Runaways: Should you tune into the new Marvel show?
Marvel’s Runaways, a Hulu original series, is coming to Foxtel Now this month. Here’s why you should care.
Not sure how to watch Runaways in Australia? Check out our complete guide to streaming Hulu and Marvel's latest here.
Today’s TV landscape is oversaturated with superhero shows. We have light, but action-packed, DC series like Supergirl and The Flash fighting for our attention, as well as gritty Marvel shows like and Jessica Jones and Daredevil patiently waiting in our Netflix queues. So why should a new release about a group of super-teens fighting their evil parents get us excited? Simply put: because it’s unlike anything else currently available.
Need more TV?
Created by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage who were responsible for the mega-hit Gossip Girl, Runaways premiered on Hulu at the end of last year and recently wrapped up its first season to favourable reviews. The series follows six high school teenagers as they find out that their parents are the evil masterminds behind a group called The Pride. The six youngsters try to deal with this horrible discovery while they themselves begin to manifest superpowers. What follows, as you might have guessed, is them banding together and going on the lam as they prepare to fight their families.
Why we're loving Runaways
First off, the casting is spot-on. Runaways stars Rhenzy Feliz, Lyrica Okano, Virginia Gardner, Ariela Barer, Gregg Sulkin and Allegra Acosta as the teens. Their parents are portrayed by Angel Parker, Ryan Sands, Annie Wersching, Kip Pardue, Ever Carradine, James Marsters, Brigid Brannagh, Kevin Weisman, Brittany Ishibashi and James Yaegashi.
The show is based on the Marvel Comics superhero team with the same name. While the series does focus on the kids, it also stretches its source material by giving their parents more depth. The complex family dynamics that ensue are fascinating. As a result, Runaways proves to be a smart and ambitious adaptation, and choosing to feature the parents as flawed but interesting individuals is a huge plus.
The show also creates its own category in the superhero genre. While there have been a few family-friendly Marvel series on TV – like Agent Carter or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – there aren't any that focus on teenagers. Runaways does deal with the whole "fighting evil" trope, but our teen heroes also struggle with more age-appropriate issues like substance abuse. Their banter is delicious and their friendships become ridiculously compelling as the series progresses. After all, many teens already think of their parents as evil supervillains every once in a while. In Runaways, that’s not just a metaphor, it’s the truth. That devastating revelation helps them figure out something that most superhero teams realise at one point or another: they’re stronger together than they are apart.
It’s also important to note that the series features the first predominantly female superhero team in both TV and film. Two-thirds of the Runaways are women, which makes the show very empowering. It’s comforting to see that Runaways doesn’t shy away from giving both its heroes and heroines room to grow and shine.
All in all, the series has a lot going for it: the beloved source material, the creators' history with engaging teen drama and the stellar cast of newcomers. It also looks stunning, with a focus on vibrant pinks and purples that looks like it was ripped straight out of a 90s Degrassi episode.
Still unsure? Critics are pretty smitten with the new Marvel drama as well.
For the most part, critics are on board
On Rotten Tomatoes, the show is certified fresh, with an 83% approval rating. “Earnest, fun and more balanced than its source material, Runaways finds a strong footing in an over-saturated genre,” the critic consensus reads. On Metacritic, the series holds an assigned score of 68 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating generally favourable reviews.
“The Breakfast Club meets X-Men with a splash of Stranger Things thrown in, Marvel’s Runaways is the richest, best-realized Marvel drama of the new TV season,” TVline writes.
“It's off to an incredibly compelling start, thanks to Schwartz and Savage's confident storytelling, and should it keep moving forward at its current pace, it could become a truly addictive hit,” IndieWire notes.
There are too few critic complaints to act as a warning sign, proving that Runaways is a treat for any fan of the superhero genre.
How to stream Marvel’s Runaways in Australia
Since Hulu isn’t available Down Under, the show is just now coming to Australia. The series will start airing on Tuesdays from 20 February on FOX8, first on Foxtel. If you have a Foxtel subscription with the Entertainment pack, you’re all set. Episodes will be available on demand as well, so you can watch with the Foxtel app anytime. The app is free with your Foxtel subscription.
As for streaming, Runaways is also coming to Foxtel Now. Episodes will be released weekly from 20 February, then remain available. All you need is the Pop pack, which is only $15 per month. It comes with seven channels: FOX8, Showcase, FX (available until 28 February), The Comedy Channel, MTV, 111 Funny and Arena. Once you are subscribed to the pack, you can watch these channels live and catch up with content on demand.
Foxtel Now is available on your computer, smartphone, tablet, PS4, Telstra TV, Chromecast/Airplay and Foxtel Now box. If you’re a new customer, there’s a 10-day free trial that you can take advantage of.
Runaways was renewed for a second season that will likely premiere on Hulu at the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019.