A suburban family is forced to go on the run when the children are discovered to possess mutant powers.
After a lot of hype and build, The Gifted has debuted bringing the world of the X-Men to live action television. The Gifted isn’t bad, there’s just a lot of strange choices though.
The real draw of the show is really how it ties into the greater X-Men universe. You have Lorna Dane, aka Polaris, aka Magento’s daughter, James Proudstar, Blink, mentions of the X-Men and Brotherhood. Hell, even the X-Men animated series theme song rings for a bit. The series goes all in when it comes to tying itself into the greater X world and that’s some of its strongest aspects, because beyond that, this is a series dragged down by bad acting, laughably bad writing, and questionable choices as to its focus.
With only one episode to go by, it’s hard to completely judge the series’ direction as far as its focus, but this first episode is torn between two stories. The first is a family who must go on the run when they discover their two children are mutants. The second story is about about a mutant underground fighting for survival in a world where the X-Men and Brotherhood are missing. Both are interesting topics and direction but the two together becomes a muddled mess at times.
The family aspect can be interesting as the Strucker family must go on the run and the father is a prosecutor who was focused on mutants committing crimes and knows how bad it can be. I’ll skip the idiocy to name the family Strucker, the same last name as the villain in Captain America: Civil War. But, a family slightly “racist” coming to grips with their children being mutants and also a father facing his past actions, all while on the run, that can be interesting and itself would be a solid television show.
Then there’s the mutant underground led by Polaris who is taken off the board too early. This would be a more straightforward X story, and still can be good. That direction’s strength would be exploring the world and name dropping.
The two together though is too much and explores too little relying on the “name dropping” but not diving enough into the characters themselves. And why are you naming two main characters Lauren and Lora!?
And that bad choice is amplified by bad acting and writing. The most prominent of this is Reed Strucker learning about his kids in a car. Actor Stephen Moyer is usually better than this, but the fact this take was used makes me wonder what else was filmed, because this was not good. Just overall, beyond Amy Acker as Kate Strucker, the acting is rather sub-par.
The first episode isn’t bad but it’s also not good. I’ll stick around the see where it goes as it feels like it begins to come together later on but as an episode whose goal is to get me to come back for more, it barely pulls that off.
Overall Rating: 6.4