LXD is a two seasons of collected web shorts, originally appearing on ‘Hulu.’ A secret society is recruiting dancers and each short reveals prospects who demonstrate masterful performances of different, modern dance techniques.
At first glance, the concept seems to be a bit hammy and contrived. A random, elderly black man (Morgan Freeman must have been out of their price range) narrates in a almost broken hearted yet ever-wise tone, speaking in fortune cookie sayings with promises of mystical yet adventurous things to come. Thankfully, less time is spent on this and more time spent on profiling each dancing character.
Each episode is a veritable clinic of style and precision. Each dancer is at the top of their game. Though some episodes lean a bit far into a cheesy superhero origin story (or resembling some strange deleted scene from Mortal Kombat) most are breathtaking. Highlights include a beautiful contemporary dance called “Duet,” and Glee-actor Harry Shum Jr. as a man whose shoes force him to move (my personal favourite of the bunch). Bonus points go to Shum for being a supervising choreographer on all of the episodes in the series.
It is nice to see something different coming from a dance series. LXD is not about a b-boy showdown or dance competition, and there is no reality-tv connections to be seen. The story may be a loose thread to tie all of these things together, but series creator Jon Chu should be complimented for being relentless in finding an entertaining, albeit far-fetched, method of displaying these enormous dance talents in a unique spotlight
Widescreen 16:9. Modified for televisions, this DVD has a nice visual presentation. The earliest episodes are a bit bland in their colouring, and almost look fuzzy or faded because of it. Some richer tones arrive in later episodes. The darker scenes could be crisper but all the fast movements are captured clearly enough to be enjoyed.
Dolby Digital 5.1. Being a dance series, the music is crucial. All speakers are utilized and the surrounding sound of the various tunes arrive without distortion. The dialogue and narration are clear as well.
The LXD: Building the Legion: A dedicated behind-the-scenes featurette that gets a bit too sentimental for its own good, but all of the interviewees have their hearts is in the right places.
Each episode could have easily been a big-budget (or just high-concept) music video in disguise. This film is for dance fans, but at least certain episodes and/or dances should reach even the most skeptical viewer (like I was going into my screening).
(see my favourite episode with this link: http://www.hulu.com/watch/162538/the-lxd-elliots-shoes#s-p1-n1-so-i0)