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‘Legion’ Review: Noah Hawley’s Marvel Series A Genre-Bending Stunner

Deadline logo Deadline 2/9/2017 Dominic Patten
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Having brought the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning 1996 film Fargo to the small screen for two award- winning installments so far, Noah Hawley is now bringing a relatively esoteric but highly charged MarvelX-Men character to FX withLegion. The result, as I say in my video review above, is simply stunning.

Debuting on February 8, Legion, starring Dan Stevens, is an artfully conceived and executed rule-breaking series that you must actually see to believe, as they say. Having first had an extended sneak peek last fall at New York Comic-Con, it is also a mind-bending, creepily paranoia-inducing and sometimes Clockwork Orange homage with a killer soundtrack that challenges not just the superhero genre but also the format of TV and reality itself.

The Downton Abby alum holds up the weight of this admirably as diagnosed schizophrenic David Haller, who is offered the opinion that what some call madness is actually his mutant powers — telekinesis and reality-warping — asserting themselves. Not to get too R.D. Laing in this sometimes ’70s-feeling show, but all is not what it seems in Haller’s head, nor with his newfound allies in Rachel Keller as the literally untouchable Syd Barrett and Jean Smart as an unconventional therapist attempting to release who and what Legion really is.

High marks also have to be given to Parks And Recreation vet Aubrey Plaza as Haller’s drug buddy and institutionalized pal, and Bessie alum Jeremie Harris as Ptonomy Wallace, one of Smart’s aides with the ability to travel into a person’s memories. Also, from the episodes I’ve seen, kudos need to go to cinematographer Dana Gonzales for a complex look and texture to the show, and Hawley’s vision that seems to possess such deferential ease at the same time.

So, take a look at my Legion review where can see more of why I think it is already one of the best new shows of 2017.

This review originally ran on February 6.

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