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We are living in TV's golden age of "What the hell did I just watch?"

  • Westworld isn't the only show that confuses viewers, intentionally or not. "In fact," says Sean O'Neal, "Westworld is just one of a modern breed of deliberately obfuscating shows that demand to be worked in order to—or sometimes, rather than—enjoyed. Its lightly scrambled timelines and endless robot teases are certainly nothing compared to Legion, a series so far gone that most everyone in its orbit has avowed that being confused is entirely the point—that you should just embrace never quite knowing what’s going on as part of its appeal. Indeed, every episode of Legion feels like blundering, in media res, into someone else’s weird dream after they ate too much Indian food and watched a Cronenberg movie. It’s entrancing but often exhausting, though always beautiful to look at, and I’d sure like to sit its cast and crew down and offer $100 to any one of them who can clearly, succinctly tell me what’s going on." O'Neal adds that a lot of pop-culture these days seems to require extracurricular work: "It’s endemic of a lot of our current, internet-engine-driving entertainment, actually," he says, "all of which assume a certain amount of prior research before you’re even welcomed in the door: in the blockbuster comic-book movies that function as Very Special Episodes; in huge sci-fi film franchises that just assume you’ve also caught up on its cartoon spinoffs; even in our massive crossover hip-hop albums."

    TOPICS: Westworld, FX, HBO, Legion, Peak TV