If you didn’t check out Legion, please go back and do so. This show was one of the rare feats of television that begs to be watched on the HD big screen. It was visually stunning and challenged you to think with every episode. It is a Marvel show tied to the X-Men universe, but in the most slight way. They really don’t ever make any overt connections to that universe. You could probably just enjoy the show without prior knowledge of X-men. If you typically shy away from superhero stuff, this may be the show for you.
The show begins as we get to know David Haller (played by Dan Stevens from Beauty and the Beast) as he is in a mental hospital for schizophrenia that he has been dealing with since he’s been young. We progress from there as more supporting characters are introduced and we learn he is really a mutant with strong powers that has been under control of another parasitic, strong mutant since a young age that caused the diagnosis. Different entities are trying to figure out David’s powers and may have different reasons for their involvement with him. It’s hard to get more in depth on this show, as you don’t always know what’s going on fully and I would feel bad ruining some of the elements of the show by giving away too much.
Aubrey Plaza is the standout supporting role as Lenny. She really had some standout moments in a few episodes, especially since she is mostly known for comedy (Parks &Rec). Jermaine Clement is also very memorable in what amounts to a guest role as Oliver. Rachel Keller was also solid as Syd, David’s love interest who also has powers.
The show was expertly created and directed by Noah Hawley who had past success on FX with Fargo. He mixes 60’s elements with modern day themes, not to confuse the viewer, but to try to convey Haller’s distorted reality. To me the episodes seemed like a Kubrick movie. They really created some brilliant sequences, featuring classic rock songs from psychadelic band’s, like Pink Floyd, set to amazing visuals.
The first season was only 8 episodes, so easy to catch up on, and has already been picked up for a second season of 10 episodes. Legion is definitely worth your time, it is unconventional, and proves there is more depth to comic book stories. It keeps evolving and each episode is more amazing than the last. I just hope that down the line we can get more tie in to the X-Men movie series and see more characters making appearances.
When I heard FX was going to produce Legion into a live action series, I was skeptical that it could be done properly. I was completely wrong. FX not only exceeded my expectations, they created exactly what I wanted to see. Legion is a not your average superhero show and I am glad they chose to produce it the way they did.
Legion is a very cerebral show forcing the audience to think more than feel and react. Every episode reveals another small piece to the over puzzle that is David Haller’s mind. Haller is a very powerful mutant that is plagued by hearing voices and seeing people who are not there. He is diagnosed as a schizophrenic, but we find out that his “illness” is due to a parasite that has been with David since he was an infant. This parasite fed off David’s mutant powers and, in turn, worked it’s way further and further into his mind until the two were almost inseparable. Once David learned of whom and what was attacking him, he sought to fight back.
The best part about this series is it did not rely on traditional “good guys vs. bad guys” mentality where a clearly defined bad guy is attacking a city and the hero must use his abilities to save said city. This series explores a person wanting to be better and his internal struggle with an entity he did not know even existed. The show does an excellent job of bringing the audience into the mind of David, whether that is through a dream sequence, a room or area that he creates, or onto the psychic plane. Each area is unique and offers David challenges to overcome. Though there is a constant throughout all of them, the Shadow King.
The portrayal of the Shadow King is quite impressive. The show gives small snippets each week of what he is able to and how he is always lurking. Though they were unable to actually give David’s parentage, FX does give us the backstory of why the Shadow King is even interested in David. The “final” battle scene is done really well and shows the destructive nature and the danger that the Shadow King presents. I look forward to further exploration of this in season 2.
Legion is an excellent show and needs more people watching. It excels at being a psychological comic book thriller and has shown you don’t need traditional hero meets villain approach to be successful. My only complaint about Legion is that it was too short. I can’t wait until season 2.