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OPINION - 10 Ways to improve Legacies

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Disclaimer Please note that the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpoilerTV.
Have you ever found yourself watching Legacies thinking “I wish they would do this”? Well, me too. That’s how this article started. At first, it was just a few things, then a bit more and now I have a 4-page article. Now, these are just my opinions. I am in no way in charge of anything regarding Legacies. This is just me blowing off some steam after a frustrating season and starting a discussion about it. If certain writers happen to see this, that’s just an added bonus. So, let’s dive in. 

1) Let’s get this party started: After only a few episodes, it was pretty clear that this show was very different from those that came before it. There was a much lighter tone to the episodes than we’d seen on The Vampire Diaries or The Originals and to this day I still don’t understand why the writers went in this direction. When you do a spin-off, usually you try to aim for a similar audience. This show is aimed at teenagers, but so was The Vampire Diaries. The darker tone of the show is actually what drew teenage me in (especially after Twilight). But even if you ignore that it’s a spin-off with an already existing audience expecting certain things, it still doesn’t make sense when you consider who the main characters are. We have a lead who has already been through hell and back. Hope is an orphan who has only recently lost her parents, which she had some involvement in. She’s a werewolf who has pretty much isolated herself from the other students. Then there are the twins where one is destined to murder the other. Lizzie struggles with her mental health, Josie can barely stand up for herself. We are introduced to 2 foster kids who experienced violence as kids. I mean, we were literally introduced to Rafael by seeing him get tortured for being a werewolf. Which part of this screams light and fun to you? 

For those of you who think that after 3 seasons, it’s too late to change this now, I disagree. Is it late in the game? Yes, but it’s not impossible. Legends of Tomorrow had a similar switch from dark to light after their first season. It wasn’t all at once, it was gradual and it’s the best decision the show has ever made. They saw that something wasn’t working and they fixed it. A lot of my suggestions below would actually be great ways to change the mood if I do say so myself. But it would also help to keep the “special” episodes to a minimum. And with that I mean: Star Wars fanfic episodes, musicals, alternate universe, … That’s the kind of thing you pull out after 5 seasons when you’re out of storylines. 
2) This isn’t Supernatural: Probably the easiest change this show could make is to lose the “monster of the week” storylines. I can tell that they have already reduced them a bit. Now get rid of them entirely. They take up way too much time in each episode. This is time that gets taken away from relationship and character development. It often leads to filler episodes. No episode should be skippable. If I can’t tell after 5 minutes into the episode that I clearly forgot to watch the previous one, you’re doing it wrong.

The monster of the week storylines are, in my opinion, the worst decision the writers and creators could’ve made. Not only does it seem way too similar to some other shows (Supernatural, Grimm, …) but it destroyed one of the best things of the Vampire Diaries Universe. The mythology. It was one of my favorite things in the early seasons of TVD. The way they would introduce a new species, how they would slowly drop little facts on us without it seeming like an infodump. The way we’d learn about a species the hard way (seeing how vampires die by seeing Vicky die, …). A new species was something special. But now? How many “monsters” have we been introduced to so far? How many have actually been properly discussed? I was so excited to see a dragon in the second episode. I thought we’d get to learn more about them. Then we never saw them again. The next week we were already moving on to the next one. If we got rid of the monsters, we could actually go back to what matters. You know, I’m still waiting for the origin story of witches. 3)

3) You get 1 per 2 seasons: I never said I wanted to go back to just vampires, witches, and werewolves. I’m totally fine with the writers introducing a new species but it needs to be done properly. Therefore, I would suggest 1 new species every 2 seasons. This gives them plenty of time to flesh out the mythology and storylines. My personal choice would be to start with the phoenix. We still know very little about it. Where do they come from? It would give Landon a storyline that does not revolve around his relationship with Hope (or Malivore). I was really disappointed with how Landon’s phoenix storyline was handled. It was mainly just a plot device that allowed him to be resurrected over and over again. Wade being a fairy is also a good possibility. It’s barely been mentioned since that first time. But the mythology surrounding fae is gigantic and it would open the door to so many possibilities (Seelie and Unseelie court?). It beats what they’re doing with Wade now, which isn’t much. 

Another species I’d love to see would be a succubus. I’ve wanted to see those in this universe ever since I saw the deleted scene from season one of TVD where Matt’s mom seemed to suck her date dry. And I wasn’t kidding about liking dragons. 
4) More substance, less … mud: I can’t be the only one who is absolutely sick of Malivore. It’s been 3 seasons and we’re still stuck with the same villain. And it’s not even a good villain. It’s literally been just a blob of mud. Yes, that does seem to be changing now with fake Landon but really, we should’ve gotten to the more interesting part of Malivore 2 seasons ago. But more than anything, I want to see a different kind of villain. Not the cartoon kind (like Ted, don’t even get me started on that guy) but one with depth, a backstory that makes you want to root for them. Because aren’t those the best ones? Klaus was a villain when we first met him. Katherine was a villain until the end but you could root for her. It also helps when they don’t consider themselves villains. They’re not bad just for the sake of being bad. A good villain is what makes a good show. When did the quality of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals start to decline? When they ran out of good villains. 

Kai was a good villain and the episode in the prison world is still the best episode this show has had. Alyssa had the makings of being a good villain but the show handled it all wrong (and good for Olivia landing her own show, she’s killing it). There are so many people from Klaus’ past that could come after Hope. Or even someone from Alaric’s past coming after the twins, he was a hunter after all. All I’m saying is that it’s way past time to wrap up Malivore and move on. 

5) Someone needs to die: When you have a supernatural show, casualties happen. It’s inevitable and it keeps everyone, including the audience, on their toes. The Vampire Diaries and The Originals were exceptionally good at this, some would even say too good. But we always knew that no one was safe. Anyone could die (even if certain characters always found a way to come back). We haven’t had any major death on this show in three seasons. Not a single one (I’m not counting Sebastian or Kai as major). Landon does not count because they’ve had him temporarily die so many times it has lost its affect (which it really shouldn’t after only three seasons). Sometimes it even feels like the writers go out of their way to not kill off a character. Like with Rafael and Alyssa. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rafael and was thrilled that he didn’t get killed off but his “rescue” by prison world was ridiculous. Alyssa could’ve easily been killed off, especially with the actress moving to a different show. Think of the impact it would’ve had on Josie. Instead, they just had her disappear with an occasional mention. 
But after three seasons, I feel like there should’ve been at least one main character death. If the writers need any suggestions, I’d like to nominate Alaric. Not only have there been prophecies of his demise but he doesn’t add anything to the storylines. At this point, he’s just taking up screen time. His death would greatly impact several characters (Hope, Lizzie, and Josie) and would lead to a major shake-up of the current way of things (more on that later). It would also force the writers to deal with the issue of Caroline. 

6) Not my Caroline Forbes: Which brings me to this next part. If you’d told me several years ago that Caroline Forbes would just let her kids run around while she’s on the other side of the world, I would’ve said you were crazy. It makes no sense that we haven’t seen Caroline since the backdoor pilot. I don’t care that she’s looking for a way to save her daughters, no way in hell would she miss them performing in a musical that was about her life. However, I do agree that she did something similar when her mom was dying. Instead of spending the remaining time with her mother, she spent it running around preparing and planning and ended up missing out. But that was a lot more short-term. The twins have years before things get dire. And it’s not just the kids. I can’t believe she’d leave the management of the school that she built entirely in Alaric’s hands. Because she clearly also didn’t notice that the school was not doing well earlier in season three. The longer Caroline stays away, the more ridiculous it gets. Yes, the twins visit her occasionally (when the writers don’t want to deal with their issues) but that’s not enough. We need at least one on-screen appearance from her. Alaric’s funeral? If they did kill him off they’d either need to get new management for the school or close it and move to a different school. 

7) Hogwarts, anyone? Okay, don’t shoot me. But what if we did close the school. It was a nice idea, a school for the supernatural in Mystical Falls, in a house that is way too small to host a decent school. But the execution of it has not been great. When the idea was first announced I pictured something much grander. Actually, I pictured the exact setting from Fate: the Winx Saga, down to the vibe and everything. Instead, we haven’t seen anything from actual classes. There seem to be no teachers, barely any students, … It seems more like a hotel than a school at this point. So hear me out. If they close the school, we can move this whole thing to a new location, away from Mystic Falls. Which could actually be a blessing. We can move away from the legacy of those who remained in Mystic Falls like Damon and Elena, and we can stop awkwardly dancing around never actually seeing them (like when Josie was staying with them). A new school brings tons of options for new characters, new relationships, which can then lead to new storylines. Hope can finally get a sparring partner who can keep up. But also, if they’re away at boarding school, there’s no more need to find excuses for not showing Caroline. No one wants their mother to show up at boarding school anyway. 

I just feel like the Salvatore School has boxed us in. Part of me wonders if the writers have stuck with Malivore for this long because they have no clue what to do next. I’m not sure that it was a smart move to tie this show to Mystical Falls. While I do think there needs to be a human element, that could’ve been anywhere. I guess I just can’t let go of those dreams I had of what this show could’ve been had they had a more “Vampire Academy” style school. Oh wait, Julie is already doing that with another show, isn’t she? What a coincidence. 
8) Deal with it, you cowards: With all the weekly monsters, all the Malivore drama, and the endless cycle of Hope and Landon losing and finding each other again, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of room for character development. How do the writers solve this? By sending them away off-screen to deal with their problems. Whenever Lizzie struggles, she goes to see her mom. The same goes for Josie. Hope doesn’t really deal with her issues, she just shoves it all down. Which would be fine if I thought the writers planned to deal with it at some point. Kaleb and Jed seem to have been reduced to the funny guys when I know both actors are capable of so much more. All of these characters have real and relatable crap that they deal with. It would be really nice to see it dealt with on-screen. I want to see Lizzie manage her mental health on screen. I want to see Hope deal with her very obvious abandonment issues and talk about what happened to her parents. I’d also like to see her address her werewolf side more. I want to know why she doesn’t interact with the pack more. I want to know more about Kaleb and Jedd’s backstories. We’re three seasons in, we should know more about them. Enough of the bad CGI monsters, let’s start to focus on the storylines that really matter. 

9) Stop wasting good characters: In that same line, let’s talk about the wasted potential on this show. We’ve had several great characters that the writers have basically just thrown out the window. Rafael had so much potential, but the writers treated him so crappy. He was either a love interest, Landon’s brother, or just completely absent from the episodes. The way they wrote him off was terrible. Stuck in a prison world with his parents. They could’ve done so much more with him. Fan-favorite Penelope was written off the show when her storyline with Josie was far from over. We barely knew anything about her. Looking back, she was only really in a handful of scenes but she stole every single one of them. Even now, the writers still mention her from time to time because they know there are fans still hoping she’ll return (yes, I’m one of them). Jade was barely on the show before she left again. I’m not sure if that was planned or if it was just COVID but it was really weird. Why bring her on at all as a love interest for Josie only to write her off immediately after. But perhaps the biggest waste was Maya. I had such high hopes for her character. But she vanished after only three episodes. 
10) Let’s make it queer: There’s something to be said about “original plan” vs “giving the fans what they want”. I do believe there is a middle ground. I don’t think you should always give in to the fans’ wishes but natural chemistry isn’t something you can plan and sometimes the best storylines come from just rolling with it. Aside from Handon, the largest fanbases on this show are queer ships. Yet when it comes to actual representation on the show, there is only one canon ship at a time. What is it with shows and their one queer ship that they pat themselves on the back for? Why is it so scary for them to have more than one? 90% straight and 10% queer is not an accurate representation of the world. There have been multiple hints that Hope is bisexual but it’s never actually been explicitly stated on the show. And Lizzie definitely does not come across as straight to me. Also, don’t even get me started on those MG and Ethan scenes. At what point will they start listening to their fans? 

If you agree with any of these points or if you think entirely differently, be sure to let me know in the comments. I have a confession to make, though. This will be my last article for SpoilerTV. It’s been a wild 9-year ride but it’s time to close this chapter for me. So, next season someone else will be taking over reviewing Legacies. I hope you’ve enjoyed my reviews over the years. I’ve certainly enjoyed discussing them with you guys in the comments. I’ll see you guys around.

Please be respectful in the comments, any unnecessary rudeness isn't welcome.

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