First off, this show has more of a Buffy feel to it than anything I've seen since Buffy (including everything else that Joss has done). It's not just James Marsters being evil, it's not just California, it's not even just the gang of smart, rebellious teenagers discovering weird powers and supernatural dangers.
No, mostly it's the fact that Molly is the same character as Dawn. Somehow she even looks like her.
Okay I'm kidding, that's a minor thing too, but I'd still watch just for some Whedony nostalgia. Fortunately, it's a really good show all around. I get lost sometimes in the subplots centered around the parents, but that's not a big deal since the only thing you really need to know to stay invested is the basic premise. I even like the teenage drama, watching the friendships and crushes develop and fall apart, because you know the team is forced to stick together through all of it and their struggles are so much more meaningful for it.
Alex is my favorite of the kids, although I don't like him in cornrows and I'm hoping he's done with going off and doing his own thing. Not sure exactly what's so great about him. He's the only one who doesn't have any powers, which means his brains and leadership abilities really have to matter, and it's just kind of impressive and neat to see a reserved, lonely 16~ year old with major issues of his own growing into that role. Also, for once, this is TV doing a geek character right, with both the pop culture references and his personality. Yes please.
Gert's parents are my favorites of the adults, because they're hilarious.
Trying not to ship anyone too hard because it looks like there's going to be a lot of shuffling couples around, but Gert and Chase have been really cute this season so far. I was rooting for Alex/Nico last season and now I'm not sure what I want for either of them. If Karolina doesn't stay with Nico it would be nice to see her single for a while.
Can't end this without mentioning the visuals: you know the Hostel is the largest set ever constructed for Marvel Television? The setting in general is pretty cool, even for just getting out of NYC for once in a superhero show. Kudos for the wardrobe designers, too. Each of the kids has such a distinct style: I love some of the outfits and I hate others and I love that I hate them.
And now a word from our mascot, my superintelligent misnamed Utahraptor girlfriend, Old Lace. The animation is seamless, and they're giving her ample screentime whenever it makes sense to have her around, and there's no obvious "human character never touches her because it's not in our budget" (I'm looking at you, Lockjaw). So glad this kind of thing is possible in today's live-action TV. This has been a great year for superintelligent misnamed Utahraptor girlfriends.
Watch Runaways! Come talk to me about it!