Seriously, folks – drop whatever it is you’re doing and check out Legion – the new superhero series from Noah “Fargo” Hawley on FX.
Yes, we’re all waiting for Mr Robot Season 3.0 but we don’t know when it’s out. In the meantime, it’s not disloyal to watch other shows!!!
Here’s the trailer but trust us, just skip it and go straight to the hour and eight-minute-long pilot episode.
Wednesday nights just got interesting again. You’re right to roll your eyes and mutter “Not another superhero TV show!” but while The CW’s Arrow, The Flash et al are for children I loved Daredevil and Jessica Jones (but found Luke Cage monotonous in its constant telling not showing) – but in retrospect, there was still something missing from these Netflix shows.
Yes, like Batman Begins before them, these Netflix shows were realistic, but they were for big kids.
Legion re-writes the comic book rules. It’s a psychological thriller and the first superhero show for grown-ups. (Okay Jessica Jones did a great job on the psychological thriller level of a woman dealing with PTSD after her rape, but the villain was straight outta a kids comic book)
Back to my point… even Sam Esmail calls Legion phenomenal, see:
It’s masterful because it was created, written and directed by Noah Hawley – the guy who made Fargo. Along with Esmail, he’s one of the new generation of auteurs who marries incredible drama with highly stylised, inclusive art and brings it to the small screen.
Like Esmail, Hawley riffs on the great filmmaking auteurs (again, like Robot) there are moments of Lynchian surrealism intertwined with Kubrickian torture – the tone somehow perfectly flitting from 1950’s Hitchcock “wrong man” thriller through 1980’s horror and dystopian, futuristic sci-fi – all of which, Jeff Russo’s music helps underscore… along with a Dark Side of the Moon mental asylum feel!
Both Legion and Fargo show Hawley’s encyclopaedic knowledge of music – the choices are always, always spot on.
There’s even one disturbing scene which reminded me of Ken Russell’s brilliant yet forgotten Altered States and by the final scene, our crew of misfits seems like something out of The Avengers – the 1960’s British TV series, not the Marvel franchise.
Based on the X-Men comic by writer Chris Claremont and artist Bill Sienkiewicz, Legion tells the story of a man with some mental problems. Unlike Elliot’s Dissociative Identity Disorder, David Charles Haller suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and is institutionalized in an asylum. He has a real problem adjusting to society, but is it him or the world that’s mad? Oh, and he also speaks to people who aren’t there!
It’s dream sequences, mind-bending reality and special effects are stunning (apart from that boulder) and by the THING THAT HAPPENS at the end of the first hour, you’re not only emotionally involved, you’re reeled in – hook, line and sinker.
Dan Stevens is perfect for Noah Hawley’s dramatic comedy while Rachel Keller’s Sydney Barrett (named after the brilliant but insane Pink Floyd founding member) and Aubrey Plaza makes a great sidekick. There’s even a dance number which genuinely brings a smile to your face!
Seriously – Legion is not just another superhero show, it’s the future.
At the time of writing it has a 9.8 rating on IMDB!
Now go watch!