Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
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The Gifted: The Complete First Season
Do any of you remember the silly little 2001-2004 Marvel show Mutant X? It was a hilariously fun little Canadian produced show that was basically Marvel trying to take advantage of the X-Men craze that happened after the Bryan Singer film became so popular. The series was short lived as it was basically plagued with lawsuits from 20th Century Fox since its inception, and was literally under the weight of those suits until the day it died in 2004 (due to the main production company being sold to new owners who just ditched the show for other, cheaper produced series). The Gifted is basically 20th Century Fox’s answer to Mutant X, just about 14 years later. I wasn’t expecting much of The Gifted due to how badly Marvel’s broadcast shows have gone (I’m not including their high quality Netflix shows into that category), and due to the series trailer being rather cheap, but I was quite surprised at how different and fun the first season was. Sure, it has its faults, and the issues native to a show that has to set all the ground work for future seasons, but it’s a highly enjoyable show with a darker than anticipated tone to it.
Before I go on I have to say up front that The Gifted is designed to fall into the cinematic X-Men movie universe, but some time in the future from everything but Days of Future Past, and offers more of a spiritual connection rather than an actual chronological connection to the Bryan Singer/Brett Ratner films with Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman etc. Well, that’s not TOO surprising or out of the realm of possibility, as the X-Men continuity even on the comics front is nothing but one major retcon after another, and following the changes to the continuity is akin to riding on a roller coaster with a go-pro and having someone decipher what’s going on without heaving. That out of the way, on to the summary!
It’s been some time since the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants vanished, and the world has become a bit harsher to the existence of mutants in their midst. It’s not illegal to be a mutant, but mutant’s are treated as second class citizens, and any damages or violence that occurs from the use of their vast powers is met with swift and brutal justice. Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer, ironically married to Anna Paquin who played Rogue in the films) is a prosecutor who makes his bread and butter off of prosecuting mutants, only for his world to be turned upside down when it comes to light that his daughter Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind) and son Andy (Percy Hynes White) are mutants as well, and during Andy’s manifestation he ends up destroying a school and harming students in the process. Now sentinel services is after him (a seeming precursor to the Sentinel project that becomes the bane of the Mutant world, setting up Days of Future Past), leaving him to do the unthinkable. Hunt down the mutant underground and see if they can get his family to safety.
The show features a who’s who of most Fox and USA network shoes (we have the mother from Burn Notice, Jesse from Burn Notice, and even Garrett Dillahunt, who was a guest start on Burn Notice more than once, as well as on Fox’s Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles as well), and the series has that sort of “made for TV” vibe that sets it apart from the cinematic universe, despite being chronological with it. The first few episodes start with a bang, but seem to be on rocky ground, setting up at least a dozen mutant characters that you know will play a big part, but seemed smooshed in their a bit too fast. However, you need to get past the first 3-4 episodes before passing judgment, as the show ramps up dramatically for the last 9 episodes or so and goes out with a jaw dropping bang that makes me really look forward to the second season.
Not Rated by the MPAA
The Gifted started out slowly, and has a bit of a network TV vibe to it, but it shows some series leaps forward in maturity and presence as the series progresses. The themes of being oppressed and on the run show it much darker than we’ve ever seen the mutant world before, and it got progressively darker as the series went on. The acting is solid enough, but there is this niggling worry in the back of my head to not become TOO attached to the show, as Fox has this innate tendency of canceling the good sci-fi/action shows after 1-2 seasons without mercy (Firefly, Dollhouse, Sarah Conner Chronicles etc), but at this moment I’m singularly impressed. The show isn’t the epitome of greatness in a TV universe where we have Game of Thrones, Dexter, and the myriad of Netflix Marvel shows, but it is a fun superhero show that is a bit twisted and dark for the medium it’s being produced on. The DVD is given decent audio/video specs, but sadly no extras whatsoever and not even a slipcover. However, the price is right and if you want to get in on the action, it makes for a good watch.
Starring: Jamie Chung, Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker, Natalie Alyn Lind
Created by: Matt Nix
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG 2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Runtime: 569 Minutes
DVD Release Date: October 2nd, 2018
Recommendation: Fun Watch