Legion is a thrill ride that forces us to look at the difficult parts of our own world.
Shortly after Trump administration adviser KellyAnne Conway used the term “alternative facts” in a live interview, sales of George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984 spiked. The novel rocketed to No. 1 on Amazon, and Penguin Press ordered a 75,000 copy reprint just two weeks ago.
It’s the second time the book has enjoyed such a bump. In 2013, the NSA document leak caused a 10,000 percent jump in sales. Regardless of your political affiliations, there’s no denying that Americans love turning to science fiction for what it does best—reflecting our own world back to us.
That can be easy to forget in the modern era where science fiction is dominated by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a $10.9 billion (and counting) onslaught of interconnected films since 2008. While the franchise churns out one blockbuster after the next, the movies are pure escapist fantasy, completely detached from the world we live in. Which can make it easy to forget that the original Star Trek series brought the first interracial kiss to broadcast TV, or that the first Star Wars film was steeped in the world’s collective memory of the fear of Nazi Germany in WWII.
Legion (Wednesdays on FX) is not like any other comic-based project we’ve seen this decade. Not just because it’s neither glossy and sanitized (like the MCU films, heavy on action and minimal on gore) nor gritty Noir (Daredevil, Jessica Jones), but because it seems to be trying to reflect our world back to us.
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