The Vampire Diaries was one of the best shows of the CW and it promoted the network to create a spinoff called The Originals. Almost every character on both the shows ended up dying and were also resurrected, in rather creative ways. Now, just like its vampires, the series is defying death and has come up with yet another spin-off series called Legacies. It was only a few months ago that the CW put an end to the first spin-off series by Julie Plec, The Originals. Therefore, an additional spin-off that comprises of a completely new cast of characters seemed rather unnecessary.
While people may have been skeptical about the new show, the series premiere provided fans, both new and old ones, a very credible and fun chance of taking another trip to Mystic Falls. Legacies provides new viewers an entry point to join the popular and widespread TVD fandom. The first episode of the series explains all the important plot details in simple exposition. It has been a number of years after the Originals series finale, which means that Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell) is now an adult. There is also the Salvatore family mansion, which is now a school for young supernatural kids and fan favorite Alaric Saltzman (Matt Davis) is running it.
However, other than the thrill you enjoy when you see the old Salvatore boarding house being used in a unique and fun way and some of the exciting and small cameos from a number of favorite characters, this is where the similarities between The Originals and The Vampire Diaries end. This new spinoff is more accessible to a greater audience than The Originals ever could be. Fans of the first two series are also looking forward to Legacies because it provides something interesting; a high school drama involving the supernatural.
Sure, some will argue that The Vampire Diaries started off in the same manner as Elena went to high school and that’s where she met Stefan. But, it is a fact that those teenagers didn’t see enough of inside a classroom to get their high school diplomas, much less go to college. On the other hand, Legacies begins with actual teenagers who are basically supernatural creatures and live with other supernatural teens at the school. The setting of a preppy boarding school gives Julie Plec and her team a golden opportunity of diving into the high school drama in a whole new way, something they were not able to do before.
This is quite effective for several reasons. First and foremost, Legacies has hired actors who are more age-appropriate for this kind of drama. This means that you will not find 30-year-olds passing themselves off as 17-year-olds. The romance and friendship intrigue actually works for a high school drama and the supernatural elements just add onto the whole. Another thing that make Legacies different from the rest is that the show doesn’t start with a love triangle and is not revolving around one. This means there is no specific ‘ship’ for you to root for because there are a number of romantic entanglements going on.
After all, it is a high school and this means that there are a bunch of hormonal, reckless and supernaturally powerful teens running around. They are busy trying to learn how to navigate the life of a high school student where your ex can actually kill you. In the meanwhile, they also have to deal with bloodlust or the need to transform yourself into a wolf once every month. The most compelling part about the romance on the new show is that it takes an honest and fresh look at how teenagers approach the concept of sexual identity.
The timeline on The Originals and The Vampire Diaries got a bit murky towards the end, but Legacies takes place somewhere in the near future, which is approximately four to nine years from now. This is probably why the sociopolitical attitude of the teenagers comes off as progressive and refreshing. The teenagers at the Salvatore School don’t feel the need to label themselves and are all sexually fluid. While all this works out well for Legacies, there is one aspect where it does seem to fall a little short.
What is it and why is it so important? The fact is that Legacies is actually a supernatural show and yet the series premiere doesn’t comprise of much of the supernatural. It had previously been revealed by Julie Plec that the new show would be something like a monster-of-the-week kind of thing as Hope and Alaric could continue to encounter new types of magical creatures that were never seen in the TVD universe before. The downside is that the premiere episode, ‘This is the Part Where you Run’, doesn’t really get around to any of those stories.
It is possible that the show makers decided to use the first 42 minutes of the episode to properly introduce the new characters and their relationships and adding a supernatural element just didn’t it with it. However, the problem is that the lack of the supernatural element only shows that the series doesn’t have a driving force behind it. There was no clear mission in the first episode except for the mystery about just one character. Hopefully, the show will move onto the good elements quickly. If more episodes go by without introducing any scary and cool monsters causing chaos, Legacies would end up becoming the first show of the TV universe to die a real death i.e. cancellation.
Nonetheless, the most appealing factor about Legacies is that it is the best entry point for anyone who hasn’t seen The Vampire Diaries and The Originals before, but is interested in watching high school dramas with a strong supernatural element. As far as existing fans of the universe are concerned, Legacies brings some nostalgia and fun Easter eggs. It is a reminder of the good old days and the Salvatore House and the cameos by old characters serve as the cherry on top.