TV Review: TNT's 'Legends'

TNT premieres Legends — starring Sean Bean and executive produced by Homeland cocreator Howard Gordon — on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. The drama is based on a novel of the same name by Robert Littell. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

"Developed by 24 and Homeland producer Howard Gordon, the series about a deep-cover operative is adapted from Robert Littell’s novel, but probably owes a more sizable debt in TV terms to Wiseguy, a late-’80s artifact that felt very much ahead of its time. Legends, by contrast, is rooted in its Blacklist-informed present, trying — and not fully succeeding – to infuse a cop procedural with a deeper mythological spine."
—Brian Lowry, Variety

"For a show that is about a man who is never who he appears to be, Legends winds up being exactly what it appears to be in every possible second: a generic crime procedural tricked up with a convoluted mystery meant to add intrigue to the various Undercover Assignments of the Week."
—Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

Legends, whose title refers to the elaborate back stories created for undercover identities, is darker and more violent than the channel’s most successful shows, lightweight crime dramas like Rizzoli & Isles and Major Crimes. Presumably Legends is meant to seem more serious than those shows and skew more male in its viewership, but it succeeds only in being more mechanical, predictable and thin."
—Mike Hale, New York Times

"Much of the episodic material is recycled and predictable - Odum and Larter's character are always at odds and have, of course, had a fling, there's a smooth FBI agent (Morris Chestnut) who doesn't trust Odum and is out to undermine him, Sonya probably still loves Odum but resents his self-focus."
—David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

"Bean is clearly the main reason to watch Legends, the third Howard Gordon-produced venture to hit the flat screen this year. The 10-episode series, based on a book by Robert Littell and premiering Wednesday, has been constructed as a wide and solid if somewhat workmanlike platform for the British actor's considerable talents."
—Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times