Inhumans could certainly be considered quite the experiment. A TV show that is co-produced by IMAX. It premiered in cinemas before it ever is shown on television. Marvel chose one of their most out-there properties, the Royal Family of Inhumans, to be at the center of it all. Many problems started to pop up over time, however. Scott Buck was once again returning as showrunner after establishing one of Marvel TV’s most controversial shows, Iron Fist. The first pictures and trailers did not manage to change anyone’s perception. Yet, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has proven that any show can improve if given enough time to evolve. There may be some interesting directions the show could take to give fans a new look of the Royal Family.
Sherlock The Show’s Format
The thing that truly hurt the show was the promise of a cinematic experience for the smaller screen. Airing the first two episodes in a shortened version in IMAX theatres seemed like a good idea. One thing that sticks out is that ABC’s format simply was not made for this attempt at a new way to promote a show. An order of eight episodes meant that the storyline would be scattered across multiple episodes. The first two acted as an introduction to the overarching plot and mainly act as exposition to this new part of the MCU. During my viewing at IMAX, many people were confused about how open-ended the “film” was and were quite annoyed by that fact. It just did not come together as well as they were hoping for this special preview of the show.
The IMAX premiere was planned from the day it was announced. If they truly wanted to establish a cinematic experience, they could have taken a lesson from BBC’s Sherlock. The show’s seasons consist of only three episodes, but each one functions as a small film with its own plot. Especially the first season started off with a self-contained story that revealed only small details of what the rest of the season could entail. This is not much different from when Marvel Studios’ has small easter eggs of an over-arching plot that get teased in a film, which still works as a self-contained story.
Being on ABC, they forced their hand to stick to the 45-minute episode format. Direct-to-TV films are nothing new, which makes it odd that they did not attempt to try something different. Anime has been experimenting with this format for years, such as the continuation of the original Digimon series, Digimon Adventures tri. Limiting the episode count to four or three episodes also gives them more budget to work with per episode. Why not have the IMAX premiere be a classic Marvel origin story of the Inhumans’ Royal Family. Why not handle Maximus’ betrayal like how Doctor Strange gave Mordo time to evolve? It would have been a true cinematic experience with them simply creating a TV version of what Marvel Studios is doing every year on the silver screen. It is not too late to change their approach with a second season, as it may also try to balance the okay ratings it currently has.
Let Bygones be Bygones
Marvel TV, or rather Marvel Entertainments’ Ike Perlmutter, need to bury the hatchet with Marvel Studios. If they truly want to achieve a cinematic experience with a potential second season, they will need some help achieving their goals. Many might wonder what Inhumans would have been like if it was actually a film. In reality, it could have been all this time if only Marvel TV and Studios would work together. Many are wondering if these two universes are truly connected and this would have been the perfect opportunity to finally prove it. IMAX is a territory that Marvel Studios has some experience with. Combining their expertise with a new focus on “cinematic episodes” could truly give us the Royal Family fan’s wanted to see from the beginning. It could even be the start of these shows and films finally being part of the same universe. Fans are waiting for that moment where they truly feel connected and with the potential second season of Inhumans, it may be possible to head into that direction.
A Brand New Attilan
This might be more of a personal pet peeve with the show. They managed to make one of comics’ most exotic cities look rather plain. The approach does seem like it wants to make someone believe it is a city that someone would build on the moon with limited resources. We know so little about how they go there that it is a bit hard to understand why the Royal Family lives in a holed out cement block. In a fitting representation of the show, it lacks personality and anything that makes it stand out. It does not feel like a city that a Royal Family would rule over rather an old mining town that was carved out of a mountain.
Is there a way to slightly reboot this aspect? If Scott Buck or another showrunner get the chance to tackle the second season, there is one interesting way they could accomplish this. We do not know how long the Inhumans have been living on the moon. It would not be too strange if the current city is but a shell of what it once was. Many years have passed and the city had to adapt to its new location. Maybe this was just something they quickly had to put together to flee the darker side of humanity. Their true home, the real “Attilan” has been buried deep in the Himalayas, which was one location it resided in the comics. No one has ever found it and with their life on the moon potentially compromised, the Royal Family must now truly find their way home. Even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is embracing the cosmic side of the universe. Why not have the Inhumans travel through space to truly find their home and explore their own mythology, something that was truly missing from the show.
Cosmic Game of Thrones
The Inhumans have a long history with the Kree. We have already met the alien race in Guardians of the Galaxy and SHIELD. A part of the long-running feud between the Kree and their own creations has already been teased when the Inhuman Hive returned to earth from his exile. If they have the Royal Family seek their true home through space, it would make sense that they would meet some other space travelers. With the Kree seeing a potential of recruiting the Inhumans to help them in their war with the Skrulls, which will be an important storyline from Captain Marvel, they would try to broker peace with them. It would not only expand the history of both races, but it could lead to some interesting storylines. Black Bolt must question his position as king. A potential Romeo and Juliet story could unfold between an Accuser, as Ronan has already died in Guardians and Crystal. Maybe she is forced to marry a Kree she cannot stand and must fight against old customs of her people. Whatever direction they would want to take, there are countless stories that could be explored. It could end up being a cosmic version of Game of Thrones.
What do you think about a potential second season? What would you want to see happen or change? Talking about how to fix some aspects of Inhumans, be sure to check out our latest podcast by clicking here.