The X-MEN movie universe spin-off and joint venture between Marvel Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox titled THE GIFTED recently premiered. Set in a timeline where the X-Men have disappeared, THE GIFTED follows mutant siblings Lauren and Andy Strucker as they and their family flee the government and join forces with an underground group of mutants.

In the first episode of ComicsVerse’s THE GIFTED After Show, we discuss THE GIFTED’s take on the political and poignant themes the X-Men is known for. We talk about the cast and their performances and dig into the nature of the superhero genre in TV and film. THE GIFTED also features established mutants like Polaris, Blink, and Thunderbird, who contribute to the show’s greatest strengths. Join us as we reflect on THE GIFTED’s first episode, “eXposed.”

This Episode of THE GIFTED After Show Features…

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THE GIFTED After Show: Take 1 — Who’s Who?

Justin: You’re listening to ComicsVerse’s THE GIFTED After Show. I’m your host, ComicsVerse CEO, Justin Gilbert Alba, in case those of you who don’t know my middle name. I was beat up a lot for it in school, but now I’m reclaiming it. #reclaimingwordsigotbeatupfrom #thegifted

I am joined by many really amazing people. And of course, if you listened to our Polaris podcast, you will remember Barnard film theory student, Mara Danoff, who also studied under Paul Levitz at the Columbia University class, the American Graphic Novel. Hi Mara.

Mara: Hey, what’s up?

Justin: Thank you so much for being here.

And Andrew Rivera is here. Andrew is a comedian. Would you describe yourself as a comedian? I wouldn’t. That’s why I was curious.

And the host of ComicsVerse’s Intellectual Property with Andrew Rivera, which is coming up for its second season in November.

Kat Vendetti. Fellow podcaster, Marvel Comics Section Head at ComicsVerse is here. Hi, Kat.

Intellectual Property with Andrew Rivera Episode 3: Riverdale and Abortion

Kat: Hey.

Justin: And Maite Molina-Muniz, Wake Forest University student, Computer Science expert, so you can tell us about all the scientific things that go on here and let us know if they’re correct or not.

Maite: I don’t know about expert, but I can try my best.

Justin: We’re gonna say that for today.

This podcast is about THE GIFTED, which is on Fox. The first episode just happened, about 24 minutes ago. We’re all super hyped, but nobody says hyped. Just one word: hype?

(“Hype” heard in the background)

Just hype? I’m not hyped?

(“I’m mad hype”)

Mad hype? Alright. Mad is coming back. I’ve been waiting since 1995. Cool.

What Is This Podcast Even About CV?

This podcast is for FOX’s THE GIFTED and X-MEN movie and comics fans, who like to get a little deeper with their thoughts about the X-MEN universe. In case you’re wondering, no, this doesn’t make us more mature, per se. We will be talking about themes, motifs, and other trends in the storylines, how they relate to X-MEN comics and the X-MEN mythos. We’re gonna be talking about what makes us laugh, and what gives us the feels, and we’ll also be talking about the artistry behind the script, the directing, the acting, and all that kind of fun stuff.

Right out of the gate, the show comes in strong, politically. It reminded me of the first two X-MEN films. It kind of reminded me of an updated version of Magneto’s first appearance in X-MEN 1; obviously an updated version. And do you think it was by accident or on purpose, or does it even matter, that the show feels particularly poignant at the current political climate?

Kat: X-MEN is inherently political already and the mutant metaphor extends so far. I thought that THE GIFTED did that very well with utilizing that metaphor. Whether it’s kids coming out to their parents, or people being pursued by the police for just being who they are. So that being said, yeah, I thought it was incredibly poignant for this day and age, but that’s what X-MEN does best.

Maite: Yeah, I totally agree with Kat. I think that it certainly was intentional but it also aligns with various thematic elements of X-MEN throughout comic book history and even in the films. I was really happy to see that continue with THE GIFTED in its first episode.

Justin: Do you think if this was on two or three years ago that it would seem as poignant as it was? When I was watching it I was like, “wow, this isn’t particularly farfetched.”

Mara: I do think it helps that given the current political climate and when it’s choosing to come out, it certainly does read as truer than it might have a few years ago. Which is why partially, the earlier X-MEN comics, I don’t think would hit as strongly as this one property is now. Context is everything and now that we know that this is very much still prevalent within our society, or is still prevalent for who might not have been as aware of it — it just helps a lot.

Maite: I think that if THE GIFTED had come out a few years ago, it would not have the same poignancy as it does. So with that, going to our previous question, it was definitely something that was intentional, meant to drive a more specific and significant connection with the audience; something that will allow them to identify with these characters in a way. Allow them to identify their situations with the world, and what’s really happening in our reality.

Justin: Yeah, I mean, when I watched it, I was like, “this shit is all too real.” Does anyone else feel this way? It was more real to me than a lot of other things.

Mara: Definitely felt that with the scene with the two kids. Especially with the bullying, which I know we’ll touch on later. But like Jesus, like that poor guy: what did he ever do? He was like a scrawny, fourteen-year-old. I know his existence is hard by nature, but don’t make it worse.

The Level Of Acting Prowess In THE GIFTED

Justin: How strong was the acting in the series?

Andrew: I like the kids. I thought the kids were really great. I thought they had a lot of chemistry. I love everything they’re doing. The mutants, I think I need to see a little bit more of to really gauge that. Right now they’re hitting that average line. I dislike the parents across the board. The mother seems very one-dimensional in terms of her character. I mean, it doesn’t really do much for what I’m saying about the actress. She just seems like she’s rigid. The father’s face doesn’t move, which bothers me.

Justin: Yeah, we talked about this before. I disagree. I think the mother for me, it’s more of an issue of writing and directing because I’ve seen that actor in so many other roles. And the father, for me? He’s quiet and still and I’m kinda curious what it’s building up to. I haven’t seen this third act acting yet. Y’know?

Mara: Yeah I pretty much agree with Andrew on this one. The kids to me would be why I continue watching, even if they were on the road being small mutant children. I thought they were compelling enough where I’d be interested to see where they go with that and I think that Lorna Dane will do well. I’m really excited to see what this actress can do because just judging from the preview they showed at the end of the episode, I felt like she, working off the father, will be really good. And I feel like we’ll get to see more range of his acting and not just him being a worried dad.

THE GIFTED Characters Photo Gallery

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Justin: What did you think of her emotional moment when he showed her the picture?

Mara: That was really interesting. I was definitely confused. I was like, “why are you freaking out? What’s going on?” And I was curious enough to see how it goes when that, to me, was when I saw more of the comic book Lorna and wasn’t as in control of her emotions; she was being really out there. But at the same time, I do think that’s a good starting point for her character development later on in the series.

Maite: I agree, I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the kids. I’ve seen Stephen Moyer in TRUE BLOOD, so I was kinda expecting a little bit more from him, but I think that’s the character he’s playing right now, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m curious to see how Emma Dumont grows as an actress and Polaris’ character development. I wasn’t necessarily blown away, but she wasn’t given as much to do as I was expecting. Again, it’s the pilot so I guess we’ll see. With that, I also really like Jamie Chung’s performance. I’ve seen her in some other stuff, so that was really exciting.

Kat: I also love the younger mutant characters. One of my favorite things about X-MEN or any other superhero story is the younger characters just learning how to use their powers and going through that inner turmoil of learning how to use these new abilities, and I thought a lot of the younger actors did that very well. I really loved Jamie Chung in her opening appearance when she was trying to open up her portal.

I loved Percy Hynes-White in the moment where he was facing the bullies because I feel like bullies are some of the scariest antagonists in any sort of fiction. And so, their reactions of coming into that new identity and that struggle. I also really loved Lorna Dane’s performance, Emma Dumont. I don’t know if it was intentional for her characterization but I thought a lot of her choices were on point with who Lorna Dane is in the comics. It felt very true to her and the more troubled aspects of her identity.

Justin: I agree, and I think if anyone wants to know more about that, the podcast you should listen to is our last one and it was a good hour and a half on Polaris. You can read the whole transcript on comicsverse.com.

Andrew: Briefly shout-out Jamie Chung for the glow-up from THE REAL WORLD. She’s been in a whole bunch of shows and movies. So shout-out to her. Shout-out to Kat Vendetti for being an adult who’s scared of bullies. (laughs) But I think Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker who play the parents, I don’t they had much chemistry. In fact, I thought Blink and Thunderbird in their brief scene had way too much chemistry because he was like, “why didn’t you tell me anything?” Like dude, she doesn’t know you. But they were so active and focused on each other, where it feels like the parents’ characters were very distant. I mean, I don’t know if it’s the writing, if it develops after the pilot; we don’t know what’s going to happen.

Mara: And just for the more positive chemistry aspect, I know this was touched on, but to emphasize it more, Lauren Stucker and Andy Strucker? Their chemistry was on point. Especially the older sister really just taking care of the younger brother. I love it when siblings actually get along in media and aren’t fighting, you know, genuinely caring for each other. I know we brought this up before and I’ll let Andrew say the line, because it was a good line; what was it?

Andrew: He was nervous and she was like —

Mara: And she taught him how to swim, she’ll teach him how to control his powers as well and that was a very like, “uh! I love you guys” moment, “my babies are growing up!”

Andrew: But it’s very relatable too because your older siblings will teach you stuff like that. And because she’s been doing this for three years, she knows everything he’s going through, and instead of having them bicker, it made the situation at hand feel more real, that she’s putting all that teenage shit to the side and she’s being like, “look, I got you. You’re my guy now.”

Mara: She was even super hyper with him in the entire dance scene, when it took over and was like, “I can get him.” I was so happy she wasn’t ditching him for like that random guy. She was like, “no, my brother’s more important to me. I’m going to go get him.”

Andrew: And that love was not returned when he told her not to get pregnant.

THE GIFTED: Bullying Representation

Justin: So Kat brought up bullying earlier and I thought that was a big part of the show. What did you think about bullying depicted in THE GIFTED? I remember SMALLVILLE if you guys remember the first episode had a very similar scene. Sort of a similar scene, just that he got bullied. This felt a bit more real to me though; what did y’all think?

Mara: See, this is the bullying I’m more familiar with since I went to a more controlled environment school. We would do more psychologically to each other when it was done, so we didn’t drag any kids into the shower. The fact that he’s a young actor, I feel like it made it more realistic to me. If it were like SMALLVILLE for example, like a twenty-something playing a high schooler, I probably would’ve been like, “okay” —

Justin: Just because he was twenty-something.

(laughs)

Mara: Then it’s very different, but seeing a kid go through that, like that is sort of “oh my god, this poor child. Kids are the worst, how can they do this to one another” sorta thing.

Andrew: If you recall in SMALLVILLE, they tie him up to a scarecrow-thing? That’s a vast difference, but bullying now is a bigger deal, I think than it was publicly. Now it’s a huge thing, and I think what’s interesting is that in this, and it might be a Bryan Singer choice, and it may be violent because it is the X-MEN and you wanna see a little bit more of that.

I think bullying differs now because like Mara said it’s more psychological, it’s more online, and it’s not that they’re getting you at school anymore, it’s that they’re getting you at home and they’re chasing you there and can access you at any point they want. So we didn’t see that on the show and I don’t think you’ll be able to considering that they’re on the road now and they’re gonna do that.

So I thought it was a little bit 80s in the style and the type of bullying it was, and a little bit unrelatable to me. But I think I understood why they did that and why they decided to show violence against people.

…Was It Realistic?

Justin: It definitely felt real to me; I agree with everything you guys said about bullying taking on in a different dimension and in today’s world, being able to be reached at any moment. I do think it was important they included it in THE GIFTED because it’s a huge part of the X-MEN mythos, a huge part of the mutant experience in X-MEN.

I was watching a promotional video about THE GIFTED: one of the creators said the mutant underground base is a metaphor for the underground railroad in America. What did you think about that? Do you think the show was successful in creating that in the pilot? We have several seasons to see this fold out.

Andrew: Well, I think it’s as you say, I think that has yet to be determined. That’s one of those things, where it’s something they told him in a pitch, you know when they were trying to sell him the show. That happens in a lot of films and TV shows where you see actors and the kinda sound like they’re reading off a press kit, like “oh yeah, the setting on this show, the setting is like a character of its own,” it’s like one of those things like that’s a very shallow connection right now.

As time goes on, we may see that develop further, but as far as we know, the only thing that is truly connected is that it’s underground. There are these ideas of trying to get people back to them, things like that. But I personally think it’s a stretch for we’ve seen, and I hope that they do continue to go down that tunnel. That idea is fleshed out a little bit more, but I doubt it, honestly.

Justin: You don’t think that they’ll ever achieve it?

Andrew: No because I think that’s something you say to lure people in; I think it takes a lot more work to get that done right and in the first sign of that not being done well, like on shows like GOTHAM where they say “we’re not gonna do Batman” but when they see that Batman is what people want, they start deviating that way. So I think that’s a buzzword that they wanna get people with because they have so many other connections to what’s happening in the world now that they could develop.

Justin: They could; I would like for it to get to that point. If there were any superhero property I would hope to get to that point, it would be X-MEN.

Maite: I mean, it could be something they go off of in the future installments. At the same time, I can see it being a concept that they initially wanted to put in the show, but they kinda deviate and explore other aspects of the series. I don’t really see it being a primary focus, per se, at least, based on this episode, but again, we’ll see how the season progresses.

THE GIFTED: The Importance Of Family

Justin: I felt one of the strongest themes in the show was family; do you guys agree with that?

Andrew: I think part of what makes X-MEN so fun ñ and I’m not the biggest X-MEN comic fan, just the TV show and I read ULTIMATE X-MEN a lot — I think the X-MEN work best when it’s kinda like that. You see that family aspect of “we all understand each other, we’re all gonna look out for each other”. Even when Wolverine and Cyclops beef over stuff, they’re still like that at the end of the day, like “I got your back” stuff.

Maite: I was really impressed with Andy and Lauren’s exemplification of the family bond and the chemistry. I was expecting that more from the parents, especially with their reaction discovering their children are mutants. I thought we were going to get more from that revelation, and of course, they reacted in a way that they were protective or trying to assess the situation, but I was more impressed by the way the children handled that situation. But with that, I hope that the family aspect of the series doesn’t really fall into a cliche and get too cheesy.

Mara: I’d actually be okay if it goes soapy because I like my soaps, I’m there for that drama; I’ll be there man. Anyway, I think Maite definitely took the words out of my mouth in terms of the kids. I cannot wait to see their family dynamic develop between the two of them. I do want to see more of the parents, though.

If we are talking about the sheer, biological family and getting to the mutants later, I feel like the parents are there, but not present, per se. The mom grasps what the kids might be going through right now, and yes, it is important to get them to safety, but they also need to learn to control their powers, they need to know it’s okay that they have these powers, they’re not different than they were before, and just general emotional support.

Kat: I prefer the camaraderie among fellow mutants than I do with mutants and their parents who are learning that their kids are mutants. I think that the siblings played off each other really well, in sticking around for each other and trying to help each other through their powers, and I think that it was mentioned earlier that it’s a really big aspect of the X-MEN, that being a mutant is being part of a family. I can see it happening already with the cast that was introduced in this first episode, and I enjoyed it much more than I did with the kids than with their parents.

…But, No Love For THE GIFTED Parents

Andrew: I’m not tremendously looking forward to the parents, and the fact that they are splitting them up because in the preview for the rest of the season, you see the mother say goodbye to the kids, and she’s like “you guys have to go on your own” and the father is going to be in prison or whatever camp they put him in, so I think that’ll be the way they develop those characters a little bit stronger. I think that family aspect will come back when they are all back together. I think that will make that bond a lot stronger.

THE GIFTED: L-R: Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker in THE GIFTED premiering premiering Monday, Oct. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ryan Green/FOX
THE GIFTED: L-R: Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker in THE GIFTED premiering Monday, Oct. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ryan Green/FOX

And going back to the father for a little bit, I didn’t like that like where he said: “I would do anything for my family.” Your family is right in front of you. Just say: “I would do anything for you.” You know what I mean? Little stuff like that takes you out of the family aspect. That’s something you say when you’re talking about your family, not when you’re sitting in front of them. And that’s what I’m saying; it’s sort of removed and distant. I don’t anticipate much of the mother and father getting better because they don’t know each other at all — I think they just married last week, based on the chemistry.

Justin: I wonder if Amy Acker’s character, Kate, will have an arc that was supposed to be Kim Dickens’ arc in THE WALKING DEAD, where she has an evolution from a suburban house mom to this near-apocalyptic badass.

Andrew: They’re very cookie cutter in the sense where he’s like “I’m gonna protect my family” and she’s like “don’t touch my kids, don’t ask me questions, tell me what I’m going to do, what’s going on, I love everybody.” And then at the same token, I don’t like because of what you’re saying — you see that on THE WALKING DEAD, where there’s this character that seems kind of like, “I don’t really belong here, I shouldn’t survive” then by season 3… Everybody’s going to get powers at some point, I guarantee it, but by season 3, she’s going to be crushing the skull of a Sentinel robot. I would like to see what you’re talking about, maybe in a way that retains the emotionality of the character a little bit.

THE GIFTED’s Ambiguous Superpowers?

Justin: Absolutely. What did you guys think about the powers? I remember reading that Andy Strucker’s powers are supposed to be ambiguous. You’re not exactly supposed to know what they are or how they work yet. What do you guys think about that?

Because we typically know exactly what every character’s powers are. I feel like every time before, reading an X-MEN comic, even as a kid, even before you could look these things up on the internet, you knew Cyclops was the guy who shot lasers from his eyes, and this was the psychic one, and that was the teleporter.

Did you guys have any thoughts about having a character’s powers be ambiguous? And ambiguous on purpose, not like Apocalypse in X-MEN APOCALYPSE.

Mara: If it’s the best with the character that he is right now. He doesn’t know how to control his powers; all he knows is that he gets very, very angry and stuff happens. I feel that so far, that fits best with how he is, like in the development stage of how he uses his powers. If he can tap into the emotions that I feel control him a little bit better and if he can learn how to use them without getting angry, we’ll get a better definition of what type of powers he has. To throw my hat in the ring, I’m guessing it’s a type of telekinesis, but we can’t know that; he just seems like he can push things really good.

THE GIFTED: Percy Hynes White as Andy Strucker in THE GIFTED premiering Monday, Oct. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Miller Mobley/FOX
THE GIFTED: Percy Hynes White as Andy Strucker in THE GIFTED premiering Monday, Oct. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Miller Mobley/FOX

Kat: Yeah, I think it works really well for his character because he’s one of the younger ones, he’s just learning that he has this mutant ability. He seems emotionally vulnerable and sensitive and not very in control of his emotions. So I think that, with his powers being ambiguous, and as Mara said, being tied to his emotions in that type of way, it’s going to play a role in his character arc and character development and I’m really interested in seeing how powerful he’s gonna get.

Andrew: My favorite power so far is Lauren’s power, which is really interesting.

Justin: Lorna.

Andrew: Lorna, wait, no Lauren? Lauren Strucker?

Justin: Wait, just kidding, sorry.

Andrew: I like Lorna too, and I was a little confused in her freak out, if she could pull the computer out of the thing, why she couldn’t just kill everybody right then.

Justin: She could have, she said. She chose not to.

THE GIFTED: Magneto & X-Men

Andrew: She chose not to? Okay. I mean, I think if you’re gonna lose your shit, then it’s gotta be all the way. I did appreciate that Bryan Singer directed this episode, and I think he directed the next episode. I love the homage to Magneto when all the cars are facing and she pushes them or she blows all the lights out. That’s like when they’re at Bobby’s house in X-2 or X-1?

And then there was another Magneto mention — that whole prison thing, it’s all Magneto’s stuff. And my favorite power is Lauren Strucker’s powers, and that’s interesting to me because I really didn’t appreciate Sue Storm that much, and you were saying that it’s way more like Sue Storm with the force fields. And I understand that she can bend stuff in different ways and do it with water and all that. But just the way they’re using it now, and as it stands, I think the effects in this show are better effects than in many of the films, with the exception of Nightcrawler, which is amazing.

THE GIFTED: L-R: Stephen Moyer and Emma Dumont in THE GIFTED premiering Monday, Oct. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Eliza MorseFOX
THE GIFTED: L-R: Stephen Moyer and Emma Dumont in THE GIFTED premiering Monday, Oct. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Eliza MorseFOX

And the last thing I would say, regarding all the powers on this show; I’m really interested to see two things: if they can keep up the budget, keep things looking as good as they are. The practical effects are nice, but it might be just pushing stuff, like in AGENTS OF SHIELD where it’s like, “oh that’s gonna go to the left, that’s gonna go to the right, somebody’s gonna fly.” It could only go so far ëtil everything looks like CHARMED.

The second thing is: who takes the role of the Professor X character, as the X-Men are gone? Who teaches these people how to use their powers, how to really level up?

Justin: Isn’t that the story? That there is no Professor X, there is no X-Men, how do they survive in a world where no one will come and try to help them?

Andrew: Yeah, but Blink is only going to be allowed to struggle opening that force field for so long. Eventually, and they talked about it, they’re like “now it’s going to be like this thing.” The preview, Thunderbird, is like “you know, this is different now, it’s not just about one thing, it’s something else entirely.” There are robots that are going to rip them apart like The Terminator, y’know? So the stakes are gonna get higher; they’re going to have to be better. So somebody’s going to have to do that training; that’s what I’m thinking at least.

Maite: I was going to throw an up-vote for Blink’s teleportation abilities because I think that would be really, really cool.

Mara: Can I just second that up-vote for Blink’s teleportation abilities? Only because like, just pure visuals. They looked so friggin’ awesome: that cool purple energy, and a huge big ol’ hole in the universe. Like, I’m here for that, that’s so cool. And that way, you’re never late to class, ever.

The Topic Of Superheroes

Justin: I just love that there’s this character in the comics that was killed off and became a cult classic in AGE OF APOCALYPSE and is getting her due on screen, ‘cuz I felt like DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, she didn’t really have as big a role as she could have, so it was great to see her. Hopefully, she’ll get her due in the series.

Andrew: I’m wondering if they will kill her off eventually. That shit is not cheap, to do that on TV. So if they kill her off, or write something where she loses her powers. If this show does not do as well as they want it to, that could be something they do. It would be a nightmare.

I have her pegged as just a stand-out on the series, which again, shout out to Jamie Chung because that would be dope for her, but I’m very interested to see how they keep doing that. How much screen time is she going to get, because again, these powers aren’t cheap to produce. There’s a reason why Netflix has the heroes they have because someone once said you can make those shows with a bus fare.

You know, Jessica Jones is just kicking a desk, Luke Cage just picks it up, but these are real powers that look really, really good. And I’m wondering if it’s because Bryan Singer is directing the first two episodes, and that’s why it looks really good. That being said, these powers look way better than ABC’s THE INHUMANS, so I’m excited to see how they keep going with it.

INHUMANS Isn’t That Bad, Guys…

Justin: Shall I dare ask us to compare and contrast this to ABC’s THE INHUMANS?

Andrew: I haven’t seen it and I wouldn’t watch it if you paid me.

Justin: Yeah, I think that’s enough said.

Andrew: Just off the commercial.

Mara: This is better.

Andrew: And their dog doesn’t teleport on THE GIFTED, but they have a dog, so shout-out to dogs. Can we get some love for the dog? Jamie Chung cut its toy in half.

Mara: But she fixed it.

Andrew: Best moment of this episode.

Justin: The point is that she fixed it. You make a mistake and you cut off your friend’s dog’s toy in half, teleporting them into a different dimension, put it back together.

Andrew: Well, that’s the old saying too: never cut your squeaky toy despite your face.

Justin: I’ve never heard that, but now I’ll internalize that and make it part of my life forever.

So speaking about beautiful special effects, let’s talk about Thunderbird and let’s talk about his powers. Get it?

Andrew: Yeah.

Justin: Okay, that really wasn’t funny.

(laughs)

Anyway, I have mixed thoughts on his powers. They did seem cool.

(doorbell rings)

Oh my God, we have a special guest. Shout out to Nolan. Nolan — you’re here. This is like Bill Maher, and you’re like the third guest coming in at the end. So we’re talking about Thunderbird, his physical beauty as well as the way his powers work.

Nolan: He looks a lot like the character in the comics.

Justin: He does.

Nolan: Facial features.

Justin: And you know what’s interesting, is that both Blink and Thunderbird die right after they’re created. So I don’t know if you guys know, but Thunderbird is the first X-Man to die in X-Men #95, the OG issue.

Uncanny X-Men #95: Thunderbird Dies. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.
Uncanny X-Men #95: Thunderbird Dies. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Thunderbird Is… Beautiful?

Mara: Yeah, so, just on the topic of Thunderbird’s powers, I don’t know much about Thunderbird besides the fact that he was the first X-Man to die. That I knew for some reason. I was really confused; was it coming out of his tattoo? We talked about this a little bit before we came on here. For some reason, there’s a shot that implies that he’s able to see all of these things because of his tattoo and I, as an ignorant viewer, was very confused by that.

Andrew: It was a bad transition that was trying to avoid focusing on the character’s face and watching their eyeballs roll under their eyelids. They were trying to do something different. But to focus on the tattoo? Again, it felt like, “oh, he has this tattoo, that gives him these powers almost.” He also has a Semper Fi tattoo on the other one. And I don’t know if that makes him super military or something, that might play into his combat or things that he does, but that was very weird, and he didn’t get a bunch of screen time anyway.

THE GIFTED: Blair Redford as Thunderbird/John Proudstar in THE GIFTED premiering premiering Monday, Oct. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ryan Green/FOX
THE GIFTED: Blair Redford as Thunderbird/John Proudstar in THE GIFTED premiering Monday, Oct. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ryan Green/FOX

I think what you’re saying about him looking gorgeous is on point. Probably because, with the exception of the children, I’d like to sleep with everybody on that show. They’re all very good looking.

So you know, let’s keep the X-Men beautiful I guess and Thunderbird looks like he’s going to take on the role of the leader in the absence of Eclipse. Even in that, I don’t know if they have a leader. I think him giving that speech of “we have to get more organized and more serious because I’ve seen what they’ve got against us”; I think now we’re going to get more of that X-Men, that team, that group as things proceed and I think Thunderbird will be the leader of that, which could still put him up as a nomination to die at some point.

Justin: I wouldn’t be surprised if the mother became the leader at some point.

Andrew: Ooooooh. I didn’t even think about that.

Justin: Nolan, let me give you your quick introduction, which is “Nolan, Ph.D. student at Columbia University studying the first half of the early modern Ming dynasty.”

Justin: So, right out of the gate, the show comes in, it’s really political. Kinda reminds me of the first two X-MEN films. Bryan Singer directed it. I totally forgot that until just now. So do you think, either by accident or on purpose, the show is particularly poignant given the current political climate in the United States?

Nolan: On purpose. They mention the Patriot Act by name. It’s reminiscent of the deportations that are happening right now, with ICE being much more empowered than it has been in recent years. I think it’s on purpose. Cause everybody, every screenwriter, and musician who’s not alt-right all… I’m thinking about Trump. Right. So they kinda can’t not. They would be embarrassed if they weren’t trying to do at least a little something about Trump.

Justin: What did you think about the acting? Good or bad?

Nolan: Good. Better than I expected, to be honest. I liked James a lot… or John? Or James? Which one is it?

Justin: Oh, John. James is in the movie. Yes.

Nolan: Yeah, yeah. James’ rebellious brother, right.

Justin: Cool. So they’re trying to say that the underground mutant stuff is a metaphor for the Underground Railroad. What do you think about that?

Nolan: It makes sense. I mean, it’s not the Underground Railroad only. There have been a million organizations in modern world history that have been smuggling people across borders. I frankly did not expect the dad to immediately drop all his professional responsibilities and what he sees as his civil responsibilities in favor of his children.

It does try to portray him as a nicer guy in the scene in which he interrogates Lorna. So you can imagine that his job of policing this minority is not just not a matter of tribalism. It’s not just about in-group loyalty to non-mutants. But, then again, it’s also very tribal how he is like so… you know? It’s also much more different from HEROES than I expected. How he’s just like “oh, well, our life is over now. Let’s go to Mexico.” Quite a bit different.

Let’s Talk About Minority Representation

Justin: I don’t know, not Canada, like in LOGAN? I was ready to go to Mexico. I would rather go to Mexico. It’s warmer, you can get a tan. And I think that’s really important. Alright, did we talk about minority representation in THE GIFTED? Let’s talk about it.

Andrew: Yeah, it was dope. They said his name was Marcos right at the open, and I really appreciated that. I’m glad it’s not like, “Glen” or something that’s not slightly ethnic. It’s Marcos Diaz. I appreciated that off jump, cause you never see Latino people too much on-screen. Unless they’re Sofia Vergara being a straight up clown.

Justin: I don’t know if he’s Latino. I think he’s British and part Indian, or something.

Andrew: Well, then he’s pulling it off. I can tell you that.

Justin: He’s pulling it off. Yeah.

Andrew: Let’s see, what’s his name?

Justin: It’s Sean Teale.

Andrew: Well, that’s disappointing.

Justin: Yeah, I haven’t come across that surname in Puerto Rico much.

Sean Teale as Marcos aka Eclipse on THE GIFTED.
Sean Teale as Marcos aka Eclipse on THE GIFTED. Image courtesy of Fox.

…Jamie Chung, Though!

Andrew: He’s a brown guy. We’ve been interplaying all those roles against each other, all the time. So, you know what, we’re gonna let him slide. Damn, that’s just disappointing. Shoutout to Jamie Chung, again, is what I’ll say on that. Jamie Chung, you know, just minorities on-screen, there were like three at the same time.

Polaris was the minority, quote/unquote, in that scene. So that’s dope. The family is “all lives matter” looking, and all white, but what are you gonna do? You gotta have a nice, wholesome looking family. And yeah, the dad’s partner is black. So that’s nice. So it’s kinda looking real.

Kat: My first impression of THE GIFTED, when I saw the trailers, was just of the siblings and their parents. I just saw the family, I didn’t really see the other members of the cast who were gonna be a part of the show. So it didn’t really strike a chord with me. The fact that they included a more diverse cast of mutant characters was amazing, because number one: you don’t see that often in media already, and number two: for any property to do that, if they were to go with a primarily white cast for X-MEN, it just wouldn’t have been authentic in any sense of any part of life.

Mara: Jamie Chung really, honestly, same here seriously. What a strong performance. Honestly, I’m about ready to start a fan club for just her and this character. That was really good stuff. I know what we touched upon this, but I feel like it’s important to stress that the advertising for this is a bit misleading and you still see mostly the white family. I know it is a play on the whole “perfect two-and-a-half kids, golden retriever, white picket fence” type deal. Like the people who you wouldn’t expect.

But at the same time, since it is the mutants and it is the X-MEN in particular, I feel like in a way you should emphasize the diversity more. If you know the X-MEN property, you know that’s what the metaphor is implying and you know that’s what you should come to expect. And I feel that’s what fans would want.

Jamie Chung as Blink on THE GIFTED.
Jamie Chung as Blink on THE GIFTED. Image courtesy of Fox.

THE GIFTED: Phillip K. Dick & Native American Representation

Justin: I love that there is a Native American actor playing a Native American role. I very, very rarely see that. So, Nolan, actually I’m so glad you spoke because I was gonna talk about Philip K. Dick and I know you’re a big fan of his writing. In case you guys don’t know who Philip K. Dick is; he’s a writer of some great science fiction novels. He also wrote MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, which is now an Amazon show. Season 3 is supposed to be coming on around December. It is a really, really good show so I highly recommend it.

But Philip K. Dick is super famous for doing a lot of things, and one of the things he does that he’s really famous for is he focuses on what it’s like for the average person while all these large political things are going on. So, in this world of mutants, they really focus on this family. They’re not focusing on the X-Men, they’re not focusing on the Brotherhood, they’re not focusing on the President, they’re not focusing on the one percent. They’re focusing on this family, how they’re dealing with the mutant underground whatever. Do you think that that, first of all, fits into the whole kinda Philip K. Dick paradigm and do you think that this furthers the X-MEN universe created by Fox?

Nolan: Well, to use a comic book term, I think Philip K. Dick’s best fiction is all at the street level, you know? And so is this show, clearly. It’s a good budget decision, and it’s probably part of the reason it’s a TV show and not a movie. But Philip K. Dick had some space stuff that I… as his street-level fiction, like MAN IN HIGH CASTLE is written that way and A SCANNER DARKLY, if anyone’s ever seen the movie it’s one of my favorite works by him. And that, of course, lends itself to mutant stuff. He was literally paranoid. He used that to portray evil organizations quite well, and what it’s like to be oppressed or on the run.

Mara: Just from a sheer universe standpoint of where would this be taking place within relationship to how we understand alternate universes in the comics and how we understand the Marvel universe as a whole, I was kind of seeing it, and I don’t have any evidence for this but, just upon thinking of this question, it’s almost like that alternate dark timeline that we see in DAYS OF FUTURE PAST and all that sort of stuff. Not necessarily at the point of when DAYS OF FUTURE PAST takes place, but right before it gets really bad. Because of the fact that there’s no Professor Xavier, the fact that they are attempting to set up a mutant underground railroad implies to me that the Sentinels are going to be a huge, huge threat. And that they really need to be watching their backs for that.

Andrew: As far as what Fox does, in terms of continuity in the films and things like that, I don’t think they give a shit honestly. It’s so scrambled that you have different actors playing the same characters. Characters come back or something like that. The timelines don’t really match up that well. There will be somebody that dies that comes back in a later movie without any sort of explanation. I think that it’s kind of vague in that aspect, where it seems like it’s before DAYS OF FUTURE PAST stuff and all that.

But again, it’s strange because I don’t think they’ll have the budget to go full Sentinel, so I think you’re going to see a lot of those things, like those rolling spider things or the fact that the Sentinels are represented by kind of authoritative figures like cops and things like that. So I think it’ll be like Nolan was talking about, that street-level stuff and that’ll be how the Sentinels are represented until a season finale or something, and they’ll do like a long shot of like, that’s where you put the money in. Just in terms of television and stuff like that.

And as far as Philip K. Dick, I know nothing about it but I just realized that he’s who Luke on GILMORE GIRLS is talking about when he lies to his girlfriend’s dad, saying that he reads and he’s like “Dick the sci-fi guy!” And the father says “I’ll pull up Dick on the internet and see what comes up.”

THE GIFTED: What It Does Right…

Kat: Two things that X-MEN tends to do that are some of my favorite aspects of X-MEN is, and I talked about this a little bit earlier is one, the mutant metaphor, which extends so far, and two, younger mutants just discovering that they’re mutants and learning how to use their powers, learning that this is the sphere in the world that they’re going to be entering now and what do they do with that. I think the show utilized both of those together extremely well.

Andrew: I think, at the same time, because it’s the pilot, you get a little bit more of that. I’ll be interested to see if that can sustain itself, because the whole Thunderbird thing, things like that… let’s remember this is still Fox, you know?

Justin: You guys are saying that like it’s a bad thing!

Andrew: No, but they’re scared —

Justin: Who cares? They’re a network television show, they’re controlled by the FCC…

Andrew: But beyond that, they’re scared to pull the trigger on being too comic book-y. There’s no reason why the X-Men from the first movie should not have had the yellow spandex like they did in FIRST CLASS.

Justin: I totally disagree, there were no superhero movies before that —

Andrew: No superhero movies before that? SUPERMAN? BATMAN?

Justin: For over a decade.

…And Wrong

Andrew: But still, I mean, that’s when you do it, right? You set a precedent, you have to be bold enough to do like… this is what we talk about when you’re scared about getting the IP and having someone rip the soul out from it. You don’t need the costumes to make it that way, but I think, as we go on, this season will be more X-MEN/Fox center-y universe than it is the comic books.

And I think that you get that from the Stan Lee cameo, I think that you get that from the wolverine that’s behind the father and Eclipse, the picture of the Wolverine at the restaurant that they meet at. And just the little things they’re doing in terms of that bar being an “X” bar. I’d really like it if at some point they find old costumes from the X-Men, just do stuff like that that kinda gives you a little more shoutouts and stuff.

But I think my prediction is that it will be more X-MEN movie universe, which, while based on the X-MEN comics, is a little more diluted. But then again, I could be wrong, because LOGAN felt very much more of a comic book than what they were giving us before.

Justin: I very much disagree with I think every word that came out of your mouth. I don’t think it was not brave for them not to put them in costumes in 2000, I think it was brave for them to make them more human because that’s what I wanted from them. And for me, as someone who’s been a reader for his whole life, my favorite moments in X-MEN are the times when they’re not in costume when they’re caught off-guard having these great moments with their powers.

To me, putting them in costume gets more people in the comics to like them and to me, I thought it was a more daring role. Who knows right? Neither of us were there. But that being said, I did read that there will never be costumes in this series, but I like that.

Mara: Just speaking from how it’s framed, and from my limited knowledge of filmmaking from being forced to take those types of classes for my major, the way that they chose to use color schemes I felt was very reminiscent of comic books in and of themselves. I noticed that they were using a lot of very dramatic colors when they were outside, or they’ll bathe a character’s face in a yellow light or something, and just get very into how various shots would be framed and how they would be situated all around one another.

That’s just screaming “this is how a comic book would look on TV, this is how it’s supposed to be.” The dramatic lighting from the cop cars coming in when they’re in that garage, that’s what a comic book looks like on panel and that’s what it would look like on screen.

Justin: I don’t know, I hope that the show kind of bridges that gap, cause it really is a matter of taste, right? How do you like your superheroes? Lighter and in costumes or darker and crying all the time? I’m a miserable motherfucker so for me, sad and crying all the time.

Kat: I agree with Andrew, I really love the costumes and I feel like the criticism I hear with various superhero movies is that sometimes it seems like they’re ashamed of being superhero movies. So they kind of hide that fact, and I loved the moment in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE when they all showed up in costume at the end. I love feeling like I’m watching a superhero movie and I love knowing that superheroes can be in movies and people know that this stemmed from these goofy little picture books that have been around for so many decades, and they still have such a powerful impact on people. And they can still tell these stories about family and about acceptance.

Cover of Joss Whedon's ASTONISHING X-MEN #7. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.
Cover of Joss Whedon’s ASTONISHING X-MEN #7. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

THE GIFTED’s Costumes: Good Or Bad?

Justin: But wait, are you and Andrew talking about the same thing? Because you’re specifically talking about the bright colored costumes, you did not like the black costumes?

Andrew: I don’t like the black colored costumes because it was such an obvious departure. So much so that they mention it where he’s like “black leather?” “What, would rather yellow spandex?” I’m like “yes motherfucker I would like yellow spandex.” That’s what I want! I want that.

Justin: And I do think they were trying to ride off of THE MATRIX back then because that had just come out, that was the action movie that preceded it that did so well.

Maite: Yeah I totally agree with Kat. In that regard, I can totally get behind the cheesiness if they incorporate some of those awesome callbacks. Even though I didn’t really like APOCALYPSE as a whole, I loved the ending where they’re all in costume in the Danger Room, I totally fangirled over that. So I could totally get behind that.

Justin: Sadly we’re not gonna see it though, only because I know they said they won’t. I don’t want you guys to get sad. But to me, it kinda fits in, because this to me, if this was a comic it wouldn’t be UNCANNY X-MEN, it would be a six-issue limited series of “Mutant Town” or something.

…But, Do We Need The Cheese?

Andrew: What we’re talking about again is the pilot, right? And it’s like I was saying about GOTHAM, for a while they were like: “It’s gonna be Jim Gordon. You’re not gonna see Batman. Batman’s gonna be like the last episode when he puts on the cowl.” And now the kid’s already dressed up as Batman. And he’s sixteen. He don’t know shit.

He don’t know shit about the League of Shadows, he don’t know shit about pain and suffering, not really. He doesn’t know how that’s really gonna damage him down the road. He hasn’t gone through it. He’s already practically got a girlfriend in Selina Kyle, you know what I mean? So, I think it’ll depend on how the series is received. I think it’ll depend on the storyline. I think it’ll depend on a lot of things.

Again, I don’t need to see a costume on somebody, but I’d like to see a costume as like, they find one in a box, you know? Like, as they’re searching for what happened to the X-Men and things like that. Cause that obviously would help them in their own journey, and I think one of biggest things we can try to avoid in any comic book property on television or film is trying to be THE DARK KNIGHT. That works because those characters were the essence of those characters, and on some level, they looked like those characters, you know? And Batman is generally dark anyway.

I agree with Maite and Kat. I want the cheese. I think you do a disservice to fans, even though they’re a smaller group of people you’re trying to reach as opposed to a bigger group, which is the masses that don’t really give a shit about any of that stuff. But just give me a little cheese.

Justin: I was with you on everything until the last sentence. Because, not —

Andrew: Alright, well, fuck the cheese!

Justin: Well no because, I’ve been a comic fan my whole life, and the cheese isn’t necessarily what I like about my comics.

Andrew: No, but it is something that —

Justin: Cause I respect that a lot of people do love that and there are aspects about that, but I was with you on everything else.

Andrew: But if we’re talking about family, I’m not gonna diss my brother because I don’t like these certain parts of him, you know what I mean? That is part of a comic book. Whether or not you think it makes a comic book, that is part of a comic book and that may not be that to you, but a big part of that is to me. You know, if we did SPIDER-MAN and it was just him in a black outfit the whole time we’d be like “man fuck this shit, that’s not Spider-Man.”

Maite: I mean, besides the cheese factor, I think the costumes also signify the character’s growth and to accepting themselves as heroes, and maybe perceiving themselves as heroes. So I think that’ll be a really cool growth to see, from the pilot into the series. And going off what we said about GOTHAM and even DAREDEVIL, it’s funny because I’m pretty sure the IRON FIST showrunners said they were never gonna include a costume in this series, and then suddenly they had all this backlash like “wait no, where’s the costume?” And now they’re like “oh yeah no, we’re gonna introduce it at some point.”

Nolan: Some of my favorite parts in the comics, just like you said Justin, are when they don’t wear costumes either because it has the same feel as this, where they’re on the run so of course, they need to look like anybody else. So that adds a lot of good suspense to it and is very street level.

…Let’s Bring Back The 90s

Justin: I think it adds some humanity to see them as three-dimensional persons.

Nolan: Also the moments when they just try to live, have a regular afternoon in Westchester, you know? There’s a great moment in GEN X like that, there’s a great moment in NEW MUTANTS when they’re at the police station in Westchester interacting with people that don’t know they’re mutants. Those are some really great moments, I think.

I particularly liked the late 90s arc with all the plainclothes Sentinels, the Sentinels that are people being led by Bastion until suddenly their eyes glow and you realize they’re Sentinels. And that’s all them on the run in regular clothes, trying not to be recognized as mutants. I kind of agree with what Neil Gaiman said when he was writing SANDMAN. He wanted to create a character, even though they’re a god of gods, a character who he could see himself looking like this.

Justin: I absolutely thought of that exact SANDMAN Neil Gaiman thing too.

Can ‘Humanity’ Be Seen Inside Or Outside The Costume… Or Both?

Andrew: Going back to what you were talking about with seeing a character and seeing the humanity of them outside the costume, I think you can always get humanity through the costume anyway. I think it helps relate to a character when he doesn’t have his costume on, or she doesn’t have her costume on, and they do something that’s like “oh, me too!”

But, I think that one of the reasons, again going back to MAN OF STEEL and BATMAN V SUPERMAN, one of the reasons why people didn’t like that version of Superman is because Superman’s humanity is best shown when he has that costume on. Sometimes these heroes make these decisions when they have these costumes on that really show their humanity, and all the stuff you’re talking about outside of the costume, that’s amplified by what they do when they’re really doing their thing, you know?

Spider-Man is still Peter Parker in that suit, but his personality is far more amplified when he’s in that suit. Superman is Clark Kent but he’s really himself, that humanity that he grew up with is really him, when he’s on the field doing those things. Batman, how badass is it when Batman doesn’t kill you when Batman decides that justice has to be the right way in defiance of what everybody else is telling him to do. There’s an animated film called JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM where he’s like “I did this all to you, I had contingency plans, and if you can’t accept that we need those I don’t want to be a part of this.” And they’re like “well what’s your contingency plan?” And he’s like “you.”

The moments outside of the costume, I think, are only so special because we know who they are in the costume; and you don’t need costumes to show who these characters are, of course not, but again it’s just getting rid of the whole pie. It’s crust, it’s filling, there’s no sugar. There’s gotta be a little bit of that because otherwise, I can just make a different show. I can make PUSH or something. You don’t have to put the X over the I in THE GIFTED, then let’s not do that. Let’s give us the cheese, let’s give us a little of what we want, let’s give us a little bit of what we know.

Predictions: The Future Of THE GIFTED

Justin: Do you guys have any predictions for the future of the series?

Andrew: Everybody gets powers. Everybody’s getting powers. At some point, everybody’s getting powers. It’s just what they do on these shows. Everybody gets special. And if it’s not powers, someone like the mother will learn kung-fu. She’s gonna learn self-defense. Every single one of these shows, Claire Temple in THE DEFENDERS, she was on each every show and now she goes to kung-fu.

You’re gonna have to put these characters in situations where you want to see them do a little something extra, and the actors are always like “yeah I really wanna see my character maybe get a power or something” and the writers get to know them and they’re like “oh okay we’re gonna do that.” Just look at THE FLASH or ARROW, everybody got a motherfucking power and I wouldn’t be surprised if this season on RIVERDALE Archie turns into Super-Fuckboy with the ability to fuck everybody. That’s what he was last season anyway, but just everybody’s gonna get powers, is what I think.

Justin: Whatever that power is, I was born with the exact opposite.

Kat: It’s not so much a prediction as a hope, but I do hope that they do delve into more of Lorna’s backstory, given that she is one of the earliest X-Men to have appeared in the comics and I think it has been confirmed that Magneto — I don’t know, have they said before that Magneto’s not going to really be a part of it?

Episode 96: Investigating X-Men’s Polaris in Comics and Fox’s THE GIFTED

Justin: They have said that he is definitely her father.

Kat: Oh excellent, so I really am looking forward to them alluding to that.

Justin & Maite’s Short Inhuman Chat

Maite: Yeah I totally agree. I hope to see more of Lorna, I hope that she’s not just some side character that they don’t really know how to incorporate into the rest of the series. Just cause I thought in the pilot that, like I said, I was expecting more of her. I hope they give justice to all these awesome characters, especially when on the other network INHUMANS kinda faltered in that, even though the Inhumans are, in my opinion, a really, really cool team. They have a great story, so I hope that —

Justin: Wait, did you just say the Inhumans are a really great team with a really great story?

Maite: I like the Inhumans!

Justin: Maite, no one in the history of my life has ever just gone from 100 to zero. No, I’m just kidding I still love you. But I can’t believe you just said — I’m not gonna lie, we’re gonna have a whole other podcast on you just saying that, and the trauma I’ve just experienced. I’m teasing.

Maite: Deepest apologies. I take it back. I was kidding.

Justin: You’re allowed — you’re so awesome that you’re allowed to love the Inhumans. Even in comic book form.

Maite: Aw, thank you. Thank you.

…Back To Predictions For THE GIFTED

Mara: Predictions for this show anyway, this is gonna take a really dark turn outta left field, but I think one of the kids… my prediction right now is probably the boy will end up killing someone and then they’ll have to deal with the ramifications of what that would be like. It’s gonna happen. I know the older sister thinks she has control of her powers, but something bad will happen and she’ll use it in a way — or he’ll not be able to control his anger and force push people into oblivion or something. And they’ll just be like “wow what are we? Are we even still people?” It’ll be a whole thing and I really am looking forward to that.

Nolan: The villain with those powers, those would be good villain powers. And even if none of them turn evil, we need a mutant villain, right? Who’s it gonna be? It can’t just be the faceless government agency, we need Mr. Sinister or maybe a smaller time villain, I wonder.

Justin: Well I’m just thinking of Lorna’s villain, Zaladane, which I hope they don’t use because she’s from the Savage Land and worships Garokk the Sun God.

Andrew: They’re gonna get to Mexico, and the villain will be the ICE agents that prevent them from coming back to the states. That’ll be what happens and they’ll say “we should’ve gone to Canada, where people look like us.” Where does this white family get off going to Mexico, come on man, they say “we’re going to Mexico.” For what? You don’t want to go to Mexico. Come on, I know who that guy voted for, alright? I know who the father voted for, and he doesn’t want to go to Mexico.

X-MEN: THE ANIMATED SERIES

Justin: I just wanna give a shoutout to that ringtone that we heard from the X-MEN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Does anyone wanna expand on this amazing thing that happened in my life?

Andrew: I would say that a lot of people know X-Men through that animated series. Again, I’m not the biggest comic fan but I watched that series. Even as an adult I went back and watched it. It’s so prevalent that Wolverine staring at the picture of one of the X-Men that dies in the first episode is a meme, so that’s like a huge thing and that sample is actually used in a lot of rap songs and stuff like that.

So that series is so strong and, again, you talk about getting a little bit of that cheese but they did that in LOGAN when you see the old X-MEN comic books. That was a nice way to embrace the past, and again that’s why even if there’s no costumes, this is a superhero show, no doubt about it. Because they are embracing the X-Men full force.

…And Some Fuck, Chuck, & Marry

Justin: Okay, so let’s do fuck, chuck, marry. Which is the nicer way to do fuck, marry, kill. You guys can do anyone who’s over eighteen in the show. Or over seventeen because this is New York, just kidding. Not kidding, but under thirty I’m not even into anyway. Who wants to go first? Mara, you. Cause you’d be the most uncomfortable.

Mara: I am the most uncomfortable, and I was hoping you could skip me!

Justin: No cause this is live now! Let’s just start with the marry ones.

Mara: Can I just be their friend? Like, can’t we all just be friends?

Justin: I mean you can, but one of those friends you have to marry and the other one… you know.

Mara: Well, okay, chuck will be the easiest because I don’t like the parents the best. So I’d be the most okay with them disappearing. Going on a long car trip that they don’t return from. I genuinely don’t know about the other two though. I was watching this and I was like “y’all are cool but I don’t know you that well.” So…

Justin: We’ll come back to you. I feel like if you think about it, it’ll make sense. I’ve already picked mine out for you. Let’s go Maite you seem also uncomfortable with this.

Maite: I guess I won’t be sharing this one with my mom. But I guess I would kill the dad —

Justin: Wow, you guys are so mean you guys starting with kill. Alright, kill the dad, okay.

Maite: Oh that was chuck right? That was supposed to be chuck. That was aggressive, aw man. Chuck the dad. Marry Blink. And, I guess, I’d fuck Marcus. Why not?

Justin: Why not, right? Okay, Nolan how about you?

Nolan: Well that head ICE agent seems so strong, so he could really take care of you. The bald guy. So maybe, I don’t know, maybe if he’s a good enough dom, I could fuck him or maybe marry him.

Justin: Alright, we’re learning a lot about you today.

Nolan: Okay, just women. Okay.

Justin: No, no I was more referring to the dom thing.

Nolan: I mean I guess I would marry the mom. She seems like a good mom.

Justin: Cause I could actually see that guy domming you. Okay, go. You’d marry the mom.

Nolan: You all don’t seem to like her. She seems like a good mom to me.

Justin: I like her, she’s just cheesily written.

Nolan: Yeah. I guess I’ll go more controversial and say kill the boy, the son, before he kills someone else.

Justin: No one under seventeen, Nolan! We can’t — we’re not — what is this BREAKING BAD? Are you Walter White? We’re not killing children.

Nolan: Alright alright.

Justin: You have to kill an adult.

Nolan: Kill the ICE agent instead of fucking him. Cause fuck the man, so kill him. And then… Lorna. Lorna’s hot. For sure. Fierce, you know?

Justin: So you’re gonna marry her or engage her in —

Nolan: Fuck her.

Justin: Oh woah, okay, enjoy. Just make sure it’s consensual. Alright Kat, how about you?

…Let’s All Fuck Thunderbird?

Kat: Alright, alright, I thought about this long and hard. Fuck Thunderbird, chuck papa Strucker, marry Thunderbird again.

Justin: Oh fuck, now if you wanna fuck Thunderbird now I definitely don’t have a chance with him. Oh man, all three of mine were Thunderbird.

Kat: You would chuck him too?

Justin: Oh I would kill him after because then I would be done with him. Okay, Andrew, you’re more than —

Andrew: Okay, I would marry Blink, cause I often need to get out of situations —

Justin: Wait so I would kill her because Thunderbird looks like he has chemistry with her, I’m sorry.

Andrew: No, so I would marry Blink, because she seems like she could help me get out of hairy situations that I often find myself in. And vacations are nice, that’s cheap if she knows how to do all that shit. I would kill the bald ICE agent’s partner, cause I didn’t like his attitude when he was at the door. He was like “it means we’re gonna come in and do whatever the fuck we want.” I was like motherfucker that’s very aggressive. It’s too early for the good cop, bad cop. You know what I mean? Know your role. Stay silent. Yeah, I’m very glad that actor got a SAG card for that role, but that shit was weak.

And I think you’re all tripping man. I really think that, since they have no chemistry on screen, that those parents, all they do is fuck. So I’m gonna fuck both of them at the same damn time. Because I think that’s the only thing they have in common besides their children. They clearly don’t know each other, and they’re both in great shape and not bad looking people, so I’mma go three-way on the fucking. I’ll marry Blink. And, to recap, ICE agent, or not ICE agent but he might as well be, the Sentinel agent number two with the bad haircut and poor shape-up hairline.

THE GIFTED After Show Podcast: Last Thoughts

Justin: With all due respect to everyone here, that’s the most astute observation I’ve heard about this show yet, is that the parents don’t know each other. Something about that I emotionally respond to, because it was so true. So final thoughts on the series? Did you like it, yes or no? Do you want to see more, are you gonna watch it?

Mara: I did like it, and if I have time I will definitely be watching more of this series.

Andrew: Yeah, I liked it. I’d give it a solid 75 right now, 7.5 out of 10. And I’d be open to watching some more of it, absolutely. Which is more than I thought I would.

Kat: I’m gonna keep watching. It definitely had more than I was expecting it was going to have. So I’m really looking forward to seeing where else it’s going to go.

Maite: I enjoyed it. I’m a little bit concerned it will lose steam eventually, but I really hope it doesn’t because I really enjoyed the pilot. So I guess we’ll see what happens.

Nolan: I also had low expectations that were vastly surpassed. I don’t know why we all seemed to have such low expectations.

Justin: Please join us next week for what could or could not be, but probably will be depending on the traffic for this episode, THE GIFTED Aftershow Episode 2 from ComicsVerse. Remember, you can find more podcasts like this, videos, interviews, articles over at ComicsVerse.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to us over at iTunes. Yeah, and hope you have a great night everyone and definitely watch more THE GIFTED.

THE GIFTED Episode 2 Photo Gallery

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