shadow abbey

In Lynch Mode

Have you been re-watching the original episodes of “Twin Peaks” that aired on abc from 1990-1991 in anticipation for its return to Showtime on May 21, 2017?

I haven’t and probably should, but I did just watch a show so “Twin Peaks” inspired that at times I swore the credits would reveal David Lynch’s involvement.

Although bizarre visionary David Lynch had nothing to do with F/X’s “Legion,” the show was in the fully capable hands of writer/director/producer Noah Hawley. Hawley has already brought even more critical acclaim to F/X thanks to his outstanding interpretation of “Fargo,” which is about to return for a third season on April 19. With “Legion,” Hawley stunned audiences yet again, making his success rate two for two on F/X.

Previously, Hawley had quick cancellations with his abc shows “The Unusual” (2009) and “My Generation” (2010) so obviously his work fares far better on cable than broadcast television. Just as he based his version of “Fargo” from someone else’s work (the Coen brothers’ 1996 film of the same name), “Legion” is derived from a Marvel Comics character.

I’ve been burnt-out on comic book adaptations for quite some time now and only checked out “Legion” due to Hawley’s involvement. I do love the Christopher Nolan Batman films, the first “Iron Man,” and found “Deadpool” hilariously entertaining, but the way Hollywood constantly churns out formulaic comic book adaptations (I have not seen “Logan” so am not including it in my sentiment) has left me completely jaded by the genre.

However, as expected, Hawley totally reinvented the tired practice.

“Legion” is unlike anything you’ve ever seen on television unless you have seen “Twin Peaks.” Nonetheless, it’s still unlike any comic book show/movie you’ve seen because the whole superhero aspect takes a backseat to a gripping mystery.

The series, which premiered February 8, 2017 and just wrapped its first 8-episode season on March 29, is what you would categorize as a mindfudge and that is the clean way to describe it. Like “Memento,” “Donnie Darko,” and “Inception,” you aren’t 100% sure what is going on in “Legion” and what you think you know could change at any second. For example, I still can’t definitively tell you what time period “Legion” is set. While most of the environments and fashion scream the 70s, the weaponry and technology makes me assume its present-day or even the future.

It takes commitment to watch a puzzling show that can pull the rug out from under you without warning. While watching “Legion,” I would ask myself and text others “what the heck is going on?” despite the fact I was still enjoying what was unfolding. I would read episode recaps to make sure I wasn’t missing anything and hoped that by the finale everything would be explained.

Clearly “Legion” knew they were throwing a tremendous amount of information at fans because in the penultimate episode the show uniquely went out of its way to spell everything out. The method was as engaging as it was informative and to go into too much detail would spoil its brilliance. However, depending on how closely you were paying attention, it was possible to piece the show together even before the disclosure.

Wow, I am reaching word count and I haven’t even explained the plot of “Legion.” That actually says a lot about the show – its ambiguous nature is what makes “Legion” so rewarding.

“Legion” revolves around David Haller (marvelously played by Dan Stevens), a young adult that has battled living with schizophrenia ever since he was diagnosed at a young age. While residing in a psychiatric hospital, his world is turned upside down when he meets the beautiful Sydney “Syd” Barrett (Rachel Keller of Hawley’s “Fargo”). Hawley purposely chose her name as a reference to Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett who suffered from mental illness. The series includes even more Floyd thanks to a mind-altering scene that utilizes the band’s “Speak to Me” and “Breathe” so profoundly it caused the hair on the back of my neck to stand up. Hawley also splendidly injected T. Rex in a pivotal moment.

Meeting Syd sends Haller down a rabbit hole that reveals he may not suffer from a mental illness at all, but might actually be one of the strongest mutants in existence. A government agency that views mutants as a threat wants to control Haller, while a mutant-friendly group, led by Melanie Bird (Jean Smart, also of Hawley’s “Fargo”), wishes to protect him.

Aside from the perplexing plot, intoxicating cinematography, and dark humor, “Legion” boasts remarkable performances. Dan Stevens, who is most famous for playing Matthew in “Downton Abbey” but first popped up on my radar in the awesome film “The Guest,” is destined to receive nominations for his strenuous performance. I also think Aubrey Plaza, known for her quirky comedic character in “Parks & Rec,” is a shoo-in for an Emmy for her diabolical role. And, wait until you see what “Flight of the Conchords” star Jemaine Clement does with his charismatic character.

Season 1 of “Legion” was an education for both the characters and the audience and now that we’re all on the same page Season 2 (coming in 2018) is going to be one wild ride.

Day 30. Show a Picture of Your Monster High Collection

Plot Twist: Not Today.

Okay, I’ve been rearranging my room this weekend so I can actually display my dolls in a reasonable manner. I didn’t get much done today because I haven’t been feeling particularly well today.

So for right now, here’s a picture of a 90% completed Shadow Abbey. I still need to color the pink in her hair (I’ll go ahead and keep the blue), but her outfit and face are done.

I’ll post a picture of my collection when I’ve got the room in order. Hopefully tomorrow. For tonight, I’m watching Bones and plotting for NaNo.

Also, protip: dyeing the fur with Sharpie is a terrible plan. I like the way it changed the texture to a spikier consistency and how it left wisps of white under the stains for a shadowy effect, but it definitely wasn’t worth the trouble or the smell.