Fourteen years in the past, a primetime cleaning soap in regards to the morally bankrupt lives of the wealthy and delightful inhabitants of Newport Beach, California debuted on Fox. With its hyper self-aware humor, early aughts trend, indie soundtrack, and teenage melodrama, The O.C. rapidly turned a cultural phenomenon. But simply as Seth Cohen and Marissa Cooper had been turning into a part of our every day vernacular, one other group of prosperous teenagers from sunny SoCal had been turning into sensations on comedian guide stands throughout the nation.
It appears kismet that Brian Ok. Vaughan’s seminal Marvel Comics collection Runaways would debut only a month previous to The O.C.‘s summer time launch in 2003. In some ways, they had been reduce from the identical designer material; each balanced the turmoil of adolescence with wit and whimsy whereas additionally subverting highschool archetypes. Only one, nonetheless, gave its teenage protagonists superpowers and turned their dad and mom into supervillains. (Atomic County does not depend.)
So it is sensible that when Marvel Television boss Jeph Loeb first considered bringing Runaways to life on the small display, he envisioned it as “The O.C. of the Marvel Universe.” Five years later, and with the creators of The O.C. (Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage) connected as showrunners, Marvel’s Runaways — premiering on Hulu right now, November 21 — could be very a lot the teenager cleaning soap’s non secular successor.
“My private feeling the primary time I learn Runaways many, a few years in the past when it first got here out was like, ‘Oh, this comedian was written only for me,'” Schwartz, a lifelong comedian guide reader, informed MTV News again in October, including that The O.C. and Runaways share an analogous “tone and humor.”
Having seen the primary 4 episodes of Marvel’s Runaways that had been made obtainable for evaluate — the primary three may be streamed now — I can let you know that the shared DNA between the 2 teen dramas goes even deeper than that. Here’s what actually makes Marvel’s Runaways the O.C. of the Marvel Universe. Welcome to Brentwood, bitch.
On the floor, Seth Cohen, Marissa Cooper, Ryan Atwood, and Summer Roberts appeared like your typical teen archetypes — the geek, the promenade queen, the misfit, and the airhead — however they had been something however. Seth was extra Peter Parker than Spider-Man, however his area of interest pursuits and self-deprecating humor made him a heartthrob. Ryan was robust however tender. Summer was enthusiastic about tabloid gossip, trend, and environmental points. Marissa was the achingly lovely girl-next-door who hid her demons behind her picture-perfect smile. And after they got here collectively, their chemistry was unparalleled.
Something related occurs in Marvel’s Runaways. Though they are not all totally shaped people but — one of many pitfalls of juggling 16 leads — as a gaggle of teenybopper misfits, they shine. Their chemistry collectively is easy.
The collection follows six former finest buddies who should unite in opposition to a standard enemy: their dad and mom. The realization of their dad and mom’ misdeeds awakens their particular person skills, some supernatural and a few not. For instance, teen activist Gert (Ariela Barer) does not have powers, however she does have a psychological hyperlink together with her genetically engineered dinosaur, Old Lace; her adopted sister Molly (Allegra Acosta) possesses tremendous energy; Alex (Rhenzy Feliz) is a gamer who assumes the function of the group’s de-facto chief; Karolina (Virginia Gardner) is the gorgeous youth ambassador of her household’s non secular cult who unexpectedly realizes she’s rainbow-colored alien; Nico (Lyrica Okano) is a goth who can management darkish magic with the Staff of One; and Chase (Gregg Sulkin) is the son of a Steve Jobs-type genius billionaire who additionally has a knack for engineering.
It’s unattainable to think about The O.C. with out considering of Sandy Cohen, the Cohen household patriarch and Newport’s resident mensch. (His eyebrows had been a factor of magnificence, too.) But that was the great thing about The O.C.: It made you care a few group of difficult teenagers and their equally complicated dad and mom. The dad and mom in most teen dramas are expendable, however in The O.C. and Marvel’s Runaways, they’re important to the storytelling.
In reality, the second episode of Runaways retells the complete pilot from the dad and mom’ perspective, which could look like a dangerous transfer to some, however a superhero present is simply as robust as its villains. If they need us to care about these youngsters and their journey, then they need to make us care about their supervillain dad and mom too. Brittany Ishibashi, who performs Nico’s mother Tina Minoru, a cruel tech CEO who practices darkish magic, is very compelling in these first few episodes.
The O.C. was a trend time capsule for the early 2000s, however so had been the colourful pages of Vaughan and artist Adrian Alphona’s Runaways. The Runaways did not have superhero monikers or fancy costumes; they had been a street-level group. And their trend mirrored that. They wore what every other child rising up in 2003 would put on. Marissa Cooper and Karolina Dean had a shared affinity for low-rise flare Miss Sixty denims and pastel Lacoste polo shirts. Marvel’s Runaways has an analogous, of-the-moment trend sense. Molly even rocks her signature pink pussy hat all through the season. (Or as 14-year-old Acosta calls it, her “p-word hat.”)
If you really liked the Cohen’s pool home and the sprawling McMansions featured on The O.C., then you are going to want one other inspiration board for the mega-mansions in Marvel’s Runaways. Similar to the The O.C., these are privileged, upper-class youngsters dwelling in multi-million greenback tech fortresses and earthy Brentwood bungalows in sunny Los Angeles. That’s to not say they do not have their very own issues; they’re all coping with their very own private grief and teenage ennui.
In the comics, nonetheless, they runaway to an underground location after watching their dad and mom sacrifice a woman in an occult ceremony. It shall be attention-grabbing to see how the prosperous milieu of the present shifts as soon as Alex, Nico, Karolina, Molly, Gert, and Chase begin dwelling life on the run.
Let’s simply hope nobody has any meltdowns at a lifeguard stand anytime quickly.
For some, The O.C. begins and ends with its indie soundtrack, which was expertly curated by Schwartz, Savage, and music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas. It launched a technology of ~ cool ~ youngsters to the melancholy ideas of Ben Gibbard. Luckily, Patsavas, who’s been the music supervisor for all of Schwartz and Savage’s post-O.C. tasks, can be lending her skills to Marvel’s Runaways. Before manufacturing, she and Schwartz made every character their very own designated playlist. And simply in case you want a pattern of the indie-pop magic to return, the official trailer for the collection prominently featured synthpop duo Purity Ring’s moony “Sea Castle.”
Schwartz and Savage are well-versed in witty, self-aware younger folks. It’s a part of what makes their teen dramas (The O.C., Gossip Girl) so immediately compelling and endlessly quotable. “You’re a Cohen now,” Seth informed Ryan in “The Debut.” “Welcome to a lifetime of insecurity and paralyzing self-doubt.” Marvel’s Runaways has an analogous humorousness. “Great social gathering, Alex! Thanks for all of the pizza and unhappiness,” Chase quips within the pilot episode. Sure, it is not as iconic as “Welcome to the O.C., bitch!” — however it’s definitely meme-able.