Starring: Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker, Natalie Alyn Lind, Percy Hynes White, Emma Dumont, Jamie Chung, Blair Redford, Sean Teale
Directed By: Bryan Singer
Plot: Reed Strucker (Moyer) works putting mutants in jail. His life is thrown upside down when it turns out that his son (White) and daughter (Lind) are both mutants, and the government is after them. He and his wife (Acker) must team up with an underground team of mutants, featuring actual X-Men you’d recognize from the comic books, to protect his kids.
What Works: This is exactly how Agents Of SHIELD should have started, instead of having a team full of non-powered heroes. The Gifted is instantly exciting because they spare no time introducing us to already known quantities like Blink (Chung) and Polaris (Dumont). Blink was already featured in the X-Men: Days Of Future Past film. It was great seeing the mutants using their powers, and some even still struggling with how to control and use them, and other mutants being more experienced. I liked the reference to the Sentinels, which we could end up seeing in the long term if this series runs for a while. They also directly reference the X-Men and Brotherhood by name, suggesting that they could tie in at any point with those supergroups. There’s such a rich history of X-Men characters that the long-term prospects for this show have me excited to see who could pop up, who could recur, and who might even just show up for a very special episode. Huge bonus points for having the Animated X-Men series theme song as a ringtone, and also Stan Lee, who I don’t think bothered to cameo in Inhumans. The acting here is solid. I’m a huge X-Men fan, and this one just had me triggered in every scene. I almost wept openly. I felt like this was the X-Men series I’d been wanting for the last 30 years of my life.
What Doesn’t Work: Polaris is pregnant. In the pilot. Already. I had to admit, I felt like that was moving SUUUUUPER fast to start introducing X-babies into the storyline. Also, shouldn’t there be more mutants at the underground? Even just random people walking around. I feel like that building should be more populated.
Final Word: Loved it. I love the X-Men, so I was predispositioned to love this. So, if you’re not an X-Men fan, I honestly don’t know if you’ll love it as much as I did. I have a weakness when it comes to X-Men films, much like some people do for Star Trek or Star Wars. They’re automatically way better in my eyes than they probably are to everyone else.
Final Grade: A