comparison. The series has more in common with Schwartz and Savage’s previous work on The OC and Gossip Girl, all while bracing the fantastic elements of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
You can’t have a teen show without inter-family drama. The Runaways panel during the TCAs a few weeks ago teased the expanded roles of the parents. From the looks of this review, it appears that the show is doing a stellar job following through on that.
Another welcome addition is the focus on the parents, who are given further development in these episodes. The series seems to be exploring their personalities and motivations as much as it will the children, but rest assured the Runaways are the stars of the show. It will at least add another layer in the generational conflict, perhaps adding more gray in the battle between ‘good’ and ‘evil.’
The amount of development given to the parents allows them to come across in more than one note, which will only serve to heighten the drama when the inevitable showdown between the Pride and the Runaways occurs.
The review then goes to elaborate the specifics on why the cast of characters work so well and how they differ from their comic counterparts:
The acting and casting are pretty spot on. Some characters have minor changes, most notably Allegra Acosta as Molly who is not as young as she is in the comic and therefore not as wily. She’s still the curious troublemaker, though it comes across as endearing. Nico, Karolina, and (especially) Gert are faithful portrayals. Lyrika Okano, Virginia Gardner, and Ariela Barer play their respective roles very well. Rhenzy Feliz as Alex is slightly more morose. Gregg Sulkin’s portrayal of Chase is ever the asshole, though there is a sense of untapped potential from the outset.
And if those generous descriptions aren’t enough, CB made sure to outline several aspects of the show that excite us even more:
- It’s surprisingly faithful to the comic book. Whether you thought a plot was too ridiculous or the effects would be too expensive for a show, IT’S NOT. It’s in the show.
The visual effects were not done, but they have a clear idea about how they want to portray them. Go read those first 18 comics if you’re curious…
Character dynamics are spot on, with one MAJOR change to Molly and Gert’s relationship.
Fans of Karolina Dean will be satisfied.
So Marvel and Hulu aren’t able to mention the concept, or even the word, of ‘mutants,’ but Runaways manages to use Molly in a way that remains true to the character.
So if those Twitter reactions from a few days ago failed to convince you to give this show a go, this definitely will. The fact that Marvel is willing to commit to the zany and fantastical aspects that made the comic so wonderful is very encouraging. Even with changes to some of their origin and relationships, we can’t help but appreciate the level of care and attention these showrunners are putting in. Is it November 21 yet?!