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Television Old & New – Lucifer, Legion, Cloak & Dagger, & Pose - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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July 6th, 2018

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01:34 am - Television Old & New – Lucifer, Legion, Cloak & Dagger, & Pose
Since I last wrote about TV I’ve been watching, several shows have had their finales and I’ve started watching several new shows. I’m not worrying about spoilers for Luciferor Legion, so skip if you care, but you likely really want the Legion spoilers – it got seriously problematic and bad.

Luciferhad what was supposed to be a series finale, because it was cancelled, and while I’d previously heard it ended on a cliff-hanger, I was OK with how it ended, because what we were left not knowing was simply an emotional reaction – how would Chloe deal with seeing that Luciferwas in fact the devil? This is (IMHO at least) vastly better than cutting the series off with the season 2 finale, which ended with Luciferin the desert with his wings back and where the audience has absolutely no idea why this had happened.

I’m pleased the show was picked up by Netflix, but I’m also concerned. Season 3 was very uneven. I quite liked the mid part of the season when Pierce/Cain & Luciferwere working together, but the seemingly endless jealousy plot before and after this was exceptionally tiresome. OTOH, the last two episodes were very good, and the show’s handling of Charlotte Richards’ death was (for me at least) very well done. OTOOH, the showrunner has some big choices to make now. I’ll be exceptionally annoyed if the end result of Chloe seeing that Luciferis the devil is some sort of amnesia caused by a blow to her head or some similar cheezy crap, but I’m also not certain what the show looks like if they let her know the truth. However, it has moved to a new and quite different network, so maybe the showrunner won’t have her forget or ignore what she saw. If so, then I’ll be exceptionally pleased, since I always love it when shows are willing to move beyond their initial premises and be daring. So, I’m (very) cautiously hopeful.

In vivid contrast, I’m utterly done with Legion barring some astoundingly major changes that the showrunner seems uninterested in making. The season started off exceptionally well, but first we saw notably less of all the female characters except Syd, Melanie was largely eliminated. Then one of the few characters of color was likely eliminated, and at that point I was dubious and annoyed, but hopeful that the show would do better with the last few episodes.

Then, Melanie was completely reduced to a pawn, the Shadow King managed to turn everyone against David, and effectively out of nowhere, in the last two episodes David went from being a fairly kind and humane individual who was also mentally ill and had been seriously abused by the Shadow King for all but the last few weeks of his life to a rage-filled murderous rapist, and we are told (by the Shadow King, but in a way that was clearly intended for the audience to believe) that David was always like this. I found this ending repugnant – rather than a mentally ill guy with vast power struggling to be a good person despite both his mental illness and the massive abuse he suffered, he’s just another hideously evil guy, and the most villainous individual in the entire series (and David’s abuser) is shown to be entirely correct about David. My take on the season finale is that the Shadow King understood David better than anyone else (having lived in his head for decades) and knew both how best to turn people against his and how to break him in ways that would make him act like a monster.

This ending was terrible in several ways. If they’d want to make David a villain, they needed to foreshadow this a bit with his behavior before the last two episodes. Season Six of Buffy stank in the middle portion, but from the very first scene, with Willow standing on a crypt with her eyes jet black and doing exceptionally powerful magic, it was clear that she might well be the season’s big bad.

This ended felt more like the ending of Season 1 of Hannibal – except instead of Hannibal convincing everyone that Will was an insane serial killer, while the audience knew this wasn’t true, Will was actually an insane serial killer. Given that the showrunner has talked at length about how pleased he was with the ending and having David be the villain, and also the fact that there’s really no way to excuse what David did, I’m utterly done, barring some cheap nonsense like making the last two episodes a dream or alternate world sequence that never actually happened.

The new shows have been notably better. Cloak & Dagger definitely isn’t as good as Runaways (which remains by far my favorite Marvel TV show – Jessica Jones is second, but I prefer media that I don’t find painfully difficult to view), but it’s also vastly better than Agents of SHIELD or Inhumans. I’m interested to see where it goes. I also think giving both characters limited touch telepathy was an excellent idea, since it gives them something to do with their powers other than fight people.

Also, Pose is completely awesome. It’s odd to remember where I was in 1987 (Madison Wisconsin). I was heavily involved in the local bi community, but AIDs was something happening elsewhere (there were only a handful of cases in Madison in the 80s), then in 1990, I moved to LA and met lots of people with AIDs, including one in my coven.

In any case, I love Pose and find myself listening to 80s music again (which I largely haven’t done since the mid 90s). Also, one of our current theories is that Stan is actually a transwoman in serious denial – it would be interesting if this was true, and it fits with what we’ve seen so far, but I’m betting it won’t be.

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