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Marvel's Runaways TV series on Hulu is "based on Scientology"

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    'Marvel's Runaways' Review

    With a 16-character ensemble, Hulu's new Marvel series has to lay a lot of foundation, but it's still a promising start for this comic book dramedy.

    By Daniel Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter, November 1, 2017

    Excerpt:

    Despite a creative team of sluggers — Marvel Studios plus creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage — Hulu's new drama Runaways (or Marvel's Runaways, if you want to be cumbersome) is not a home run, but through the four episodes sent to critics, it still has potential to be the kind of solid extra base hit a growing programming portfolio needs. If anything, I think Schwartz's and Savage's ambitions for Runaways may limit its ability to be an immediate smash hit, but could pay long-term dividends across the 10-episode first season, which launches Nov. 21.

    Based on the Marvel comic series created by Brian K. Vaughan and artist Adrian Alphona, Runaways focuses on a group of six fabulously rich high school kids — nerd Alex (Rhenzy Feliz), brooding goth Nico (Lyrica Okano), seemingly perfect Karolina (Virginia Gardner), purple-haired agitator Gert (Ariela Barer), overtly smart jock Chase (Gregg Sulkin) and baby of the group Molly (Allegra Acosta) — who used to be friends-of-convenience because their parents were part of a charity group called the Pride. Now estranged by the vagaries of high school popularity, these six are thrust together again when they witness a potentially sacrificial ritual and discover that Pride may be a cover for something much more nefarious. It's a smooth and familiar allegory: Every teen inevitably begins to distrust their parents, but what if you discovered your parents might be truly evil?

    In the comic, the focus is largely on the kids and it's accepted in short order that Pride is a group of varied supervillains, including witches, aliens and dimension-travelers. Some of the parents gifts, magical and extra-terrestrial in nature, are imparted to their kids and in the early TV episodes, a couple of the Runaways teens may have comparable powers, that are being slowly unfolded as they investigate Pride.

    Schwartz and Savage made the decision to entirely scrap the comic's Pride backstory in favor of a more layered depiction of the parents, in which they're simultaneously pillars of the Los Angeles social and business community — lawyers, bioengineers, real estate moguls, investors — and tied in some way to a religious group called the Church of Gibborim, the latest TV cult that for legal purposes definitely isn't based on Scientology, but for practical purposes is totally based on Scientology.

    The advantage of this choice is immediate, because it means that in addition to a younger cast of relative unknowns, Runaways is able to cast a group of much more recognizable older actors as parents, including Annie Wersching as Karolina's cult matriarch mom, Kip Pardue as Karolina's washed-up actor father, James Marsters as Chase's abusive genius dad and Kevin Weisman as Gert's awkward and brilliant pops (plus Ryan Sands, Angel Parker, Brittany Ishibashi, Brigid Brannagh, James Yaegashi and Ever Carradine as parents). The ability to take properties that might have been ghettoized as "teen TV" and make them into multigenerational stories has always been a Schwartz/Savage hallmark, and there's no question that the parents in the Runaways TV show are much more nuanced characters much more immediately than they are in the comic. Spending more time with the parents helps ground the kids more and it helps situate these families within the Los Angeles community, which is utilized as a varied backdrop.

    More at http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/marvels-runaways-review-1053563

    Review: Runaways May Be Marvel’s Most Faithful TV Adaptation Yet

    By Kevin Melrose, CBR, November 1, 2017

    Excerpt:

    Based on the beloved 2003 Marvel Comics series created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona, the genius of Runaways is in its relatively simple, and undeniably relatable, premise: Six kids discover that their parents are secretly members of a villainous cabal known as the Pride, and unite to stop them. (What grounded teen hasn’t suspected their parents might actually be evil?)

    The Hulu drama, developed by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage (The O.C.), imbues that setup with emotional layers the source material (as good as it is) didn’t have. Exploiting the serial format of the medium, the series develops the shared backstory of titular teens, turning them into close-knit friends driven apart by tragedy, and transforming their parents from mustache-twirling supervillains into complex characters with distinct motivations, problems and flaws. Some of them are — dare we say it? — almost likable.

    Although Runaways ditches the notion of “supervillains,” it keeps intact the Pride as a secret society united by intertwining business interests (property development, pharmaceutical research, etc.) and far more sinister pursuits, somehow tied to the Church of Gibborim, a Scientology-like New Age group headed by Leslie Dean (Annie Wersching), mother of Karolina (Virginia Gardner). Wealthy pillars of their communities, they meet once a year at the home of Geoffrey Wilder and Catherine Wilder (Ryan Sands and Angel Parker), purportedly to plan their philanthropic activities. The truth is, of course, much darker, to say nothing of weirder.

    More at https://www.cbr.com/runaways-review/

    ‘Marvel’s Runaways’ Crashes The Marvel Universe Into The World Of ‘The O.C.’

    By Meghan O'Keefe, Decider, November 1, 2017

    Excerpt:

    Four episodes in, Marvel’s Runaways seems to be sticking fairly close to the source material, but with noteworthy twists. Karolina (Virginia Gardner) is no longer a hippie chick, but an almost glassy-eyed devotee of her mother’s church, the Church of the Gibborem. (The Gibborem have a place in the original comics, but here they are presented as the force behind a Scientology-esque religion. Even Karolina’s mother’s maiden name seems to be a winking play on L. Ron Hubbard.)

    More at https://decider.com/2017/11/01/marvels-runaways-review/
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