Superheroes have become a part of our TV fabric. From broadcast television to online streaming, you’ll more than likely find a story pulled from the pages of a comic book series that’s been adapted into live-action. Some of the biggest and most talked about shows today feature these super-powered characters, like Netflix’s Jessica Jones or The CW’s The Flash. As a geeky guy, there’s a special place in my heart for comic book influences in TV and film. This installment of “For Your Consideration” will discuss an underrated comic book adaptation, The Gifted.
Set in an alternate timeline in the X-Men franchise, The Gifted takes place in a reality where known mutant groups, like the X-Men and The Brotherhood, have disappeared. Mutant life has been plagued by being shunned, discriminated, or forced to run to avoid Sentinel Services, a government group that arrests mutants who disturbed the peace. The main protagonists are the members of the Strucker family–parents Reed (Stephen Moyer) and Caitlin (Amy Acker) and their children, Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind) and Andy (Percy Hynes White). After discovering their children are mutants, the Struckers go on the run to avoid capture.
The family drama is looped into the feuding ideologies of competing groups. In the first season, the Struckers go into hiding by joining the Mutant Underground, a network of mutants on the run. Leading the group is Marco, a.k.a. Eclipse (Sean Teale), a mutant who can project light, his girlfriend Lorna, a.k.a. Polaris (Emma Dumont), who can control magnetism, the super-strong John, a.k.a. Thunderbird (Blair Redford), and the portal-jumping Clarice, a.k.a. Blink (Jamie Chung). The group battles against human organizations looking to subdue and control mutants.
In the second season, the conflict shifts to the struggle of mutant kind. A powerful corporation divides the Mutant Underground as one side plots for mutant supremacy.
Why You Should Watch
Nestled in this dark show about warring factions, there is a lot of heart. The Gifted focuses on deep character development to showcase the love these characters share with one another. Whether it’s between families, romantic couples or friendships, the power of relationships comforts them when life gets too complicated as enemies get closer every day.
One of the big themes of The Gifted is the theme of choosing your own family. Many of the main characters have been abandoned by their own families and society, but the mutants find a connection with one another. This type of bond is endearing to experience on a weekly basis, especially in this temperamental climate.
The Gifted’s special effects are also a highlight. When the mutants showcase their unique abilities, you can tell that time and effort has been put in to make the effects look marvelous. Obviously, due to budget, the powers can’t come out all the time, but when they do, it’s a special moment. A few of the standouts include Blink’s portal creations and whenever Andy and Lauren combine their powers. Word to the wise: Your curiosity will be peaked by Andy and Lauren’s powers because of how captivating they come across at full strength.
Getting into The Gifted does take some time since it is a high-concept TV show. But, if you get through the early hurdles, the destination will be well worth the journey. The Gifted’s second season is getting so good with the new mutant villains and the conflicts between all of the characters. You need to give The Gifted a try.
If you love X-Men or geeky comic book shows, I recommend binging The Gifted to get caught up.
The Gifted airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on FOX.