I’ll be honest, The X-Men haven’t done it for me since X2: X-Men United (2003). Sure First Class and Days of Future Past had their moments, but the rest… meh.
The beauty of Legion is that although it clearly has ties to the X-Men Universe, it’s not beholden to it. While in the comics our protagonist is the mutant son of Professor Charles Xavier, that doesn’t mean we need to see Patrick Stewart pop up on the show. All we need to know is this new guy is powerful. Basically, David suffers from schizophrenia. The thing is, each of his personalities controls one of his insane superpowers. That sounds like a pretty cool TV series, doesn’t it? In the hands of Emmy-winner Noah Hawley (Fargo), this is sure to be a unique trip. FX’s promos prove Legion‘s not your typical superhero show.
Early reviews have been mixed with folks like Jeff Jensen at EW praising the series by calling it, “An electroshock of striking originality.” While Maureen Ryan of Variety said, “The challenge of Legion will be to make David’s quest for wholeness more than the sum of its flashy and often captivating parts.” TV Guide’s Matt Roush claims it’s, “Not an easy show to watch” as we can’t be sure what’s real or one of David’s disturbing memories. A few of my journalist pals have told me the show is strange, and possibly too confusing to stick with. Naturally, I plan to watch the pilot and make up my own mind. Check back for my thoughts and whether or not I’m on board for the entire eight episode run.
By the way, Bryan Singer’s got another X-Men series in the works at FOX. I have a feeling that one may feature a few cameos.
Here is FX’s Official Show Description…
Legion, based on the Marvel Comics by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, is the story of David Haller (Dan Stevens) – a troubled young man who may be more than human.
Diagnosed as schizophrenic as a child, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. Now in his early 30s and institutionalized once again, David loses himself in the rhythm of the structured regimen of life in the hospital: breakfast, lunch, dinner, therapy, medications, sleep. David spends the rest of his time in companionable silence alongside his chatterbox friend Lenny (Aubrey Plaza), a fellow patient whose life-long drug and alcohol addiction has done nothing to quell her boundless optimism that her luck is about to change. The pleasant numbness of David’s routine is completely upended with the arrival of a beautiful and troubled new patient named Syd (Rachel Keller). Inexplicably drawn to one another, David and Syd share a startling encounter, after which he must confront the shocking possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees are the result of him being a mutant.
A haunted man, David escapes from the hospital and seeks shelter with his sister Amy (Katie Aselton). But Amy’s concern for her brother is trumped by her desire to protect the picture perfect suburban life she’s built for herself. Eventually, Syd guides David to Melanie Bird (Jean Smart), a nurturing but demanding therapist with a sharp mind and unconventional methods. She and her team of specialists – Ptonomy (Jeremie Harris), Kerry (Amber Midthunder) and Cary (Bill Irwin) – open David’s eyes to an extraordinary new world of possibilities.
Legion premieres tonight at 10/9c on FX.