The Gifted (Season 1), 2017
Signed up the 28/03/2017
The Gifted focuses on characters from the X-Men universe who fight injustices against those born with mutant abilities. The underground establishment is simply named the Mutant Underground. The show is set in an alternate timeline where the X-Men are no longer around, leaving the fate of all mutants in the underground association's hands.
The show focuses on a regular family whose lives are turned upside down when they discover that their children are mutants, and soon have to go on the run and face-off a very hostile government for that unpredicted reason. If you know anything about the X-Men, you'll know that the main theme in all the comics is their focus on social injustices. They tackle sore, traumatic subjects such as systematic discrimination, prejudice and down-right oppression.
The Gifted starts off with a literal bang as the first episode's cold-open is clearly made to excite and heighten senses. From then on the storyline unfolds as consistently as it's able; introducing and developing characters steadily with each episode. Even when you're not familiar with these comicbook characters prior to their TV debuts, you're afforded the time and background to get to know each of them enough to know just who you're rallying behind.
This show knows exactly where it stands narratively and although it's kind of shakey with dialogue at times, the subplots are written so intriguingly that you're always sure to come back for just one more episode. This can also (maybe) be warranted to the heavy cliffhangers, but they're always interesting thus welcome. The Gifted is not trying to be anything that it isn't; it is an action-drama that places heavy focus on its dramatic arcs and action. And I'm honestly here for it!
Sometimes a show/movie doesn't have to be "deep" and sombre to address social ills or the darker side of humanity. As long as the story is told as sincerely as possible, it is valid. This is where this show excels. It follows a pop-culture storytelling format while ripping at covered wounds that humanity would much rather avoid. What more could you ask from a show with this kind of story than to keep audiences engrossed in the story while also picking at their shortcomings enough to make them see just how wrong oppression is no matter the oppressor's justifications?
There are just the right amount of powers. And it helps that the special effects and editing are done super well too. Lauren and Andy Strucker, whom are the leads, discover their powers and soon begin to save the day as expected by leads. This gets a little tedious because all the action seems to always rely on these teens who are new to their powers, when there are other characters with amazing powers that can do just as good a job. Luckily the writer's quickly got their sh*t together and began exploring other characters and their mythos. This overall made the show that much more interesting.
The show seems to waver around the 6th or so episode but recovers by the 9th. This is when Reed Strucker (Lauren and Andy's dad) discovers truths about himself through his estranged father. In this episode we're swiftly introduced to the violent and emotional capacity that the show has been holding out on all along, and I can't even say it wasn't worth the wait! The slow-burn build up made the revelations embedded in this episode as well as the next episode that much sweeter.
My personal account would be that The Gifted is at least in the top 5 comicbook adaptions for TV this year–even when pitted against older shows in this genre. If it were a Netflix show I would've probably torn through it in a matter of hours–unlike the more weaker shows such as Netflix/Marvel's The Punisher where it took me days to get through it due to a lack of most of the qualities and balance between action and story that The Gifted so seamlessly boasts.
With all the drama unfolding between individual characters, and all the saving and the fighting for justice (for Mutants) that goes on, The Gifted is a worthy, engrossing watch that deserves your time. As I said before, it isn't too weighty or grim, but it isn't light-hearted either. There are also interesting X-Men references to revel over if you're a fan.
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