Legendary

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Legendary TV Poster Image
Fierce dance competition has profanity, positive messages.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series reveals how the ball dance scene embraces inclusivity, empowerment, and acceptance. Struggles with coming to terms with one's sexuality, and people's reactions to it, are also discussed. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Participants discuss how they found the courage for self-acceptance, regardless of their gender identification or sexuality. The houses are comprised of people who rely on each other as mentors and as their families. The judges are polite, but some can be catty. Some contestants are more competitive than others, but they also try to be good sports. 

Violence

Contestants sometimes tease or challenge each other, but theres nothing violent. Previous physical and emotional abuse is referenced. 

Sex

Dancers wear tight, skin-revealing clothing. Performance walks are often hyper sexualized, but are also presented as being self-empowered and comfortable with one’s sexuality. There’s some crude sexual language (like "p---y" and "gagged"), some of which is part of the community vernacular. 

Language

The word "bitch" is commonly used. Curses like "s--t" and "f--k" are also audible, but not as frequently. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol (champagne) is visible in one biopic. Backstories allude to situations involving drugs. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Legendary is a competition series featuring teams from the underground ballroom scene competing for cash and status. Themes associated with the LGBTQ+ community (coming out, family rejection, etc.) are present, as are narratives related to growing up poor, enduring physical abuse, and the death of parents. The word "bitch" and crude sexual references (like "p---y") are used as part of the ball community’s vernacular, and stronger curses (like "f--k" and "s--t") are used less frequently. Performances feature tight, skin-revealing clothing, and sexualized movements, but are presented in self-empowering ways.There’s some argumentative behavior, but it doesn’t detract from the positive messages the series sends about mentorship, acceptance, and embracing difference. 

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What's the story?

LEGENDARY is a reality competition series featuring voguing dance teams, also known as "houses," facing off for cash, a trophy, and superior status. Hosted by MC Dashaun Wesley, eight different houses from the underground ballroom scene compete in a variety of performances that combine dance, lip-synching, and modeling. They are judged by renowned vogue dancer and activist Leiomy Maldonado, stylist Law Roach, actress Jameela Jamil, and rapper Megan Thee Stallion. The balls are extravagant and the dancers are fierce, but they’re all leaving it out on the floor to achieve mega status. 

Is it any good?

This lively competition show features different houses trying to impress with over-the-top, glitzy performances. It also uses the opportunity to showcase the overall underground ballroom scene, the history of which goes back to early 20th century LGBT counterculture. Legendary reveals how Black and Latinx transgender women have made it into what it is today, and points to the fact that many mainstream dance trends (including Madonna’s voguing) are inspired by this movement. But it also shows the cultural significance of the houses themselves, which are tight-knit, social group families that serve as the dancers’ support network, especially when their real families are not able or willing to be there. 

For those unfamiliar with urban ball room dance (and ball culture), chances are it'll take an episode or two to fully understand what judges are looking for, in addition to learning the vernacular associated with the scene. Others may be surprised by the ball community’s willingness to embrace everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, size, or race. Despite some arguing and traditional house rivalries during the competition, this overall message of acceptance is never overshadowed. As a result, Legendary is a positive, vibrant, and high-spirited contest that is both fun and inspiring. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Famlies can talk about how Legendary portrays the ballroom competition style. What kinds of things do the judges look for in each performance? Which of the houses do you think is the strongest? 

  • How has ball culture evolved over the past century? Does it only include people in drag? In what ways does this underground culture influence mainstream popular dance and music? 

  • What other types of dance are you familiar with? How are these the same -- and different -- from the ballroom scene?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dance competitions

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