• The Gifted: The X-Men Movies Come to TV (Fox)

    by  • September 14, 2017 • Fox, Paleyfest 2017 Reviews • 1 Comment

    Gifted

    A dark, depressing series about teens with superpowers on the run from the law.

    There exist in the world mutants – individuals born with superhuman powers. These individuals are oppressed by the U.S. government, rounded up and imprisoned without due process. At the forefront of the anti-mutant legal machine was Reed Strucker – until his own children, Andrew and Lauren, are revealed to be mutants. Reed gets his children placed with a “mutant underground,” whose members seek to aid mutants in escaping the country. Andrew and Lauren join the underground…but with Reed in custody, how will they act to safeguard themselves, their fellow mutants, and their own father?

    Spun off from Fox’s X-Men movie franchise, The Gifted assumes a vast amount of knowledge about the X-Men universe by the viewer. Viewers are thrown headlong into a dystopian world where mutants are hunted down by the police and government. How and why this came to pass is unexplained; it is simply assumed that the viewer’s sympathies will lie with the mutants, even though we see them engaged in violent acts that are often disproportionate overreactions to the provocation. (Yes, bullying is wrong, but literally causing an entire building to collapse on the bullies might be a bit much.) The program is very dark, both literally and figuratively; the “darkness” of the show’s tone and pessimistic worldview is reinforced by the dim lighting and muted color palette on the program.

    In terms of content, violence is frequent, with police shooting at, disabling, and crippling various mutants with gunfire, and sometimes with other sinister means, like a group of robots shaped like giant spiders. For their part, the mutants respond with their powers, slamming the police around like rag dolls, blinding them, causing earthqukes, shattering effects, and explosions, and electrocuting them with lighting bolts and other energy beams.  Lauren and Andrew frequently hurl epithets like “dumbass” and “son of a bitch” at one another. There was no sexual content in the first episode.

    Fox is billing The Gifted as a “family adventure series;” but parents may wish to consider before allowing younger children to watch this dark, depressing program.

     

    The Gifted premieres Monday, October 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET on Fox.

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    About

    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    One Response to The Gifted: The X-Men Movies Come to TV (Fox)

    1. WEX
      September 21, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      You should also keep in mind that “causing an entire building to collapse on the bullies” might also injure/kill people who are not bullies. I say this because a lot of people will not see “causing an entire building to collapse on the bullies” as a bad thing, especially if they are victims of bullying. One of the strongest visual anti-violence messages is showing the injury/death of an uninvolved innocent bystander.

      Violence towards unlikeable/unsympathetic characters = People cheering
      Violence towards likeable/sympathetic characters = People gasping

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