Legion Pilot First Impressions
Fox’s newest mutant drama Legion debuted this week and introduced audiences to the wild and mysterious life of David Haller. The pilot — “Chapter 1” — was written and directed by series creator Noah Hawley. It featured a startling, non-linear narrative that asked audiences to suspend their disbelief and question everything they were seeing. In addition to our full Legion episode review, we also compiled a list of team responses to the pilot.
Jeremy Las Dulce
“The choice of using an unreliable narrator was brilliant.”
“This blew my mind. Pun completely intended. As an X-Men fan, I will say I’ve always loved Legion’s character, and I think he is highly underrated. Especially since he is arguably one of, if not the most, powerful mutants in the Marvel universe and the son of Charles Xavier. This show was absolutely beautiful, but if you’re a fan of Noah Hawley this should be expected. The biggest draw for me was the psychological aspect. I really appreciated the accurate portrayal of mental illness. The choice of using an unreliable narrator was brilliant. It will keep us as an audience on our toes and at the edge of our seats. Also the government wanting to weaponize mutants was just X-Men enough to give it the vibe without completely overshadowing the psychological thriller tone. I loved it if you can’t already tell.”
“Symmetrical framing of shots that reminded me of Stanley Kubrick and Wes Anderson.”
“There is plenty to touch on in this pilot in terms of storytelling and I could also go on and on about how such a personal story is what the X-Men Universe needs right now. All that said, in this blurb I’m prioritizing the visual components in Legion. Striking 60’s New Wave design is pasted everywhere from sets to costumes. Symmetrical framing of shots that reminded me of Stanley Kubrick and Wes Anderson. An understanding and usage of color and lighting that I haven’t felt since Alex Garland’s Ex Machina and before that Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love. The design department was then speaking to me as the cream and green sterility of the hospital brought me right back to One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Sure, it’s only one small point to bring up but there’s no entry episode in recent years that I can recall visually blowing me away as “Chapter 1″ has.”
“The show is very David Lynchian in the way it hides the truth from you in plain sight. “
“The Legion pilot was fascinating! I am so impressed with the show’s decision to lean into the crazy. They didn’t sugar coat David’s wildness, nor did they tone down the stereotypical government response of “you’re different? Let’s medicate you.” I thought the love story between David and Syd was charming — it reminded me a lot of Pushing Daisies. The soundtrack really stood out to me too. I loved how the music ventured between seventies rock and manic, orchestral movements. So far, I can’t decipher what’s real, but that’s OK. The show is very David Lynchian in the way it hides the truth from you in plain sight. I’m excited to see more.”
“Definitely one of the most different comic shows we have ever gotten on television!”
“I was never familiar with Legion from the comics so I went into this show without any connections to the character or concept. It’s definitely one of the most different comic shows we have ever gotten on television! Dan Stevens is a joy to follow and while I had to rewind several times to understand the episode as a whole, I really enjoyed the pilot and what it setup for the first (and very short) season. Mutants!”
“I respect this show for everything it accomplishes, but there were pacing issues for me.”
“Legion is a beautifully executed show that has an acquired taste. It’s not your average X-Men story, but still has the X-Men’s main theme of being a minority, which shines throughout the pilot. The show observes mental health through the lens of being a mutant, leading us to the untrustworthy narrator – David. I respect this show for everything it accomplishes in this pilot episode, but there were a lot of pacing issues for me. I didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters because of the non-linear style of storytelling. This is why I mentioned earlier that the show is going to be an acquired taste. In the end, I think I’m going to wait to binge watch the series. This may help me have a better appreciation for the show.”
Legion airs on FX Wednesdays at 10PM and FOXUK Thursdays at 9PM.
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