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FX’s Legion Earning Raves From Critics

FX’s new show Legion is an X-Men-centered story told through the eyes of an unreliable narrator: one in which reality and fantasy weave in and out and truth and fiction are in a constant battle. But through a storyline full of uncertainties, one fact stands unwavering: critics find the show riveting.

Starring Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey, Beauty and the Beast), Legion explores the Marvel Comics universe in which David Haller, a young man diagnosed with schizophrenia, learns that his newly-discovered superpowers may have something to do with his own distorted perception of the world. Also featuring Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates) and Rachel Keller (Fargo), Legion gets creative with a lesser-known X-Men storyline that will keep viewers guessing.

From Vulture’s Matt Zoller Seitz: “Legion is a trip: brainy, tight, yet so decadently inventive that I found myself laughing out loud at the sheer audacity of the damned thing. The first three episodes of this X-Men-styled mutant melodrama are superb, and the pilot in particular is an all-timer, but the whole thing is so aesthetically fresh that I could see myself continuing to watch it even if it suddenly became dumb as hell, just to see what new storytelling trick showrunner Noah Hawley and his collaborators have up their puffy magicians’ sleeves.”

Vox’s Alex Abad-Santos: “Legion, quite simply, is the best superhero show on television…We see what David sees, though his mind isn’t exactly trustworthy. At first, it’s dimmed by medications designed to grind him into dullness and suppress his powers, which he takes to control his mental illness. But even once he’s free of the meds, there’s a mounting sense of dread, because you can’t tell whether he’s living in the same world others see, or living in his own constructed reality.

“There’s beauty in trying to piece together this challenging, mordant puzzle. And with the care Hawley has infused into this odd world, Legion, rises above its peers by presenting a more difficult picture of humanity, power, and heroism. Legion isn’t hopeful or neat, and that’s what sets it apart.”

Variety’s Maureen Ryan:Legion doesn’t just posit that being different is OK, it makes it seem preferable and downright cool. Right now, our world seems decidedly hostile to weirdoes, outcasts, and rebels, and for most thinking Americans, staying comfortably numb isn’t a realistic or viable option. It’s heartening that the twitchy mosaic that is Legion comes down hard on the side of the misfits and those who embrace their flaws and passions, rather than on the side of those who ruthlessly suppress what is strange and nameless.”

Jessica Shaw of Entertainment Weekly’s Bingeworthy: “This feels different. I watched the show and I was riveted and not just because it’s visually stunning. Noah Hawley (Fargo) – who is one of my favorite creators – is giving us something totally different. You don’t have to be a superhero to like this…this is one of my favorite things I’ve seen in the past six months.”

You can check out an interview from The Credits with Legion’s composer, Jeff Russo, to go behind-the-scenes to the making of the show’s music. Legion premiered last night on FX.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hannah Yasharoff

Hannah Yasharoff is a journalism major at the University of Maryland. She was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. You can follow her on Twitter: @HannahYasharoff

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