Legion series premiere recap: Season 1, Episode 1, “Chapter 1,” Aired Feb. 8, 2016
Legion had its season premiere Wednesday night. Unless you haven’t been following Pure Fandom, stopped watching all of Fox’s networks, and didn’t watch the Super Bowl, you already knew that.
I guess there’s a chance you haven’t watched the premiere yet, which is something only a paranoid schizophrenic would do. Below are five reasons to check yourself in and enjoy Marvel’s latest TV venture.
Legion can be called “different” in a few ways, and I choose to call them both positives. The first difference comes right from the X Men cinematic franchise. We follow David Haller (Dan Stevens), who “may be the most powerful mutant we have ever seen.” Haller is also a mutant I don’t remember seeing on screen very often, if ever. Admittedly I’m strictly a TV and movie watcher, but seeing a cast of characters I haven’t heard of before is fun and refreshing.
Secondly, Legion is different in the sense that it’s about as bizarre as can be. We get flashbacks, schizophrenia, Freaky Friday-style body swapping, bodies stuck in walls, and a dance routine all within Legion 1×01. I give Noah Hawley a lot of credit here. He’s really going for it and making his best attempt to take the viewer on a ride. I would say that’s it’s working so far.
Aubrey Plaza is Who You Want Her To Be
There’s a good chance Aubrey Plaza is the biggest “name” actor attached to Legion. She has built up an impressive resume and reputation as a dry and witty comedienne. Her portrayal of Lenny Busker falls right in line with her past roles, with a little extra dose of quirky. If you enjoyed April Ludgate in Parks & Rec, you’ll have a new favorite character in Lenny Busker.
Rachel Keller is Delightful
If you haven’t seen FX’s Fargo yet, stop everything you’re doing and go binge watch it. I’ll wait. In season 2 you’ll find a strawberry blonde by the name of Simone, who seems innocent enough until the shit hits the fan. She is portrayed by Rachel Keller, who isn’t in a ton of scenes but plays big every time she’s on screen. Keller now has a much bigger role with Legion as Syd Barrett and I couldn’t be more excited.
Also, I have a confession to make. I interviewed Rachel while she was doing press for Fargo and she’s a wonderful person with a wonderful story. Am I biased? Maybe. But I do think she’s an excellent actress with a path to big things and a great pick as Legion’s female lead. Someone to root for here.
The cinematography in some of Legion’s scenes is a lot of fun. David Haller has a powerful mind, which the viewer gets a good sense of while he’s moving at a normal speed and everything around him is in slow motion. There are also a few times where I was wondering what the hell was going on during the premiere, but it comes together well enough to stay engaged and keep coming back.
It’s Musically Gifted
Legion also does a nice job appealing to more than one of the viewer’s senses. While it’s fun to watch visually, the accompanying music also adds to the experience. The series opens to The Who’s “Happy Jack,” which is an appropriate start for a few reasons. From there we get a bit of a Stranger Things vibe during moments of suspense, and of course the music that accompanies a random dance number. It appears music will play a role throughout the series, which is something that can be appreciated.
I’m sure there are plenty of aspects I’m forgetting as well. Point is, Legion has received plenty of solid reviews so far, and for good reason. If you’re a comic book fan, a sci-fi fan, or a TV fan it’s worth a look.
Legion airs Wednesdays at 10pm EST on FX.
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(Image credit: Reason.com)