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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Legacies, a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries, is a supernatural drama. It contains all the bloody, gruesome violence and strong sexual innuendo that its (very popular with teens) predecessor is known for. There are lots of high school romances, parties (where students drink), and references to smoking weed. There's also some strong language, and references to magic and horror-themed books like the Harry Potter series.
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What's the story?
LEGACIES, an installment of The Vampire Diaries franchise, features a new generation of supernatural students at the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young and Gifted. Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell), the daughter of the infamous vampire-werewolf Klaus Mikaelson, attends the school in Mystic Falls along with folks like teacher and hunter Alaric Saltzman's (Matthew Davis) daughters, fraternal twin witches Lizzie (Jenny Boyd) and Josie (Kaylee Bryant), and a vampire known as MG (Quincy Fouse). Also joining them are newcomers Rafael Waithe (Peyton Alex Smith) and Landon Kirby (Aria Shahghasemi). As the teens learn ancient magic and folklore, they also deal with typical coming-of-age pressures, especially when it comes to falling in love. Their emotions run deep, but they work to suppress their natural instincts to bite, attack, or perform black magic while keeping who they are a secret in order to stay safe. But there comes a time where they each must choose who they want to be, and how they'll contribute to the world around them.
Is it any good?
This dramatic supernatural spin-off features all the edgy drama and teen-oriented angst L.J. Smith's original story world is known for. Like The Vampire Diaries and its sister series, The Originals, it focuses on the internal struggles of the characters, who are constantly negotiating between wanting to live happily as nonhuman creatures, and having to change their behavior in order to live among people who consider what they are to be terrifying and evil. Adding to this challenge, they maintain complicated friendships, betrayals, and romantic entanglements.
Some of the stories pick up threads from the earlier series, making the show feel like a natural progression of The Vampire Diaries universe (which will certainly please diehard franchise fans). But Legacies also offers a slew of new characters played by up-and-coming actors, and storylines for a new generation of viewers to sink their teeth into. It's not for everyone, but if you like the combination of magic, horror, and the agonies of high school, chances are that this will fit the bill.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of supernatural-themed shows and movies. What is it that makes them entertaining? Is it the ability to perform magic? The adventures that transpire?
Spin-offs like Legacies usually rely (to some extent) on their parent series' stories to attract audiences. But can a spin-off be completely different from the original show and still work?
- Premiere date: October 25, 2018
- Cast: Danielle Rose Russell, Matthew Davis, Aria Shahghasemi
- Network: CW
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, High School, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Character strengths: Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-14
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
- Last updated: April 6, 2020
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