“Legion” brings human emotion back to TV

Stephen Johnson, Columnist

Everyone experiences fear in life. We all grew up being afraid of something, whether it be sleeping in the dark or heights or being alone. Fear helps us to grow as we learn to work past them, but this growth does not happen overnight. It is often a slow and difficult process.

Having or working through fears is not something regularly featured on TV shows. We are told that being afraid or showing vulnerability is a weakness and are taught to suppress fears instead of addressing them.

Modern TV shows either make light of characters’ fears or cast them in a negative light. This sets viewers up for an unrealistic and unhealthy expectation of dealing with fear.
The TV series “Legion” instead confronts this uncomfortable topic and offers a more realistic depiction of working through fear.

Although David, the main character, is a mutant as opposed to a human, he still experiences very human feelings and emotional vulnerability. He is born with a parasite that makes his actions extremely unpredictable and he must learn to control himself throughout his life.
Despite being a mutant, David experiences the same kind of slow, grueling change that all of us experience when working through a challenge in life.

David, like most of us in the real world, is simply misunderstood. He must first come to terms with himself and his circumstance before others can accept him. Many individuals can think of times where they felt ostracized for some reason and had to learn to accept themselves entirely or make some kind of a change before they felt accepted by others.

Not only does the series show characters experiencing and working through fear and emotional vulnerability, it does so in a science fiction genre to illustrate that these can feel irrational and otherworldly, but nonetheless can be overcome. In the same way that children’s books use metaphors and imaginary creatures to help explain very real fears, “Legion” uses aminated human beings to represent the fears we experience in our own lives.

Storytelling is truly successful if individuals have the ability to relate to characters and apply the themes and experiences to their own lives.

“Legion” does exactly that. It captures difficulties experienced in everyday life in fantastical ways. The incredible cinematography and powerful musical score are just added bonuses that make the series even more of a must-see.

Johnson is a senior journalism and mass communication major.

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