Every so often, there comes a comic book adaptation that becomes the defacto punching bag for fandom. A few years ago, it was Josh Trank’s sloppy ‘Fantastic Four’ movie. Earlier this year, it was Netflix’s ‘Iron Fist’, which many considered a black eye for the streaming service, which had been on an undeniable role with its Marvel shows. Now ‘Inhumans’ has become the show comic fans love to hate. It’s undeniable that the series– originally planned as a feature film– was rushed and that shows. The costumes and wigs are a laughing stock. And the reviews are dreadful.
But things aren’t necessarily all doom and gloom. Now that the series has debuted on ABC, the bright side is that its ratings are actually on par with those of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’‘s numbers last season. ‘Inhumans’ posted a rating of 0.9 in the coveted 18-49 demographic for its first hour, which amounts to 3.94 million viewers. The show lost a few viewers in its second hour, however, dropping to a 0.8 rating (3.63 million viewers). ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”s fourth season had a 1.1 rating in the same demographic last fall.
‘Inhumans’ was always slated to only run for eight episodes, however, there was hope that interest would be strong enough to bring the show back in later seasons to continue the story. Showrunner Scott Buck says he has at least three seasons worth of stories to tell.
“We have ideas. We know our starting point for Season 2, but we don’t know if there will be a Season 2. Hopefully, there will be a Season 2. If so, we know where we’re gonna start, and we’ll very gratefully gear up and get to work. We generally know where the first three seasons could go. What’s fun about the show is that it will basically always be a show about family, so there’s always going to be places to take these characters.”
Unfortunately, even though ‘Inhumans” first episode ratings weren’t bad, they weren’t great either and it’s highly unlikely that things will get better from here. Many people tune in for the first episode for a new series to see if they like it, but ratings as a rule of thumb drop from there. Either viewers don’t like what they saw or they decide to give it a few episodes to test it out, but some wind up not liking it even after a trial run and tune out.
And the thing is, ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ isn’t a hugely rated show. Many at ABC wanted to cancel it after last season, but were forced by parent company Disney to go forward with a fifth in order to accumulate over 100 episodes to make the show easier to syndicate. It’s all but a given that this will be that show’s final season. So having ratings on par with this, isn’t a huge success for ‘Inhumans’.
Among the other strikes against it, showrunner Buck is also the man behind the reviled ‘Iron Fist‘. Granted, Buck was given the reigns to ‘Inhumans’ before ‘Iron Fist’ premiered and was lambasted by watchers. On the unlikely chance that ‘Inhumans’ were to come back for more episodes, Disney/Marvel Entertainment would likely replace him, anyway.
And to make things messier, so far the majority of viewers feel that the show’s real hero is Maximus (Iwan Rheon), who is technically the show’s villain. But at least initially, Maximus leading the non-powered populace against the super powered elite is a cause that most are willing to get behind, versus the entitled Royal Family who were simply born into power.
Of course, there are still several more hours of this narrative to unfold and that part could change. But will there be enough people to stick around to see it?
Did you watch ‘Inhumans’? What were your feelings? Does this series deserve more attention?