| David Haller is a troubled young man diagnosed as schizophrenic, but after a strange encounter, he discovers special powers that will change his life forever.
If you’re looking for an escape from reality, Legion will take you to the limits. It is by far the most creative and mind-blowing shows in 2017. You never know what you’re going to get when you watch an episode, but one thing is for sure, your mind will be stretched and you will be intrigued with wonderment and amazement.
Noah Hawley (the man behind FX’s other endlessly transgressive series, Fargo) has found a glory box in the X-Men franchise by finding a lesser-known character, and using him to streamline a very cerebral sci-fi story that’s deliciously complex, rather than convoluted. Utmost psychological and intimate in its details, the series feels closer to a Philip K. Dick novel than any sort of “men-with-superpowers” yarn, or maybe that’s just from the show’s beautiful aesthetic. Many characters are peculiar, preposterous and so are many situations. As the whole, the show has this very original approach that puts in a whole other category. Maybe what’s struck me the most is the directing and editing, how the music is used with the images to give this truly outstanding result.
TV series based on comics do not spend much time just goofing around the plot, which seems to be a distinctive characteristic of this show. It is like it’s saying to you, just chill, don’t expect a straightforward exposition, don’t take every scene as having some kind of meaning. Legion is about a psychic mutant with some serious mental issues, whose deluded sense of reality could rival his own incredible power. With that in mind (pun intended) it seems that not everything can or will be explained in a rational manner, as you would’ve expect it to be in practically every other TV series. It is a part of the charm, you can’t really create a genuine show about mentally unstable protagonist, without immersing in his worldview.
“Who teaches us to be normal when we’re one of a kind?”
Pitch-perfect casting also, with British actor Dan Stevens doing an impeccable job as the tricky lead. When he’s overstimulated, we’re overstimulated, when David is confused, we’re confused. With a heavy focus on his subconsciousness and memories in the second and third episodes, it does require some patience and logic-suspension on our part to follow him, especially when it’s so nonlinear and disorienting. Perhaps whose even more welcoming is the bewitching Aubrey Plaza. The Parks and Rec star was indeed cast in a role that Noah Hawley had originally intended for an older male, but Plaza’s inclusion definitely augments the show, making for a villain that’s both hilarious and terrifying in a way only she could capture.
While he doesn’t direct every episode, Hawley set the style and tone in the ambitious pilot with distinct visual flourishes. Adopting a retro aesthetic meshed with futuristic technology lends Legion a timeless quality and also sets it apart from its comic book contemporaries. Hawley’s use of a rich, bright colour palette belies the underlying menace of the series. And there are more than a few nods to Kubrick (the psychiatric institution is called Clockworks).
Legion has a great story, fantastic editing, incredibly casted and acted, atmospheric, endearing, interesting twists, lot’s of excitement, amazing visuals and insane sound design. I enjoy trippy, multi-threaded story lines, where you get confused as to what’s “real”. This show takes that premise to a whole new level. I recommend to binge this entire show, because it’s easier to get a grasp on what’s happening.
‘Legion’ (Season 1) gets an 8.7/10.
PS. I’m back after being sick for a week, so a bunch of new reviews are coming!
Shot on 35's Rating Sheet: 9.5 – 10.0: Excellent! 8.5 – 9.5: Fantastic, but with minor flaws 7.5 – 8.5: Great, but with issues 6.5 – 7.5: Okay, but with major issues 5.5 – 6.5: Had potential, but falls flat hard. 4.5 – 5.5: Disaster!
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