Rating : 7.5
I finally got around to beginning this series, and was three episodes deep in my first sitting. This is a follow on to the X-Men series, although not a direct sequel of sorts, it’s set in the X-Men universe a little while after either of our timelines, and we’ve entered a world and time-frame where we have mutants being hunted down with a close to near-zero tolerance from the State, the Government or the red-necks who take anything thats different as the enemy. Though it’s in the same universe it is not on the same level as LEGION. Although this actually explores certain aspects of socio-cultural issues that are still recurring today. The xenophobia that’s still ever present in our world, even in 2017. (Side note.. Xenophobia, in case that’d a new addition to your vocabulary means a fear and distrust of anything that’s perceived to be foreign or strange.) This is quite a common theme along our Sci-Fi films as it addresses the issue of ‘Othering’ and the concept of ‘The Subaltern’ for any Literary heads out there who grasp its meaning. Basically a person or group of people given their own separate label and definition with negative connotations and receptions due to a difference between the ‘us’ and ‘them’ debate.
The cast is a nice mix of a few familiar faces and then some brand new ones that again manage to surprise you with their depth, I’ve been continually impressed with the range of emotions portrayed by young actors these days, for example… Eleven in Stranger Things, blew my damn mind. Anyway back on track from my little tangent, we’ve got our main protagonists:
The story initially follows a seemingly normal ‘Rockwellian-esque’ family: mom, dad and two kids. The father, works as a prosecutor, specifically with Mutant’s who have broken the law, low and behold, his kids end up having that lovely X gene and chaos ensues.
The most interesting character by far in my opinion in this is Lorna, or her real name, Polaris. She is dubbed the ‘magnet girl’ and is apparently a relation to Magneto. Her characters depth even in the first episode resonated a lot stronger with me than any other, this is one badass MF. Again, in a well constructed and executed series, the information about your characters is pace quite nicely, the slow reveal of histories and complications in pasts knit into the structure of the plot seamlessly, Polaris’ past is by far one of the most, if not the most intriguing. I sense an origins story on the precipice of beginnings..
She also happens to be the second female actress who’s made me question my sexuality..
The balance for issuing previous comic book stories to series instead of films lately seems to be where, at least critically, they’re doing better. One of the things i enjoyed about the direction of the series was that at times in far out frames, it actually looked like a page from a graphic novel, there are a considerable amount of scenes like this one which kind of displaced me momentarily as it could easily have been a drawn construction.
Being a marvel creation and as one of it’s executive producers is the mutant omniscient creator Stan Lee, we of course have his gratuitous cameo.
One thing i like about the series is we have a collaboration of a myriad of different personalities and mutants, different social anxieties or disorders are also explored subtly in this which is something that interested me, the previous times I’ve seen these explored in film or series it’s normally the crux of the show and wholly encompassed in the structure and content of the medium your looking at. Exploring a range of things through an unexpected source ie. Sci-Fi gives an alternate angle and a different lens through which to analyse these issues. Exploring the municipal and correction institutions or plain jail cells amongst the undesirable realities of which of governments will inevitable resort to is a little eye-opening to the reality that when any ‘act of terror’ or threat to ‘public safety’ are perceived, a human being’s rights are literally thrown out the window.
Although the series isn’t one that includes any philosophical hints or tropes, that isn’t the wheelhouse that this is portraying. This is mystery, action, some badass mutants whose powers can regularly make you whip out a two syllable “day-umm”.
So dive in, also note that this is a good series to watch the episodes in twos or threes as you immerse yourself a bit more into the atmosphere. It can also get quite compelling at times..