New on Fox: The Gifted

It’s rare television today that makes you work to catch up with what’s happening on the screen. The Gifted doesn’t spoon feed the X-Men universe to the viewers: we get it at this point. Series creator and head writer Matt Nix (Burn Notice) and co-executive producers Lauren Shuler Donner (the X-Men films) and Bryan Singer (the X-Men films and director of this pilot) know this territory very well and realize we probably do too. We begin that pilot with a chaotic chase scene then segue quickly to typical high school drama of dealing with bullies and high school dances. While at that dance, our teen sibling protagonists accidentally reveal their mutant powers and the whole family has to go on the run from the Sentinal Service.

With Dad as a mutant prosecutor and mom as mostly freaked out, the characters aren’t exactly dimensional, but it’s unfair to judge a series by its pilot. Lauren tries to reassure Andy that “it gets better” shortly after his very public coming out as a mutant. The persecuted prosecutor vibe could pan out in exciting ways that didn’t reveal themselves initially. Maybe Mom will get a scene where she’s calm, cool and collected. Singer forgets from time to time that tv looks different than movies and that the small screen still needs excellent special effects although the chase scenes are plenty taut and exciting.

Really, really short review: The Gifted falls somewhere past the middle of marginal Inhumans and outstanding Legion.

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