Legion: Forget everything you know about superhero TV shows: Legion does its own thing.
In A Nutshell
David Haller is schizophrenic that has been a patient in various psychiatric hospitals throughout his life. After Haller meets a fellow psychiatric patient named Sydney, a girl that can’t be touched, he is confronted with the possibility that there may be more to him than mental illness. Hawley is an unreliable narrator, and the series is filmed through his distorted view of reality.
Meet the Characters
David Haller. David (Legion) is the main character of the series. He is a mutant who was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age. David is extremely powerful and has psychic abilities like telepathy and telekinesis, although he’s unaware of them. In fact, his schizophrenic symptoms are a result of his powers, as well as a mysterious being that haunts his mind. The story is seen from his unreliable point of view.
Sydney Barrett. Often abbreviated to Syd, Sydney is a young woman David meets in the mental institution. She quickly becomes his girlfriend, although Sydney makes it a rule that he cannot touch her. In fact, she cannot be touched by anyone, which results in the character being portrayed as “withdrawn.” The character is named after Pink Floyd’s Roger “Syd” Barrett, and one of the episodes features a song by Pink Floyd.
Lenny Busker. Lenny is an old friend of David. She has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and she’s described as an “impossible optimist.” She likes to stick around David, and provide witty commentary. Aubrey Plaza stated she chose to play the character as both male and female. Lenny is a character surrounded in mystery (and spoilers), so there’s not much more we are allowed to say about her!
A Brief History of Legion: The When, Where and How
Legion is an American series created by showrunner Noal Hawley for FX. The story is based on the Marvel Comics character David Haller/Legion, and it’s connected to the X-Men film series. It’s produced by FX Productions in association with Marvel Television.
The first season premiered on February 8 and consists of 8 episodes. A ten-episodes second season is planned for a February 2018 release. Legion has received worldwide critical acclaim for its visuals and departure from superhero genre standards.
Why It’s Awesome
Forget everything you know about superhero TV shows: Legion does its own thing. The X-men series is not really about action, but rather about the set of characters, as well as trying to figure out what exactly is going on. In fact, it looks more like a pretty awesome mix of Heroes and Mr. Robot.
And it’s hard to know what’s going on sometimes: Legion is told through an unreliable narrator, there are time jumps and a lot of creativity in its visuals. It’s shot in a very different way from what you would expect from the genre, and themes are often emphasized with its composition, color palette, and bone-chilling soundtrack. The writing is also very clever. Even though some episodes are much better than others, the dialogue is always engaging, and the plot never gets repetitive, nor predictable.
All in all, Legion is a loyal adaptation that succeeds its goal to bring a breath of fresh air to superhero TV shows.