There are some spin-offs that are necessary. There are some that are uncalled for. Fraiser was one of the better ones. Better Call Saul is still to be determined (literally three seasons of nothing happening!). I don’t want to be a hater. I really don’t. But Legacies is a totes love-hate relationship.
The spin-off to The Originals, which is a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries, follows Hope Mikaelson, and her post-Originals life at the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young and Gifted, a mansion-turned-school for supernatural kids (vampires, witches, werewovles, you get the picture). (Note: the series takes place two years after The Originals series finale)
To give you a quick run through, as this is a spin-off of a spin-off: Hope is daughter of OG vampire hybrid Klaus Mikaelson and alpha werewolf Hayley Marshall, grandniece OG witch Dahlia and granddaughter OG vampire hunter Mikael. The Saltzman twins — Lizzie and Josie — are daughters of Alaric Saltzman and Gemini witch Jo Laughlin, and vampire Caroline Forbes (think twisted IVF except with magic). Lizzie holds Caroline OCD with a bit of Kai temperament (oh, Kai is Jo’s evil/sociopath Gemini witch twin) and Elizabeth Forbes’ name (former Mystic Falls sheriff). The Salvatore school was originally owned by the Salvatore family, Stefan and Damon Salvatore (sons of a plantation owner-turned centuries old vampires).
The first two episodes splits into two plotlines: Hope and Alaric, and the Saltzman twins. Hope and Alaric pick up Rafael (a werewolf) out of Atlanta, only to pick up his human foster brother, Landon [fun fact (or no surprise): Landon and Hope have some history, spending one day together in Mystic Falls towards the end of The Originals]. The duo takes them back to Mystic Falls where they enroll Rafael in the school and explain to Landon the story of the supernatural world before brainwashing them. As predicted, Landon escapes with a valuable artifact and all hell breaks loose (literally). Hope and Alaric go on a mission to recover Landon and the knife and discover that dragons exist.
The Saltzman twins go through typical teenage life (for witches). Jo goes through a bad breakup while Lizzie tries to win the heart of Rafael and the flag football game against Mystic Fall High.
Now for the reasoning of the love-hate relationship. The Vampire Diaries had great plot lines. I will admit it did go through some hiccups as there were too many characters so though there was horizontal integration, the creators could not get passed the deepest point, which in my opinion, most characters passed early on (props to Bonnie’s character though. I will outwardly applaud that). The Originals, on the other hand, was the best. It had a great balance of characters and plot lines. The character development for Klaus and Elijah was on point, the love stories were everything I dreamed of and more, young Hope was strong and wise, and overall, the chemistry between the family members and factions added to the tension in a positive way.
Legacies, on the other hand, is a disappointment. Dragons? Really? I would have much preferred some obscure Klaus enemy come after Hope. Hell, I’ll even take Dahlia somehow reviving to life to get Hope. But no, we get dragons. The show, I feel like, is a product of the CW factory assembly line: sexy grown-ups playing teenagers, basic stereotypical archetypes, poor writing, and predictable results. Please, someone tell me: were my expectations too high? Have I outgrown TVD universe (actually, don’t answer that).
Remember: I said love-hate. I love that this universe continues to expand. I love the Saltzman twins. Lizzie has many clear paths to choose from in terms of character development given her lineage. And Josie! The sweetheart. She can also take some dark and twisted turns in terms of development if the writers wanted to run it. Emphasis on if the writers wanted to run with it. The show has potential. I truly believe that. But I hope they don’t use all that potential on Hope and save some for the twins.
I will continue to watch and pray it gets better. Legacies airs on the CW. Check your local listings for times (here in Austin it is on Thursday nights).