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The Gifted - eXposed - Advance Preview: “Marvel Done Right”

The Gifted is a cinematic and storytelling masterpiece. This premiere is essentially a near perfect example of how to launch a series. They jump right into the core of the series while simultaneously building up the universe that the show inhabits. There is no unnecessarily long period of exposition or any lulls in the story. From the first seconds to the final tense moments this premiere charges forward. The characters are well fleshed out yet there is an infinite amount of room to grow and develop each of them. There are no throwaway characters or weak links in the group. Every performer delivers at the highest level aided by a very tightly written script and exceptional production value. This episode is both aesthetically stunning and immensely engaging.

There are a ton of characters in this ensemble and some get more to do than others, but they made sure to give everyone some big defining moment no matter how long they were in the episode. The cast is, to be perfectly honest and a little cheesy, exceptionally gifted. This show couldn’t have been cast any better than this. There are of course big names like Amy Acker (Kate Strucker) and Stephen Moyer (Reed Strucker), but every single performer really brings it. Acker and Moyer play the non-mutant (as far as we know anyway) parents of the group, but this episode makes it very clear that their place in this story is going to be way more than just as the parents. Acker wasn’t in the promo as much as others, but rest assured that she has a big part to play in the overall story. Kate may not be Root from Person of Interest, but she’s still a fierce woman who will do anything to protect those she loves. In the Strucker family, Acker and Moyer are joined by Percy Hynes-White (Andy Strucker) and Natalie Alyn Lind (Lauren Strucker) who play their mutant children. Despite having well-known veteran actors playing their parents both of these young performers hold their own. More than that, they both shine in every scene they are in. There is a beautiful chemistry amongst all the performers that make up the Strucker family allowing the fictional family to feel very real.

While the Strucker family journey serves as one avenue for the audience to learn about this complicated world of underground post-X-Men mutant life the show provides another entry point for the audience in the form of Blink (Jamie Chung). Her place in the pilot is very intriguing and she’s the catalyst for several big moments. From there other characters are introduced like Thunderbird (Blair Redford), Eclipse (Sean Teale) and Polaris (Emma Dumont). And these performers wow at every turn. Polaris has a huge reveal that is a game changer and will certainly carry some repercussions as the season progresses. Then, because every show needs an antagonist, these characters must deal with a government agency known as Sentinel Services and one of their agents, Jace Turner (Corey Bell) who is relentless in his mission to uphold the laws revolving around mutants. These are just the core characters introduced in the premiere, but there are certain to be many more added as the show evolves. That is the one place where this show may falter is if they try to juggle too many active storylines at one time, therefore, bogging down the flow of the story. The way the premiere sets up the show is with a couple very clear storylines plainly meant to drive the season. If they can maintain this smaller group of plot points and avoid getting too overly excited introducing secondary characters then this show has all the makings of a long-term hit.

What can you expect from this premiere? High stakes racing towards a jaw-dropping cliffhanger that should leave even the most jaded viewers counting down the days, hours and minutes until the next episode. There is also a lot of heart mixed in with the action which serves to heighten the already high stakes. This is hands down the best series premiere of the season and a must watch episode. Marvel has another entry into the network arena this season, but whether it be a difference in networks or show leadership, there is a clear difference in quality between what ABC Studios and 20th Century FOX are delivering this season in terms of their new Marvel properties. The Gifted far exceeds its fellow Marvel newbie and already is in contention to quickly move up the ranks to become one of the best Marvel television productions. It does proud by its comic book heritage and its X-Men origins. Add The Gifted to your watchlist and be prepared to be awed.

Hit the comments with your hopes for this series. Are you excited for it? What aspect of the Marvel X-Men universe do you hope the show dives into?

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