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In the TV show Legion, the protagonist's sister Amy consistently dresses and does her hair like someone from the Mad Men era. Nobody else in the show looks like a 60's throwback, but (at least so far) nobody in the show seems to notice Amy's anachronistic look.

Given how screwy the show is shaping up to be, in terms of nonlinear storytelling and a seriously unreliable narrator, are we meant to "read something into" Amy's appearance? Are the writers signalling that Amy is perhaps

not real? I.e. maybe she died as a child and what we see is just in David's mind?

Not sure how to reconcile that with the end of episode 2, though...

Am I on to something, or am I overcomplicating things, or is it too early to know? Does the source material offer any clues, or is the TV show too different from the comics to draw any conclusions?

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    I used to work with a lady who persistently dressed like Audrey Hepburn from Roman Holiday. Perhaps I should have been more suspicious that she was a g...g...ghost or a figment of my imagination!
    – Valorum
    Feb 22, 2017 at 22:00
  • @Valorum: that would only be a possibility if nobody noticed that she dressed like Roman Holiday Audrey Hepburn, and since you noticed... :)
    – Martha
    Feb 22, 2017 at 22:20
  • I always thought it was odd that no-one mentioned it.
    – Valorum
    Feb 22, 2017 at 22:21
  • I haven't seen the show, but the wiki page says that '60s design elements are part of the show's style. Now I may have to watch it. :)
    – Seeds
    Feb 22, 2017 at 23:03
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    @PaulD.Waite: when I asked this question, we hadn't met that character yet, and in some ways, that character is a literal throwback to a prior age, having been stuck in limbo for what, 30 years? But you're correct in that there have since been more characters with obviously-60's-inspired hairstyles/clothes, like David's girlfriend Philly.
    – Martha
    Apr 10, 2017 at 14:25

1 Answer 1

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The actual, "real world" time period where the show takes place is modern day. However, the show's creator has intentionally chosen to make it difficult to pin down a specific time period just based on the visuals on screen.

The central theme of the show is that it's being told through the perspective of David, who is an "unreliable narrator" (including in the most literal sense -- his memories have been explicitly changed.) Everything we see on the screen is not "real", it's "as David sees it". When we see Amy, we see what David thinks Amy looks like and how he remembers Amy dressing, which seems to be heavily tinged with nostalgia.

As Noah Hawley explained to EW:

When I wrote the script I assumed it was set in present day and in our world, and I think the network assumed that too. Then when it came time to make it I thought about it more as a fable on some level and I realized I wanted to make something subjective. Which is to say this whole show is not the world, it’s David’s experience of the world. He’s piecing his world together from nostalgia and memory and the world becomes that.

The costumes and hair styles aren't the only things that are ambiguous. The decor, the technology, the telephone systems -- everything appears to be from mismatched times, but nothing is ever explicitly "out of place" in a way that would break continuity. You might see 70s decor in a hippie retreat and 90s decor in a hospital using 80s telephone technology, but all that stuff really continues to exist in the 21st century.


On a side note: the overall look of the show was heavily influenced by the visuals of A Clockwork Orange, which is set in the future but looks like it's set in the 60s or 70s.

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