THE GIFTED [Review]: X-Cellent.

“Cardinal” Roberto de Bexar

WELCOME BACK TO THE CONGREGATION!! It’s time for your wonderful “Cardinal” to take you to church with a sermon on The Gifted. When news hit that Fox was bringing the X-Men universe from the big screen to the small, the geek-verse waited on baited breath — considering the X-Men universe under Bryan Singer has been contentious to lots of X-fans. The immediate question is the film-from-comic-to-TV translation.

Thankfully, The Gifted is able to explore what the movies could not, not unlike the course of Marvel Netflix shows in comparison to The Avengers flicks. Here, we get more characters (Blink, Thunderbird, Polaris) and the Sentinel Squad!

The story is what you would expect out of the X-Universe — in a world that fears and hates them, all mutants are being hunted and detained. I love the fact that the X-Men and the Brotherhood (yes, that one) have both gone missing. What that means, I have no idea (oh.. yes we do; with production not having to deal with X-sized contracts); but it’s nice to see what could happen without the X–Men there. The Gifted is an X-Men TV show without the X-Men and the results are mostly Astonishing. The shows allows more movement around the universe without any bogging down with the insane constraints of the X-films.

The acting is actually Extraordinary for the most part, Stephen Moyer (True Blood) and Amy Acker (Angel) are commendable as parents Reed and Kate Strucker, but a lack of lines sorta makes ‘Kate’ slightly forgettable. A shame, since Acker was fantastic on Angel and more of her on-screen would only benefit. As for their mutant children, I was far more split on Percy Hynes White (Night at the Museum) and Natalie Alyn Lind (Gotham, The Goldbergs); Lind had the better lines, better powers and better performances. White, on the other hand, comes across more whiny as your standard telekinetic.

“We just have to PRETEND Logan is here.”

NOW, let’s get to the mutants! The Mutant Underground is composed Blair Redford as John Proudstar/Thunderbird, Jamie Chung as Blink, Emma Dumont as Lorna Dane/Polaris and Sean Teale as Marcos Diaz/Eclipse (a substitute for Roberto de Costa/Sunspot.. why you don’t just use the de Costa character is beyond me). The mutants are all pretty greatly cast. Special effects ae cool and don’t overpower the show, either; you see Polaris use her powers — with green tints — and it’s not over the top.

The bad guys are the Sentinel Squad, the big bad, black-ops of the Government. Seeing just any type of robot on the screen made me giddy; even if they looked slightly similar to the droids from Episode I: The Phantom Menace That The Not So Mencing Jar Jar. At the end of the day, The Gifted is an imperfect yet, may I say, fantastic addition to the X-Men universe that could possibly rival Marvel, at least on ABC (hm.. ya.. Netflix at this moment is a bit of a reach). I’ll leave you X-Dweebs with an Easter Egg: Moyer’s phone ringtone is the theme from the cherished 90s X-Men cartoon. 4/5 X-Gene Bibles.

-Robert Bexar

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