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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Legion Review: What Time is It?

The last 2 seasons of Fargo have given Breaking Bad a deadly serious run for their money. They were great self contained thrillers with deep characters, gorgeous cinematography, and a script so tight it might as well have been shrink wrapped.

Noah Hawley has new fish to fry. He's been given the reigns to the X-Men franchise and he has made something truly, deeply, weird. Schizophrenia isn't something to be taken lightly, that is something this show gets out of the way pretty early. David may be the most powerful X-Man in the world of comics, but here he's just another psychiatric patient. One thing I do admire is how this show doesn't shy away from how much David suffers. His breaks from reality into red tinged velvet hellscapes become almost painful to look at. I imagine they would be quite a bit more painful to live through.

Dan Stevens as David is a young Sam Rockwell. Contrasting his dangerous sociopath from The Guest to this it's not hard to see golden statues in his future. Then again, I'd have bet Rockwell would have at least one by now. At any rate, he nails the sweet spot of making David just relatable enough to be the protagonist, but you still understand why his fiancee left him. Up next is Rachel Keller as another possible insane mutant who can't be touched and with whom David shares an adorable platonic romance. I'll have to apologize to Aubrey Plaza, because as much as I loved her as April in Parks&Rec, I thought she was her only character. As Lenny she's an ADHD verbal racket ball who again; is just goofy enough to be funny, but you get why she's inside. IMDB only has her on for 3 episodes so I'm already going to miss her. That's how much fun she looks like she's having.

When Legion is at it's best it's a cocktail of The Prisoner and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's nest. When it's not it's... well, an X-Men show. The action finale was a huge let down. 5 minutes of stuntmen lining up politely to be blown away on wires. For a show that had been, I'll say it, visionary for the most part to become so predictable in the end really shook me. It's a good show and I'm gonna ride the season out regardless. But I'm not ready to love it. I need at least one great episode for that and I like my chances.

How do you feel?

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