Inhumans 70b.1: Welcome to the Family Madrigal

Marvel’s Inhumans is a 2017 TV show about a family of rich, spoiled moon mutants who make every situation they walk into immeasurably worse. It’s got a lead character who can’t talk and can’t use his superpowers, ruling a doomed moon kingdom the size of an average urban high school built on an unnecessary slave caste system. After a completely understandable coup topples this corrupt regime, Black Bolt and his chuckleheaded family end up scattered around Honolulu, where they break laws, injure people and destroy everything that they come into contact with.

I was part of the select group of people who actually watched all eight episodes on ABC five years ago, and now I finally get my chance to tell people everything that is wrong with this ridiculous show. This is the first part of a thrilling series on the Signal Watch podcast where host Ryan Stearns and I watch two episodes of Inhumans, and tell you all about the experience.

In the first podcast, we discuss episodes 1 and 2, including the boring sets, the insane costumes, the Flintstones-style use of mutants as appliances — and why I believe that this terrible show inspired the Encanto gift ceremony.

Inhumans is available on Disney+ if you want to watch the episodes before you listen to the podcast, but it’s not required.

Monday:
What did the critics think?
3.41: A Disaster on Every Count

Chapters

— Danny Horn

12 thoughts on “Inhumans 70b.1: Welcome to the Family Madrigal

  1. I watched one episode. Or possibly one scene. It reminded me of a very bad production of Greek drama.
    Are we going to be adding tv shows to the list now or is this just a one-off (or 8-off) detour?

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    1. That would be great! I’d love to see Superheroes Every Day provide a detailed exegesis of every episode of the ‘Swamp Thing’ TV series with Dick Durock.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, it’s possible that I’ll cover other TV shows, one way or another. I knew when I started that I wanted to figure out ways to break out of the regular chronological movies format sometimes. So far, I’ve got the weekend popcorn posts when a new movie comes out (which was always part of the plan) and the podcast episodes, which have been evolving organically as we’re doing them.

        We’re about to reach the one-year anniversary for the blog on Labor Day, and my hope for the second year is that I continue to find fun things to do. Definitely not doing every episode of “Swamp Thing” though… at least, not yet.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great podcast, Danny! I did watch eps 1 and 2 as you suggested, and you both addressed so many of the thoughts and questions I had about this unfortunate show. No, you are not the loneliest person in the world, because I totally buy your “Encanto” theory, and I doubt I’m the only one. I’m so glad Ryan compared this to the series “Krypton”; both shows were similar in their low-budgetness, amateurish sets and costumes, and lackluster acting (though “Krypton” succeeded with some clever humor; I mean, c’mon Inhumans, how hard is it to tell a joke, or attempt a witty retort?).

    As for Anson Mount, he is indeed wonderfully charming and moving in “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”, so I pity him in this. He’s an actor who excels at using his voice, yet here he is, not only voiceless, but literally prevented from opening his mouth at all. I wonder if the director kept telling him to “look stoic, but slightly scared, and don’t overdo it.” I agree that if this was my only exposure to Anson Mount, I’d feel the same as you, but he has won me over as Captain Pike.

    I lived on Oahu for four years, back during the final season of “Lost,” and during the first three seasons of the new “Hawaii 5-0” (I was even lucky enough to work as a background extra on “Hawaii 5-0” for a few episodes). Hawaii is truly beautiful, but I truly kept asking “Why are they in Hawaii? What’s the connection between the moon and Hawaii?” It just all seemed so random. It’s pretty clear that ABC Studios still had connections and crew in Hawaii, so it was a great way to save money. It’s like when the original “Star Trek” repeatedly showed the Enterprise discovering “Earth-like planets” whose cultures developed in such a way that their cities resembled studio backlots and residents wore period costumes from the set next door.

    Just a minor observation: I’ve had friends in law enforcement, and I know for a fact that when it’s time to book someone and take their mugshot, an officer will grab a digital camera and take the picture. They don’t call out, “Get the photographer!”, prompting the appearance of the department’s very own full time Jimmy Olsen with his 1950s camera and exploding flash bulb. Hawaii may be three hours behind Pacific Standard Time, but they’re not stuck in a time bubble from decades ago.

    Your discussion of the ridiculous Gorgon storyline had me laughing so hard! Whenever I watch something like that, I always assume that I’m missing something, that I wasn’t paying attention enough to grasp what’s truly going on. But inevitably it turns out that it really is just as stupid as it appears.

    And as for the magical teleporting wall guy, I can’t get past the fact that he has a family. Really? Are they also walls? Are the kids just little retaining walls? Is being a wall just his job, or is it his species? So many unanswered questions.

    Well, many thanks to you and Ryan for brightening up my afternoon. I’m looking forward to your discussion of episodes 3 and 4!

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  3. Anson Mount has become my favorite Star Trek captain. I’m glad that his agent didn’t give up on him after this. Like Chris Evans, better things were in his future.
    The only character I remembered after 5 years was Maximus played by Iwan Rheon who was in Game of Thrones.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m not sure what Stan Lee was thinking when he came up with this bunch. As I recall, Johnny Storm was dating Crystal, and they got a lot of letters asking about her background. So one day this big teleporting dog shows up, and then it gets weird.

    I was a fan of Agents of SHIELD (so sue me), and I gave Inhumans a chance. I kept thinking they were building up to something big and interesting. Sadly, no.

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  5. I watched all of the episodes when they originally aired. It was painful, but at least a friend and I were able to send one another mocking texts about it. I guess one of the reasons I kept watching was the morbid desire to see if it ever got better. Another was Iwan Rheon. He was of course despicable in Game of Thrones, but I came to love him in the British comedy Vicious as the sorta-dumb-but-pretty upstairs neighbor of Derek Jacobi and Ian McClellan. And I saw potential in Anson Mount, which came to fruition when he played Capt. Pike. But yeah, so many bad choices here, from conception to production.

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  6. I think I only watched the first ep and gave up, possibly before it ended. I have no recollection of this show, other than Medusa looked like she was wearing a cheap wig and her hair never never moved and Lockjaw looked weird because it was poorly rendered with 1990’s CGI.

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  7. I just finished listening to this podcast and this is what I recall about the comicbook Inhumans:

    The Inhumans lived in a city on the Moon that was left behind by some ancient aliens with a breathable atmosphere.
    Lockjaw was originally some kind of mutant dog but was eventually retromodded into being Krystal’s brother who was also changed into a giant dog by the Tarragon Mist, which seems weird because they always had treated him like a dog. Didn’t the scientist who saw him travelling to Earth (isn’t teleportation instantaneous?) at something like 1K miles/hour, meaning it would take several days to travel? 
    Krystal had some sort of vague elemental powers. I’m not sure they ever explained them.
    Gorgon was sppsd to be a satyr with super strong legs.

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    1. The Inhumans had originally been based in the Himalayas when they were first introduced in the 1960s, but in the ’80s they migrated to the moon since Earth’s pollution was making them sick. They settled in the so-called Blue Area of the moon, which had been made inhabitable by the Kree.

      The retcon that made Lockjaw an Inhuman who had been mutated into a dog by the mist was later unretconned so that he was just Crystal’s dog again, probably because Marvel realized it made the Inhumans look like real dicks for treating him like a dog. Insert comment here about their slave labor and all their other dickish behavior, as I’m sure Danny will continue to document as he goes through the series.

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