Courtesy of Marvel and Hulu themselves, I was given the opportunity to watch the first two episodes of the show early before it’s November 21st release, little has been said about this show, it didn’t have any production or BTS issues however in typical Hulu fashion, the lack of marketing has been obvious. Despite that, the first two episodes manage to provide an excellent drama with an good mix of light humour with an underlying dark tone.
Starting off on the first episode, it does little world building and you immediately feel immersed in this world, it’s definitely something you’ve never seen in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe or in Comic Book TV Shows as a whole, it has a much different feel than anything we’ve seen in the comic book realm before.
The first family we meet are arguably the most developed family in the show which is the Wilder’s. Alex Wilder (Rhenzy Feliz) is still mourning the loss of his close friend who you later find out is the reason why the group split up from eachother. Later on, he decides to attempt to get the group back together and I have to say, Rhenzy Feliz really conveys the nerdy and somewhat shy teenager very well and having him trying to bring the group back together was very well done. Alex’s father (Ryan Sands) is one of my favourite characters currently, he is very much at a crossroads due to his past constantly haunting him and it will be interesting to see how that is dealt with throughout the next few episodes.
As for the other members of the team, Chase Stein (Gregg Sulkin) is presented as your average jock, however his father, Victor Stein (James Marsters) who may possibly be abusing his son, is focused on him getting the best grades possible which does add a lot to Chase’s character but however makes the character of Victor Stein unlikable and leaves him as one of the only characters with little development. However, one last thing to mention about the Stein family is Chase’s mother (Ever Carradine) has an mystery surrounding her to help boost her character and I’m very much interested to see where that goes.
The Minoru family don’t get much to do either in these two episodes other than Nico’s mother dealing with an traumatic event as well as Nico and Alex having some romantic feelings for eachother, but so far none of them are bad characters and hopefully they get some more development overtime.
The Dean family has a lot of development with Karolina (Virginia Gardner) being constantly mocked for being apart of the Church of Gibbon, making her want to go outside that comfort zone, which leads to her bumping into Chase Stein where you see how there could also be a bit romance between them. Her mother is the current head of the Church of Gibbon, you never really find out her motives but she is a dedicated support to the Church and that is making her want to push her husband away alongside the fact that she may know that Karolina has powers and is making sure they are not unlocked
And finally, the Yorkes family. The first big thing to mention about the parents is how they are basically excluded by the other parents due to how they are very wealthy and they are just your average parents, that is really the length their character development goes in those episodes. As for Gert Yorkes (Ariela Barer), she’s possibly the weakest in the team due to how annoying her character can be, she has her moments but overall she is currently wasted as a character, however it’s good to see Ariela putting her all in for the role. Her adoptive sister, Molly Herandez (Allegra Acosta) is very well acted by Allegra when she discovers her powers for the first time, how she has to keep it an secret and how she then is clearly shown as inferior to the rest of the group, which becomes ironic as currently she is the most powerful in the group.
Overall, Runaways has an solid first two episodes with some great characters both in the Runaways group themselves and with the parents, the script is very well done with the set design being all around good, but nothing special. The show does suffer from focusing on some characters whilst leaving others out to dry, which was always going to be an obvious issue when you have to deal with these many series regulars, it becomes an miracle that they managed to pull it off so well, it is an issue that will probably be fixed in future episodes.
The final complaint I have is how awful the intro is, it’s just pretty shots of Los Angeles, so much could have been done with it but instead it’s just very bland, it may sound like I’m nitpicking but you have to see this intro every episode and it’s just really bland and horrible.
Runaways is currently an 8/10, boasting a great range of characters, an well-developed script whilst suffering from a few undeveloped characters and an lackluster intro.