ATX: Is TNT’s New Drama the Stuff of ‘Legends’?

Legends (Key Art: TNT)
Legends (Key Art: TNT)

The Austin Television Experience (ATX) kicked off Thursday night with a preview screening of TNT’s upcoming drama¬†Legends. Does Sean Bean survive the first episode?

The Blurb

“Legends” follows a deep-cover operative named Martin Odum, who has an uncanny ability to transform himself into a different person for each job. But his own identity comes into question when a mysterious stranger suggests that Martin isn’t who he thinks he is.

The Screening

Legends kicked off this year’s ATX festival Thursday night. The show is about a covert ops agent (Sean Bean) who is the expert at his craft. “Legend” refers to a persona adopted by someone in deep cover. In the midst of an investigation of a militia/domestic terrorism group, the agent is tipped off that his default persona might be its own legend. Intrigue, violence, and Ali Larter as a stripper legend ensue. The pilot will be tweaked between now and its mid-August debut, but the show is a more-sophisticated CBS procedural that incorporates TNT’s “scruffy Dockers ad” aesthetic.

The Panel

The Q&A session featured Executive Producer/Director Brad Turner (24, Alias, among many others). The show has filmed about half of its ten episode order, though only nine scripts have been produced so far. Bean is still alive in episode 109, though his various legends may meet their maker along the way.

The Experience

I’m not sure if it was a lack of information or an icy reception from the audience, but the Q&A was not as lively as one would expect at the festival’s opening screening. The episode had a severe case of pilot-itis, women and people of color were the cliched victims of TV tropes, and most of the exposition was told rather than shown. Turner asked the audience to spread the word about the show, especially over social media, so expect a major push on the Turner networks after The Last Ship sets sail.

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About Mike McComb 667 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv