The Bingeworthy Breakdown is an occasional look at new TV shows. An estimated 500 scripted seasons of TV will air in 2017, and to help you sort the wheat from the chaff, we’re going to look at the first episodes of the most notable of these to help you work out whether it’s worth tuning every week for them, waiting to binge later, or using the time to finally catch up on “The OA” or whatever else you’ve been waiting for. After FX’s “Taboo and Netflix’s “A Series Of Unfortunate Events,” today we look at FX’s just-debuted new drama “Legion.”

Legion.Dan Stevens as David and Rachel Keller as Syd

Good morning!

You seem chipper.

I was just thinking, it’s been a while since the last new superhero thing came out.

That seems harsh. Some of them are pretty good.

Yeah, but there’s just so many of them. I can tune out the TV series alright, but when there’s one in theaters every other week, you know? But I feel like it’s been a while. Like, I’m not sure there’s been anything since “Doctor Strange.”

Well, I have some bad news for you: “The Lego Batman Movie” opens in theaters tomorrow, and new Wolverine movie “Logan” premieres in Berlin next week.

Oh, goddammit.

And then there’s “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Iron Fist,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “The Defenders,” “Justice League” —

Ugh, for a blessed moment I forgot about “Justice League.”

And then there’s new FX series “Legion,” which started last night.

That Paul Bettany movie where he plays an angel with a machine gun?


Well, in that case I haven’t heard of “Legion.” At least I’ve heard of “Spider-Man.”

Well, you might have heard of it in some ways. It’s a show loosely based in the world of X-Men.

X-Men? I’m literally going to jump in front of a bus.

And who could blame you after “X-Men: Apocalypse?”

I know, right? The only reason we’re not talking about that as one of the worst films in the genre ever is that it came out between “Batman v Superman” and “Suicide Squad.”

Well, don’t do any bus jumping yet, cos I think even the most superhero-fatigued amongst us should watch at least the beginning of “Legion.” If it sticks to the quality and boldness of its pilot, it could be one of the best superhero things ever put on film.




legion-headerOk, so what kind of vibe are we talking? Like the Marvel and Netflix, dimly lit, under-plotted corridor punching vibe? Or one of those CW shows with interchangeably pretty leads and ropey CGI gorillas?


Oh, Jesus, it’s not like “Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D” is it?

No, luckily. It’s not really like any other superhero show. In fact, while it definitely has a lot of influences running through it, it also doesn’t quite feel like anything that’s been on TV before.

Intriguing. So it’s about an X-man?

Not really. Legion, or David Haller as is his real name and as he’s called here, is a character who originated in the X-Men comics, created by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz in 1985. There, he’s a mutant of almost unfathomable power, and the son of Professor Charles Xavier.

Does Patrick Stewart turn up for a cameo?


James McAvoy?

No. In fact, there’s no mention of Professor X or any other X-Men so far. The show’s creator, Noah Hawley, has suggested that the show takes place in a parallel universe, unconnected with the continuity or plot of any of the X-Men movies.

That’s basically true of every single X-Men movie, to be fair.


  • suitablecustard

    Kept my expectations low for it, was not disappointed even once.

  • Saulo Machado


  • Disgracedformerlifeguard

    I kind of hated it for the very reasons you pointed out. Hawley seems to be throwing everything at the wall and hoping it all sticks. I’m all about heightening reality for the sake of tone, but it is so blatantly OVER stylized and OVER written, that it becomes evident that Hawley might have been served better by a little more oversight. I’m holding out hope that the future episodes not directed by Hawley himself will tone down enough as to find a nice middleground, but the pilot verged on being a twee version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest.