Runaways: Season 1 – Review

Marvel’s Runaways premieres November 21st on Hulu.

By Mark Derdik

Based on the hit comic book series, Runaways is sci-fi superhero drama. But unlike the rest of your favorite superhero shows, where the plot is merely good guy versus bad guy, there’s a slight catch to the story. See, the parents of the teenage main characters are the villains, creating grey area for our heroes.

Speaking of protagonists, there’s just too many of them. After watching the first four episodes I can name only a handful of the over 15 central characters and the 11 storylines that are going on simultaneously. It’s very hard to follow and I wish it was more streamlined. Viewers follow six kids and watch them deal with their superpowered problems as well as teen drama. On top of that, Runaways also tracks five sets of parents. That’s eleven subplots every hour!

With the vasts amount of exposition going around at once you think this would be a fast-paced show, but that’s not the case. After two episodes of introducing an insane number of characters, the next two episodes were empty. We learned nothing. It seems as if the writers have a storyline and plan to stretch this one thread out for a couple of seasons. (I haven’t read the comics, so this might be the case.) Episodes three and four consisted of fun side adventures but didn’t move the main story forward. A little bit of drama and some failed attempts at humor. A quarter of the way through the first season and we haven’t learned more about the mystery than we did in the pilot. Marvel and Hulu are dealing out the answers slower than sloths at the DMV.

Despite all my gripes, the show is actually pretty good in a weird way. It’s true that it is hard to get attached to any specific character because of the sheer amount of them, but you find yourself picking a couple and just rooting for them. Runaways’ cheesy sense of humor is something that just fits right in with the rest of the Marvel Universe. I’ll admit that even though the jokes were lame, I chuckled quite a bit. And while the plot is coming at us slow, you’ll be willing to wait. I’m intrigued to see how it’ll turn out.

All in all, the general concept is great. The delivery could have been better but Runaways still has plenty of room to improve. I for one will be sticking around till the end of this quirky show.

I give Runaways a B.