July 27, 2021

Legion Series Overview

Poster showing the main characters of the show Legion.

According to the description for Legion (TV Series 2017 – 2019) on IMDb: David Haller is a troubled young man diagnosed as schizophrenic, but after a strange encounter, he discovers special powers that will change his life forever

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Legion Season One

Poster for Legion Season One

Move aside all other superhero TV shows. Not since DC’s Smallville and Marvel’s Daredevil has there been an entry so unique. It’s like a mix between the movies Split and the X-Men franchise. Legion season one paves the way for a cult following.

Beauty and the Beast star Dan Stevens shows his versatility as a thespian, acting at any type of piece given to him. Co-starrer Aubrey Plaza is no short on talent as his best buddy Lenny. Together these two make the most enjoyable pair in television history.

The best aspect about Legion is its direction. It reminds you of the Wachowskis (The Matrix Trilogy) merged with Bryan Singer (X-Men: DoFP). Never have visuals had such a psychedelic effect on the small screen. And watching one episode is like having an LSD episode of your own. Incomparable cinematography and stunning direction of every chapter leaves you visually breathless.

What’s bad is that this show isn’t for everyone. Whereas most of the Marvel-Netflix shows can be taken as popcorn entertainment, Legion takes a helluva lot of time getting grounded. So impatient viewers will be put off by the pilot rather than awed by it. But after watching episode two you should decide whether to stay and complete the remaining six episodes.

Legion season one is a rare case where more episodes should’ve been included. This would have saved the serial from an overdose of flashbacks. The writing would’ve been better with less depiction of deja vu scenarios.

All in all, Legion is by far the most original comic-book TV adaptation ever made. It’s not the best as Daredevil s2 holds that title, but there is no other show on air like it.

The verdict is simple. If you’re into Nolan-esque narratives, then it’s a must-watch. If you’re into series like Arrow and The Flash, then Legion won’t satisfy your action needs.

Legion Season Two

Poster for Legion Season Two

S2 rekindles the alluring imagery of the first season, but falls short dramatically. Just like Stranger Things s2 had one extra unneeded episode, Legion’s season 2 ended up with 11 episodes when 10, 9 or even 8 episodes could have sufficed.

I also got tired of the main cast, especially Aubrey Plaza, who over-acted her portrayal of Lenny. She also seems to be getting typecast as the crazy girl in every movie/show that she’s in.

The breakout star is undoubtedly Navid Negahban who is brilliant as the primary antagonist, Amahl Farouk/Shadow King. But even a brilliant villain cannot make up for the slow pacing and lack of direction – these are the factors that season 1 ironically lacked.

Some episodes do stand out. I also liked the finale though it still didn’t make up for the comprehensive banality of the chapters. Though, the way the show ended, might mean that season 3 will be off to a better, and hopefully, more organized start.

Legion Season Three

Poster of Legion Season Three

Comprised of 8 episodes, the first half is confusing as hell, while the latter part is as good as a final season you’ll get. Noah Hawley is a great writer but I think he suffered from a lack of planning whereas the last season was confirmed.

What I liked most was how picturesque this season looks. Granted, the VFX and cinematography have been top-notch throughout the series but here the color spectrum really paints the screen in a cosmic fashion. Sort of reminded me of the cinematography of Color Out of Space (2019).

The second-best aspect is definitely the performances. Every performer, whether a main cast member or a supporting one, gave it their all. Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller and Aubrey Plaza shine as usual, but three thespians who brought nuance to the screen with their acts were Navid Negahban as the Shadow King, Harry Lloyd as Charles Xavier and Stephanie Corneliussen as Gabrielle Xavier.

Similar to season two this show relies too much on style over substance, especially where the initial 4 episodes are concerned, but like season one it does have a more or less consistent tone throughout its total 8 episodes. I really like the chapters focused on David Haller’s parents. Even though Patrick Stewart didn’t make a comeback as Professor X, Harry Lloyd did a great job as a younger version of him.

To end with, season 3 is a satisfactory final season, but it is a bit of a disappointment than no subsequent season of Legion fulfilled me as much as the debut season.

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