The Emmy nominations came out yesterday, and there’s some really great stuff on there (RuPaul’s Drag Race got eight Emmy nominations! I’m sorry, I freakin’ love that show), but there was one very noticeable absence: there was not a single nomination for FX’s critically acclaimed X-Men adaptation Legion.
Based on the character of David Haller (AKA Legion) from the X-Men comics, the show really twisted the definition of adaptation and made something that was really entirely its own, and yet still immensely faithful to the feel and ideas of the source material.
Following Haller (played by Dan Stevens) from being institutionalised in a clinic for schizophrenia to discovering the voices he hears are real and waking up to the reality of his incredible mutant powers, the show contains some visually stunning cinematography, wonderful sound design, and some truly striking performances — not least from Aubrey Plaza, who played fellow inmate Lenny Busker and ultimately, the villainous Shadow King.
However, Legion‘s TV creator Noah Hawley, who enjoyed several nominations for his other show Fargo, doesn’t seem that surprised by the lack of recognition for his take on superhero drama. In an interview with Deadline, Hawley said:
“I would run into those guys from Game of Thrones and they’d show up, never win, but then they finally won. It was a process to get that genre to that place where people consider it a real drama. There is a process to it. I never expected anything, I guess. The pilot for Legion was really special and it would have been nice to be recognized for that, but I also understand the genre itself is an obstacle for some people and it can take two to three seasons of a show being made before it gets under the genre bend.”
It’s a real shame that an entire genre continues to get snubbed and looked down on based on the source material. But it’s not entirely surprising, given that the source material has gone through the same kind of snobbery for decades, and still does now.
But shouldn’t awards be about recognising great storytelling and fantastic acting, no matter the genre? At the very least, Plaza should have been nominated for her absolutely captivating and delightfully twisty performance that really made the character interesting and genuinely menacing in the most bizarre way.
Hopefully, some far less judgemental awards shows will give Legion the recognition it deserves.