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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Gifted is a dark, intense action series loosely affiliated with the X-Men storyline from Marvel Comics. It is set shortly after the X-Men's departure, when fear looms about the supernatural abilities of people with mutated genetics, called "mutants." Government forces actively pursue these people (including teens like the main characters) to identify and imprison them, inspiring an underground community of those who use their powers to protect each other from capture. There is much violence in such scenes, with gunfire, explosions, and abilities that allow mutants to inflict harm and destruction. Other questionable content, however, is minimal. This riveting story raises many talking points for parents and teens who watch, especially with regard to the balance between tolerance and the perceived greater good.
What's the story?
After the X-Men's departure, fear about mutated genetics reaches a fevered pitch, and an effort begins to identify and monitor every mutant in THE GIFTED. For Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer), the distinction is clear; any mutant who uses his or her powers for harm is deserving of prosecution. When it's revealed that their children, Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind) and Andy (Percy Hynes White), are mutants, Reed and his wife, Kate (Amy Acker), join forces with a faction of the mutant underground to shield them from capture. Things take a fateful turn, and the family finds itself caught in the fray between the two sides.
Is it any good?
This fast-paced action series doesn't need to align itself with the X-Men brand to inspire a following, being plenty capable of wooing and retaining viewers on its own merit. There are enough nods to the X-Men and character crossovers to set the stage for the story's timing, but not so many that new arrivals will feel lost without the movies' context. Sharp writing, sympathetic characters, and unrelenting tension make The Gifted must-see TV for Marvel fans especially.
This dark series also presents some thoughtful issues that have relevance even in our own, mutant-devoid world, particularly with regard to how we identify normality and deal with people who don't fit the construct of it. In particular, the Struckers illustrate how human reactions evolve as our circumstances change, first as seeming outsiders to the matter in question (in this case, how to handle and neutralize the threat of mutants), and later as firsthand players in the debate. The Gifted is tense, violent, and best suited for teens and adults who can appreciate these and other thoughtful themes that emerge as the story develops.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what, if anything, "normal" human behavior is. Can "normal" be defined? If not, how do we determine what's right and what's wrong? Is everything a matter of perspective?
The Gifted suggests -- by way of casting mutants as the sympathetic characters -- that there may be instances in which violence is acceptable. Is this true in real life? To what lengths should people be allowed to go to defend themselves, even if they're in the wrong by law?
Does this series do well as a standalone addition to the Marvel franchise? How do crossovers help a newcomer to such a franchise garner fans? Which characters in this series would you consider to be superheroes?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.