Undoubtedly, this is the golden age of Super-Powered TV and Film. It all began with the success of the first Avengers movie (following a 5 year solo movies build-up), the need of DC to build their own successful live action universe, and the unimaginable success of almost all of TV’s superheroes shows. Now, it just seems obvious that every new super-powered show will blossom. So is Legion.
Legion is the first installment of live action X-Men on television in the 2000s. Marvel Television and FX arranged this project, with Jeph Loeb as the executive producer. The result, as we all saw, was MARVELous.
Legion starred Dan Stevens as David, a young adult who was hospitalized in a mental hospital with Schizophrenia. Without a doubt, all of the unexplained events in his life are not mental- he has some sort of telekinetic abilities. In fact, he is one of the strongest mutants out there, the one who will win the war against those who wish to destroy them all (government, of course, with their on mutant).
What’s so special about this 8 episode run, is the series ability to focus on David for a sheer amount of time, while also developing the other characters significantly. We have Sydney (Rachel Keller), who can switch bodies by touch, Ptonomy (Jeremie Harris) who can navigate people’s past through memories, Cary (Bill Irwin), a great scientist who shares his body with his sister, Kerry (Amber Midthunder), a skilled ninja.
Above all, we have Melanie Bird (the excellent Jean Smart), who leads the mutants and their conflict with the government. Seeing how badly and rudely David was treated in the facility of Division 3, before being rescued by Melanie’s team, we have no choice but to support him and the rest of the mutants. While fighting the bad guys, we are exposed to another bad guy, a very powerful one, who inhabits David’s mind and wishes to take control of him completely. The creature, Farouk, who imposes as Lenny (wonderful Aubrey Plaza), is a huge risk to the entire crew, who must work together, even with the comatose husband of Melanie, Oliver (Jemaine Clement), in order to overcome him. It was nice when it seemed Plaza died in the first episode, only to discover her everywhere later on. This talent didn’t go to waste.
I mainly enjoyed this season because it wasn’t a traditional TV show. The genre of unreliable narrator has given Legion a room to grow on its viewers. As a viewer, I found myself wanting to know more, to understand, to help the characters solve their problems and advance. Discovering the identity of Lenny / Farouk step by step was a satisfying journey, and the only issue I have with it, is that it will be dragged to the next season. All other aspects of this story were great.
Legion was some sort of timeless, as the fashion and the technology were a mash-up of 60s-70s-2000s. I like this idea. Not every series must choose between past and present (or future), they can be both, steampunk-style.
In a world of spy super-heroes (Agents of Shield), vigilantes (Marvel-Netflix), and feel-good camp (CW/DC), Legion is a nice addition to the ever growing genre. I, for one, am grateful.
Legion’s season 2 will return in 2018.