Thursday, April 27, 2017
Peps' TV Series Wrap-up: Legion Season 1
I may not always agree with the choices that 20th Century Fox makes with the X-Men franchise, but I found myself looking forward to what they have in store for their TV offerings. Especially since Marvel TV head honcho Jeph Loeb is on board. And also because they let Noah Hawley (who is responsible for the excellent TV adaptation of Fargo... which I've yet to finish) loose on the canon material, and let him choose the character and how he wanted that character's story to play out. With FX as its home network, it was definitely interesting to see how Legion would play out.
My husband is the one who is more familiar with the X-men comic book canon, so he's probably more prepared than I was coming into our viewing of Legion. The first episode took some getting used to, since it's obviously designed to mirror David's mental state, with his account of the events at Clockworks and his subsequent release interspersed with scenes of strange events of his past. It was trippy, I didn't know what was happening half the time, but, boy, was it fun to watch. And the thing is... it only gets better from there.
TV series (especially one that's headed by Noah Hawley) about mutants to be simple. There's always plenty of trouble to deal with and a measure of heartache for one or many of its characters. And David Haller is probably one of the most unfortunate characters I've encountered in the entire canon so far (or at least in the TV and movie parts of it). Born during a time when mutants are unheard of by the general population, and constantly haunted by disturbing visions and voices in his head, it's no wonder everyone, including David himself, believed himself mentally ill. And the revelation that he has powers come with its own set of burdens.... including being hunted by government agency Division 3, and finding out that his mind and power are not completely his own. With all that David has to deal with, it's funny when you realize that having a girlfriend he can't touch is the least of his problems.
Legion isn't really a show that you should have described to you... primarily because it's so hard to get into specifics when the story covers both physical events and mental battles. But also because the twists and turns in the story are those that you should uncover yourself. It's portrayed as a story set in a specific time period, punctuated by an excellent soundtrack that just adds to the viewing experience, but it doesn't feel dated. It's fun to watch, but will scare you more than a few times, alternating between disturbing imagery and building dread as events unfold for some characters. There are plenty of easter eggs to enjoy, especially if you have followed the X-Men canon, either in its comic book or theatrical form. And when you have a cast as talented as the one Noah Hawley assembled (some of whom he worked with in Fargo), you know that watching just for the superhero spectacle would be doing the show a disservice.
Because that's what second seasons are for, right?
Happy trippy and sometimes disturbing but overall awesome viewing!!