TNT kicked off its new drama Legends last night, and we figured, “why not?” I mean – it’s been so long since we saw Sean Bean with his head attached we just wanted to make sure it was real. (Kudos to TNT, by the way, for recognizing and seizing the opportunity that transformed into the #dontkillseanbean marketing scheme. Well played, TNT, well played.)
The show’s name is a play on the definition above – the cover given to an undercover operative, so it really is no surprise that we find Bean’s character, undercover FBI agent Martin Odum, in the middle of an undercover operation to start the show (I’m really just seeing how many times I can work the word “undercover” into a sentence…). Odum has apparently spent the past six months infiltrating an extremist group in Virginia, The Citizen’s Army of Virginia, and is at the point where he has just earned their trust – only to have the ATF bust in and almost blow his cover on a routine arms bust. Here we meet his son, Aiden (Mason Cook), his ex-wife (Amber Valletta), and the rest of the crew – to name a few: the director of his task force, Yates (Steve Harris); fellow operative, Crystal (Ali Larter); the tech gal, Maggie (Tina Majorino); and the tech guy – I didn’t catch his name and can’t ID him on IDMB.
When a chance arises for Odum to complete his original mission, he wastes no time slipping back into character and gets back in the game. We have a chance to see that maybe FBI agents aren’t paid enough as Crystal may be moonlighting at a gentleman’s club… er, wait – that’s her cover. Either way – it’s all good. He ends up being able to complete his mission, but not without his entire identity being brought into question by an odd homeless-looking man.
While this show has a decent premise and a good cast, it seems pretty clear to me that the success or failure of this show rests almost entirely on Bean’s acting chops – which should be enough to get them a second season at the very least in my book; he’s a versatile guy, and he embraces his role well – switching between characters almost seamlessly.
It strikes me as a cross between the old 90s show The Pretender (where Jared ‘could be anything/anyone he wanted to be’) and any number of crime dramas: while there’s an story-arc that could take a season or longer to answer, “Is Martin Odum real?”, it should be a string of stand-alone episodes. That’s neither a good nor a bad thing, as it is a formula that has served many shows well – I hope they spend a good deal of time developing the different characters and longer-term story-arcs… and if they wanted to give Crystal/Ali Larter a bigger role – we wouldn’t be too terribly disappointed either.
If you have time to spend watching this – it’s not a waste of time, go for it! If you don’t – you’re not missing a “must see”, and you can always catch up on OnDemand, Hulu, etc.
What did you think of the premier?
Legends airs on TNT Wednesdays at 9
~ J.T. Riles ~
Categories: Channel Surfing