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Featured TV on DVD Review: The LXD: Seasons One and Two

April 10th, 2011

The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers: Seasons One and Two - Buy from Amazon

The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, or LXD as it is also known, is a webseries that first aired on Hulu. But unlike most webseries, which are pretty low rent, this one is very professional and is written and directed by Jon Chu. Jon Chu previously directed the last two Step Up movies, as well as Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Given his filmography, you can probably guess LXD is about dancing, but there's more to the show.

The Show

After a rather cryptic prologue introducing the concept of The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, we flashback to the past and are introduced to Trevor Drift as a young boy. He has a gift for dance, one that his father forbids him to explore. Ten years later, Trevor is an outcast high schooler who is looking for a date to the prom. However, the girl he's interested in already has a date with a guy that seems like a loser. Despite this, and despite his dad forbidding him from going, he goes to the dance, gets into a confrontation with said loser and shows that his dance skills are not just natural, but perhaps a little more.

That's a very typical episode for the show. We get a little bit from The Narrator (that's the character's name, but since we actually see him on screen, he's not really a narrator) who introduces the plot. There may or may not be significant dialogue furthering the plot. Then there's the big dance scene. The mix of plot to dancing changes, as does the style of dancing we see, but that's the basic formula. Season one runs for ten episodes, during which we see the many members of the LXD as they are recruits. Season two does the same, but focuses more on The Umbras, a.k.a., Organization X, a.k.a., The Ox, a.k.a., the bad guys.

You opinion of the show will depend very heavily on how much you like dancing, and even then it can vary widely depending on the style of dancing that is the focus of a particular episode. The concept of using dance to focus the dancer's chi, or Ra as it is called here, is cool and it can work at times. However, when it comes to the dance battles, I was at a loss to explain who was winning and who was losing. It's like watching a sports movie and not being able to tell when a team scores a point or not. I have no idea who's ahead and who's behind till the fight is over. This lessens the dramatic impact of the dancing. But even so, there's still more than enough super cool dancing to be worth checking out.

The Extras

There is a 12-minute behind-the-scenes / making of featurette.

The Verdict

If you like the Step Up films but wanted to combine the dance with a battle of Good vs. Evil, then The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers is for you. Seasons One and Two is like two feature-length movies for the price of one, and while there's not a lot of extras, I think it's worth picking up for most fans of the genre.

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