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TV Series Review

They said David Haller was crazy.

Suffering from schizophrenia, he was shipped to the Clockworks psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt and spent six long years there.

But David's not crazy. (Or, perhaps, not just crazy.) He's gifted.

You see, he's a mutant—like Wolverine or Storm or even Professor X, David's biological dad. Now he's working with a special team dedicated to, y'know, saving the world and stuff.


But is it possible that David's both gifted and crazy? Could it be that along with all the dizzying powers locked inside of him, there's something else locked away, too? David sees its (their?) presence sometimes. It often happens when David explores his dark memories. Like those of a deeply troubled youngster from a book he read as a child, The World's Angriest Boy in the World. Or images of a fat man with glowing eyes. Or hands clawing and crawling though fissures in a wall …

No, there's something more at work in David's troubled soul. Something disturbing. It's not clear that his memories are really memories at all. It's as if David's mind is actually a series of nesting dolls, each bigger than the last. And when she reaches the final one, who's to say what she'll find inside.

Angels and Demons

Like about half the entertainment world seems to be these days, Legion is based on a Marvel character—the troubled, complex antihero of the same name. So perhaps it's only fitting that the show can also be described as similarly troubled and complex.

This is no Avengers-style smash-bang-boom treat for the eyes. It has neither the relatively light fun of ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., nor the shadowy noir of Daredevil on Netflix. No, Legion feels more like a straight-up horror story.

Everything about the series—from its vaguely '60s-ish trappings to its Nazi-like villains to the tortured and torturing demons lurking in David's own mind—is meant to keep audiences perpetually off-balance and uneasy. And it doesn't help that, as is the case with Mr. Robot, we can't necessarily trust our own narrator/protagonist, David. So we're left to wonder, Can anyone else?

David does have deep affection for at least one person in his life: Syd Barrett, David's girlfriend and a fellow mutant who, awkwardly, can never touch anyone without swapping consciousness with that person. (They have found a loophole for that predicament, though, meaning they, ahem, have very intimate on-camera relations.)

Problems, Thy Name Is …

Legion is well-written and absolutely bonkers—a show that took a left turn at Twin Peaks, took a few pointers from Radiohead videos and just kept right on going. Visually, it can be quite stunning, oscillating from coolly clinical imagery to dreamlike beauty to nightmarish madness (particularly when depicting the unsettling milieu of The World's Angriest Boy in the World).

But it can be a mess, too. And this show isn't above flashing some skin, either, including fleshy shots of people's sides and rears. We see David sexually engaged with Syd and other paramours (either in flashbacks or dreams). The accompanying movements and sounds can be quite explicit.

And remember, Legion is a horror story at heart, though one that aims at being more psychologically disturbing than physically disgusting. It does not—at least at this juncture—wallow in blood and gore like The Walking Dead or gleefully spray it around like American Horror Story. But the visuals can be shocking nonetheless.

Oh, and hey, the language ain't so hot here, either.

As superhero stories grow ever more entrenched in the culture, storytellers are seeking new ways to appeal to different sorts of fans. Indeed, Legion barely feels like a superhero tale at all. But that bold experimentation can come with a dark side. Comic book-based shows like this one don't cater to kids anymore. And that can lead to content that's troubling for any age.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Legion: Apr. 3, 2018 "Chapter 9"
Legion: Feb. 21, 2017 "Chapter 3"



Readability Age Range



Dan Steven as David Haller; Jean Smart as Dr. Melanie Bird; Rachel Keller as Syd Barrett; Aubrey Plaza as Lenny Busker; Bill Irwin as Cary Loudermilk; Jeremie Harris as Ptonomy Walla; Amber Midthunder as Kerry Loudermilk; Katie Aselton as Amy Haller; Mackenzie Gray as The Eye






Record Label




On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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