At the turn of the century, Marvel made a bold yet ambitious move to create cinematic universes where its huge repertoire of superheroes will fight crime/save the earth, basically do mundane superhero things. In 2000 they came out with X-Men with an entourage of known faces and a movie replete with powerful meta-creatures and high octane action sequences. Marvel has found unprecedented success on the big screen by creating universes for us fans to relive our childhood, at the same time giving the characters the right amount of gravitas and juxtaposing action with relateable stories and likable A-List stars to pull in the audience. Since the release if the first X-Men movie, Marvel has launched individual superhero stories and made a cinematic universe where the various superheroes converge to save the day. From 2000 to 2017 there has been 44 Marvel Comics inspired movies and before that, for 56 years, they only made 6 adaptations. Goes to show that technology married with vision cut the deal for Marvel as every installment brought in more viewers compared to the last.
Marvel hasn’t touched the same kind of success on TV as they have on the big screen. There have been 12 series inspired by Marvel Superheroes and almost none of them have made the ripples in the television circuit as expected of such popular characters. Barring Legion which debuted in 2017 and has been renewed for a second season and Daredevil which debuted in 2015, none of the others have been well received by critics and viewers alike.
All of that put the onus on Bryan Singer to conjure up magic and salvage the fledgling fortunes of Marvel on TV. The Gifted is an adjacent storyline of few mutants with nascent powers and their struggle for identity in a world bent on hunting them down as they pose potential threat. At the same time it is also the story of the Stucker family. The pilot drops us straight in the middle of a chase and the sequences move at break neck pace during the entire run time. Bryan Singer’s absolute comfort in directing superhero sagas is evident in the pilot itself. He does not have a irreproachable script to work with, but he compensates that with action and a classic underdog story. The ‘X Men’ director knows what connects with the audience. Young mutants with hidden identities and lacking voice in a country marauding them into extinction.
Stephen Moyer as Reed Stucker is an attorney who prosecutes mutants until he finds two in his own house, his own children. Thereafter, it’s a story of their struggle to run from the government while a few other mutants help them out.
The Gifted is solid entertainment with a simple plot. It is not something which should figure in your must-watch list, but it definitely entertains the audience. I hope the story explores more deep questions of co-existence of humans and mutants and works on character development for us to root for.
gobblpoint: Popcorn entertainment and a good outing for Marvel on TV after some time.
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