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Legion: Shall We Begin?

Hello, Legion. I’m very late to the party, but for once, this is a party I’m glad to attend. Series have never been my forte, especially series with dramatic plot lines that seem to run on forever and ever. That’s why most of the series I’ve watched have either been pure joy (The Office, Parks and Rec) or pure genius (Atlanta, Stranger Things). Any show that had a thick storyline that seemed to run deeply across 7 seasons (Game of Thrones, Grey’s Anatomy) I would avoid like the plague.


I don’t care if that makes me weird or lame. It’s just a freaking throne. Get over it.


Somehow, I stumbled across the trailer to Legion, an FX show tied to the X-Men series. Atlanta has made me trust FX, so I watched the sneak peek. A flashy, quick montage of trippy sequences and dazzling colors. It left me intrigued, and after a while, I finally watched the 1st episode.


It might have been the best decision I’ve made (this week at least).


Legion, to put it loosely, is a mind-boggling show of a guy called David, who has been led to believe he’s been schizophrenic his whole life. That idea alone is enough to sell the show for me, but what really cements it is the cinematography. Whoever was in charged of perfecting those shots has managed to capture the reality of this mental disease without rubbing it in our faces by pushing it over the top.


Sound is a heavy component in making this show work. Much like Stranger Things, this is a show where sound is an active character. The slightest whispers, the whirring of machinery, the pants of people running. We are inside David’s head. Everything is alive and heightened. Sounds are deafening and lights are blinding.


This is where I should probably mention, nothing in this show is steady and normal. David himself is highly lost and confused as his reality comes crashing down. While he struggled to accept that he may not be “crazy”, he’s faced with the truth that he has special abilities he can’t control. Yet, anyway.


But my god does he do it beautifully.


Which brings me to the man of the hour, Dan Stevens.
Legion’s biggest strength, aside from the beautiful world it has created, is its lead. Dan Stevens has the ability to emote and react so naturally, I find myself wondering if he wasn’t born to be playing a schizo-turned-hero. By his side is the insanely talented Aubrey Plaza. She has come a long way from her role as April in Parks and Recreation, but her talent to play the unnerving girl is still present. The twitchy eyes, the exaggerated mannerisms. Plaza is such a fitting pick for the best friend.


The pilot, while an hour long, felt like a beautiful terrifying dream, where everything makes no sense and perfect sense at once. The popping colors, the slow motion, the random glitches and supercuts. Legion is a dream you don’t want to wake up from, and when the credits roll around, overplayed on some Mondrian art, you know you’ve just stepped into a world that’s impossible to exit.


Well, at least until you need to go use the bathroom.

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