Spoiler-free review: Three episodes in and 'Marvel's Runaways' may be beyond saving
(image via Hulu)
We only have three episodes of "Marvel's Runaways" to dig into, but like an onion, the more you dig, the more it stinks.
I'll preface this by saying I haven't read Brian K. Vaughan's source material, but it's gotta be better than Hulu's iteration. Vaughan is a mixed bag for me. I Love "Paper Girls," had mixed feelings on "Saga" and couldn't stand "Y: The Last Man."
I see headlines everywhere about how "fresh" and "new" "Runaways" seems to be. There's nothing fresh about it. I'm watching something so dated it could slide nicely into a SNICK box set. Well, maybe not, because SNICK was awesome.
Here's the plot rundown:
Six teenagers from different backgrounds unite against a common enemy — their criminal parents, collectively known as the Pride.
I wasn't too familiar with "Runaways" co-creator/writer/executive producer/showrunner Josh Schwartz when the show was announced. He's responsible for some real classics. Ever heard of "The OC?" "Gossip Girl?" Hart of Dixie?" I could go on. The guy has a damn statue out in front of the CW headquarters.
This is a pretty challenging departure for Schwartz. Instead of having rich white kids navigate first world problems in Beverly Hills, "Runaways" only has *some* rich white kids navigating first world problems in Beverly Hills. The teens are multiracial, but to say they come from "different backgrounds" is a mighty stretch. Their parents are all fabulously wealthy, albeit in different industries.
Rare to find a show trying to be so desperately timely and fall on its face this hard. The show beats you to death with millennial buzzwords to the point it becomes parody. Every. Single. High school teen trope is on display. No one in this large ensemble cast is particularly likable.
The pacing is also frustratingly amiss, especially given the fact Hulu won't let us binge the whole mess at once.
I expected better of Marvel, hoped better from Hulu. I'm not giving up completely, but in a landscape of crushing options "Runaways" hasn't passed the sniff test so far.