Legacies had a lot to live up to ahead of its premiere. Before the spin-off even aired, the series was hit with doubt from fans who wondered whether or not the series could stand alongside its much-loved predecessors, The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. While it exists within Julie Plec's thrilling shared universe, Legacies is not a rehashing of what came before and instead, sets itself apart as an entirely different but equally entertaining beast.
Breaking from the serialized nature of its parent shows, the show takes on a monster-of-the-week format while still enlisting those break-neck plot twists we've come to love.
The story follows Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell), the jaded daughter of OG baddie Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan) and alpha werewolf Hayley Marshall (Phoebe Tonkin), as she learns to control her powers alongside other supernatural teens at the Salvatore Boarding School under the tutelage of TVD fan-favorite Alaric Saltzman (Matthew Davis). It's Harry Potter meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets New Mutants with the perfect dash of titillating teen drama as Hope must now track down her would-be love interest Landon (Aria Shahghasemi), a seemingly normal guy who stole a mystical knife and left behind a bus full of charred bodies. Whether or not he's the villain of the story or just the victim of some truly unfortunate circumstances remains to be seen. What's clear, though, is that this overarching mystery is one of the most interesting things about the show.
Because Legacies is the spin-off of a spin-off, it's impossible not to compare the series to what came before. But unlike The Vampire Diaries, which featured supernatural adolescents who fought to suppress their super abilities, and The Originals, which followed older supernatural creatures who were too bogged down by end-of-the-world issues to enjoy their powers, the super-powered teens on Legacies are taught to embrace their abilities and even have a little fun with them. Taking on a more light-hearted tone, the series has embraced magic in a way that the other shows never could, and therefore, is a total blast to watch. Where else would you get to see teens with powers playing a legitimate game of Quidditch or get high off weed laced with sex hormones? This series is both dark and fun, familiar and mysterious.
But while vastly different from the shows that came before, Legacies never forgets its roots and serves up delightful Easter eggs, such as the Stefan Salvatore Memorial Library as the perfect little treat for longtime TVD fans. Plus, the show will feature cameos from Vampire Diaries characters, like Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig), who's now the sheriff of Mystic Falls, and world-traveling hunter Jeremy Gilbert (Steven R. McQueen). However, the show also appeals to those who aren't so familiar with the TVD-verse with a lineup of fresh, new characters that span different species, ethnicities and sexualities. No matter how you identify yourself, you can probably relate to someone on the series, whether it be the delightfully emotional witch Lizzie (Jenny Boyd), her sweetly co-dependent twin sister Josie (Kaylee Bryant), the ultra-cool vamp M.G. (Quincy Fouse) or even the ridiculously suave Raphael (Peyton Alex Smith). There's something for everyone, which didn't always feel like the case on its parent series.
Time will tell if audiences will latch onto Legacies the way they did with The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, but here's hoping they do. It's actually a great show.
Legacies airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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