Skip to main content

TV REVIEW: 'The Gifted' Covers Familiar X-Men Ground But Shines Anyway

During late 2017 we've seen good (The Tick), bad (Inhumans), and so-so (The Defenders) superhero shows. By comparison, Fox's 'The Gifted' is a lot better than it should be. Having the benefit of premiering three days after ABC's much-maligned Inhumans, 'The Gifted' looks like a well-oiled machine by merely being competently produced.


If you've ever picked up an X-Men comic book, watched an X-Men cartoon or film, the premise of 'The Gifted' will be easily accessible and familiar. In a world that fears and persecutes mutants, people with activated X-genes that ignite their special powers must hide to avoid capture by nefarious government agencies who arrest them "for their own safety." Such is the case for the Strucker kids, Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind) and Andy (Percy Hynes White). Their powers become exposed during a high school dance where Andy predictably gets bullied into a rage unleashing his destructive abilities. Lauren uses her powers to get him out of there and the two have to explain what happened to their parents. 

Reed (Stephen Moyer) just so happens to be a prosecutor of mutants so when a distraught Caitlin (Amy Acker) calls after the kids come out as mutants and the evil Sentinel Services come knocking at the door the chase is on. Reed uses his connections to contact Eclipse/Marcos Diaz (Sean Teale, playing a new character reminiscent of the comics' Sunspot) who leads a mutant underground group that includes John Proudstar/Thunderbird (Blair Redford), Clarice Fong/Blink (Jamie Chung), and Lorna Dane/Polaris (Emma Dumont) to help his family.

The pilot episode is fast-paced and slickly produced. It helps that Bryan Singer (X-Men, X2) directs and keeps Fox's rights to mutant lore alive and well. It's not as great or as imaginative as FX's 'Legion' but it doesn't have to be. It just has to be competent in its execution with a talented cast that is earnest and convincing. Acker and Moyer need more to do than just be a frazzled mother and stoic dad. They're capable of so much more it would be a shame to underuse their talents. Hopefully, the rest of the season will broaden their emotional range and dig deeper into the subtext of mutant prejudice.  

'The Gifted' isn't breaking new ground in the superhero television genre but it is providing a worthwhile escape with familiar themes and circumstances. It's comfort food for fans who like what the X-Men universe has to offer. With an engaging cast, decent production values, a mix of practical and computer-generated effects, and a promising pilot, 'The Gifted' is off to the right start. 

Score: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)



'The Gifted,' on Fox

CAST: Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker, Sean Teale, Jaime Chung, Coby Bell, Emma Dumont, Blair Redford, Natalie Alyn Lind, Percy Hynes White.

Executive producers: Matt Nix, Bryan Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner, Simon Kinberg, Jeph Loeb, Jim Chory

Catch new episodes every MON at 9/8c on FOX!


Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: Tyler & Wendy Chin-Tanner's 'Dead Beats' Music Themed Horror Anthology

Dead Beats is a 160-page full-color anthology of music-themed horror comics centered around the curiosities for sale at one peculiar record store by its enigmatic Shoppe Keeper.

..if you're looking for new or used vinyl, cassettes, CDs, gear, or merch, Dead Beats has the best selection in town. Of course, everything we sell has a story and our friendly Shoppe Keeper is happy to tell you all about it. All sales final Edited by Joseph Corallo (Oh S#!t, It's Kim & Kim, Mine!) and Eric Palicki (This Nightmare Kills Fascists, All We Ever Wanted), Dead Beats features more than twenty comics stories and more than forty up-and-coming creators and industry veterans, as well as cover art and interstitial narrative illustrations by Lisa Sterle (Long Lost, Submerged).




From the Dead Beats introduction, illustrated by Lisa Sterle



From "Vanishing." Illustrations by Sally Cantirino from a script by Matthew Erman.

From "The Cursed Saxophone of Skasferatu." Illustrations by…

Poison Ivy's Rebirth From Child to Sexed-Up Adult on 'Gotham' Covered in New Featurette

The wacky world of Fox's Gotham has long embraced its brand of crazy. "Anything goes," seems to be the motto as the show has tried to fill in the blanks of a pre-Batman Gotham City. Besides making the future Commissioner Gordon an erratic hot-head, his future wife a sociopath, and brought back a villain from the dead, the latest stunt involves aging-up a teen Ivy Pepper magically into an adult to use her powers as a seductress.
Executive producer Ken Woodruff explained this creepy premise to THR: We made the change for two reasons: The character Ivy in the comics, one of her greatest powers is the power of seduction. Everyone was much more comfortable with that with an older actress as opposed to a teenager. We want to explore that classic, canonical power of Ivy. And we didn't just make her older with that attack. When she's changed and transformed, there's a real character change as well. She'll still have some of the same traits, but she'll be much d…

An Artist Will Get His Revenge in The Post-WWII Original Graphic Novel SIMON SAYS

Image Comics announces an all-new, original graphic novel Simon Says by Andre R. Frattino and Jesse Lee which will paint a post-World War II Europe in a scarlet shade of revenge this September.


Simon Says is a drama-filled, crime noir story that follows a former artist to the Führer who hunts down and seeks justice upon the Nazis he witnessed murder his friends and loved ones during the war. It is an original graphic novel inspired by true events and by a real-world Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, an artist who lost his family and took justice into his own hands.
"Simon Says is about an innocent and gentleman, an artist, whose family and life are destroyed by a real-world event. Not something sci-fi or fanciful, but something that has happened and could happen again. In that way, it's the story of any of us, and how we would respond if who we were and what we had were lost,” said Frattino. "The real-life, famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, was quoted as once sayin…