Mutants. Mutants. Mutants. Well THE GIFTED is all about Mutants
Let’s be honest, at this point you’re tired of hearing it.
Back in the early 2000’s we were all wide-eyed and mystified when the first set of X-men movies hit the big screen. After the release of X-men: The Last Stand (2006) the world slowly began to move and the franchise hasn’t exactly found solid ground since then save Deadpool (which is blazing its own trail in a manner of speaking) and Logan (which marked the end of an era).
The birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) made things a lot worse as most fans moved on to better things. Fortunately, many things that may not get the chance to thrive on the big screen found a place on TV and some of them have recorded huge success.
Marvel had been able to tap into this with AGENTS OF SHIELD, the Netflix Series (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders and the upcoming Punisher) and most recently The Inhumans; DC has done it with The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Legends Of Tomorrow and the upcoming Black Lightning and Teen Titans.
Despite the issues I may have with some of these franchises (the cheesiness of the DC TV universe, the stupidity of Iron Fist and don’t even get me started on The Inhumans), they have recorded a fair amount of success (Daredevil probably being the best of the fold).
So, it was no surprise early (February) this year when FOX decided to jump into the TV game with the release of LEGION and I dare say it was a hit. Legion was crafted masterfully and was received with mostly positive reviews. Then FOX announced THE GIFTED and my trust issues kicked in.
To be fair I had every reason to be wary. The elements that made LEGION work as a series were largely dependent on the title character. The nature of the character influenced the script and they were able to produce a great show, sadly, none of these elements seemed to be present with THE GIFTED so I totally wrote it off even after hearing that Bryan Singer was actively involved.
Then the teaser trailer came out, I read the synopsis and I got even more enraged. The premise of the show didn’t look like it was breaking any new ground and after watching series like HEROES and Alphas which started well but ended as disasters, you tend to develop a level of loathing for these things.
Finally, when the pilot dropped, I decided to watch after an internal struggle and it turns out, THE GIFTED is a lot better than I anticipated.
The first thing that caught my attention was that it looked good (and this is no small compliment).
There are things that I have to come to expect from TV over the years and I honestly didn’t expect THE GIFTED to be as aesthetically pleasing as it was. When the characters used their abilities it wasn’t tacky and the CGI effects didn’t mess with my eyes.
Also, the actors seem to carry their roles pretty well. I think it’s safe to say I have a crush on Jamie Chung (Blink) and Emma Dumont (Polaris) now, but beyond my obvious bias and attraction to beautiful women, everyone seemed to flow seamlessly into their roles. My only issues may lie with the Stephen Moyer (Reed Strucker) but I’ll wait for the show to flow along before forming an opinion on him.
These positives do not cover some hard truths. As I hinted before, THE GIFTED isn’t breaking any new ground but if they play it right, they might join the ranks of the few who have given us a fulfilling experience in a genre that is begging for some redemption.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.