There was so much hope that The Gifted could be that long-awaited live-action show X-Men fans have clamored for. Sadly, it seems like a mix between Heroes and the disappointment many find Gotham to be.
Creator: Matt Nix
We’re somewhere within the timeline around Logan when introduced to this Heroes-esque storyline. One in which an underground mutant network ran by Lorna (Emma Dumont) and Marcos (Sean Teale), try to fill in the void left by the foregone X-Men and Brotherhood. But without the resources, they find themselves often having to hide avoid the outside world unless recruiting.
Leading to what pushes them out of the shadows. The first thing being getting this teleporter named Clarice (Jamie Chung). Following that, they find themselves adding two teenagers to the ranks. Both of which belong to one Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer). Someone who has spent the last 5 years of his life prosecuting mutants but now needs Marcos to save his children Andy (Percy Hynes White) and Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind). Two baby mutants, especially Andy, recently discovered and now on the run.
Leaving us to wonder, could this rag tag group meet the levels of their predecessors or are they simply on borrowed time?
A Few Familiar Faces – In Terms of Actors
Between Jamie Chung, who is a constant on sci-fi, fantasy, and action programming, to Blair Redford from Switched at Birth, there are a handful of familiar faces here. Of which Include Stephen Moyer, of True Blood fame. Also, who could forget another mainstay of the sci-fi genre: Amy Acker. Who, on The Gifted, plays Moyer’s wife Kate. All of which you’d think, with their known talent for the fantasy/sci-fi/action genre (well, minus Redford), would hit the ground running. Well, don’t judge a show by its casting or synopsis.
The Special Effects Are Cool
Be it Lauren’s power to make shields out of thin air or Marcus’ power which deals with light and energy, it seems Fox decided to really give this show the budget required to wow viewers. For there really isn’t anything cheap or indie looking, like early seasons of ABC’s Once Upon a Time. What we get here seems to be the kind of quality you’d expect from one of the most recognizable brands in comic books and FOX’s biggest franchise.
There Is No Hook
But, sadly, all of the things which should make The Gifted good are wasted. As noted, there is almost a Heroes vibe here. We got the pretty blonde, the father who hunts mutant people and then things get complicated when he realizes his child is one, but then comparisons end there. For while Heroes got worse as the seasons went on, The Gifted flops episode one.
The first reason: you aren’t given anyone to care about. Between mutants who don’t have mainstream recognition to actors who mostly have played supporting roles, seemingly for good reason, there is no one who seems like a bona fide star here. Which becomes a problem as time goes on for you get this vibe like you got dropped in the middle of a season vs. the series premiere.
I mean, even with the danger of the sentinels hunting everyone down, there isn’t this sense FOX is trying to start this show off with a bang! We are really presented with something that could feel like episode 3 or 4 and with the pursuit of presenting an ensemble cast and trying to give everyone enough screen time to remember their names, they all become forgettable.
Even Lorna, who looks like a badass, and is the de facto leader of the mutant underground, becomes a bit of an afterthought by the time the credits roll. Which will become a serious problem for it seems like FOX is trying to dig deep into X-Men’s archives without any real serious lead-in to keep our attention. Something which will surely bite the show in the behind.
Overall: Negative (Don’t Watch)
Disclaimer: My knowledge of the X-Men universe solely comes from the movies. I haven’t read a comic book, graphic novel, or even saw the 90s cartoon. This is noted just to give you an idea that while I am a fan of the X-Men, I can’t claim to be a fanboy. However, with me watching The Gifted’s distant cousin Gotham from season 1, I feel like I’m getting serious deja vu. Just without any character name recognition to give casual fans something to look forward to and when it comes to hardcore fans? Outside of a Stan Lee cameo and hearing the 90s X-Men theme go off, I honestly can’t imagine them being that excited either.
Maybe happy that this show finally exists but I’d imagine the disappointment might just be universal as the show continues.