Episode Air Date: August 20th, 27th, September 3rd, 10th 2014
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Legends (Chemistry, Lords of War, Betrayal, Rogue)
Starring: Sean Bean, Ali Larter, Morris Chestnut, Tina Majorino, Steve Harris, Mason Cook, Amber Valletta, Rob Mayes
TNT has had hits and misses over the years. From Rizzoli and Isles, The Closer, Perception, Major Crimes and Franklin and Bash, to Men of a Certain Age, Memphis Beat, King and Maxwell and Hawthorne; one can rightfully be cautious when leaping into a new series- because frankly, would you really watch a new show if the ratings were awful? I know you’d probably say ‘It depends on how good the storyline is’, but realistically, if the ratings are low and you know the show will be cancelled, you’d probably wouldn’t watch the show, regardless of whether it is great or not. Now, in light of what I just said, let us discuss Legends, a TNT show that debuted on August 13th (a six week break between me writing reviews of this show is not a good sign…) I could offer excuses and say that I didn’t have time to write this recap/review, but in all honesty, I didn’t really feel like doing it. There I said it. As much as I enjoyed the pilot episode, Legends went downhill from there. What started out as an interesting conspiracy drama became a run of the mill procedural with an overarching theme.
Not that the story of Martin Odum and his quest to find out who he really is isn’t interesting. It is. But the fact that the show is averaging 1.5 million viewers when shows like Rizzoli and Isles and Major Crimes are averaging 6 million a week, tells a story of bleakness for Legends, considering the renews of first season shows The Last Ship and Murder in the First. And if the show is going to be stopped before its time, would you invest your own time into it knowing that the show will have an ending you may not necessarily enjoy? Episodes 2-5 introduced the character of Tony Rice, a detective in Major Crimes with a vested interest in Martin Odum’s case. It is during these episodes that the character of Tony tries to investigate Martin’s involvement in the death of Robert McCombs, the homeless man who warned Martin at a train station to not trust anyone, that he is not who he believes.
While the A plot during these episodes, the story about the thwarting of a VX chemical gas explosion with Martin assuming a legend of Dante Auerbach and undertaking undercover work, wasn’t necessarily as interesting as I originally thought it would be (we all know that the VX gas isn’t deployed, which by the end of episode 4 leads to the VX operations being torn to shreds); it is the Tony Rice investigation that is making Legends enjoyable. The addition of Morris Chestnut as Tony is a welcome addition, and with Steve Harris assuming the sinister character as the show continues, a la Laura Innes in Awake, we see a plot unravelling that sadly won’t see resolution- unless TNT does a pity renewal, which I doubt.
Overall, episodes 2-5 of Legends left me with intrigue and interest, but with ratings taking a tumble, I was wary of even continuing, and still wary even so. To say that I’m only continuing for the underlying Tony Rice investigating Martin Odum plot (and reviewing the show of course) is an accurate and fair assumption. Nevertheless, Legends is still a smart show, regardless of the ratings and its predictability. Will the show survive at 9pm on Wednesdays moving forward? Probably not. Now currently into the Fall season, and competing with shows like Red Band Society, Modern Family, Law and Order: SVU, Blackish and Criminal Minds moving forward (and The 100 come October-time), the show is all but a goner come the end of its 10 episode first season run.
Should you watch the show, regardless of viewers? Depends on whether you like mystery/conspiracy drama. At this point, watch it if you enjoy Sean Bean’s acting, and if you are content to watch a show that will be cancelled (and probably will have a cliffhanger ending), but if not, then stay far, far away. While the subject matter of conspiracies and deep cover operative cover-ups can seem like something cliché, Sean’s acting throughout the show makes it compelling enough to want to keep watching…and if the show is renewed, it’ll only be because they don’t want Sean to be unlucky again as his one season and done stints in shows appears to continue this year as well.
Did Legends leave a lasting impression on you? Which theme in the first 5 episodes resonated with you the most? Would you continue watching, if only to see Sean Bean in various vocal accents and character embodiments? Let us know in the comments.
RIYL: 24, Alias, Burn Notice, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Falling Skies
Rating: 3.5/5 (based on 5 episode)
Legends airs every Wednesday at 9/8c on TNT