It has to be said that nothing will ever compare to the original "The Vampire Diaries" or its amazing spinoff, "The Originals." The two intertwine with each other so beautifully, that the entire universe that is collectively known as TVD/TO comes to life both onscreen and in the hearts and minds of the audience watching.
While I got into the TVD/TO game pretty late, I've binged watched both series to my heart's content countless times. I will always be team Klaroline, Elijah will always be my favorite Original, Elena will always get on my nerves (but honestly, I still love her), and Matt will always be the poor human caught in between two very different worlds.
So, when it was announced "The Originals" were ending, much to my chagrin, I was left with a Mystic Falls/New Orleans hole in my heart. There were still so many stories that were left untold. I needed to know more about Hope Mikaelson after the deaths of Hayley, Klaus, and Elijah. I had to know how Alaric would break the news of the Merge to Lizzie and Josie (FYI the answer lies in season 1 of "Legacies"). And above all, I wanted to see Alaric in action doing what he does best back in Mystic Falls.
Consider my surprise when the news was revealed that as "The Originals" was ending, "Legacies" was beginning. To make a long summary short, "Legacies" follows Alaric's daughters, Lizzie and Josie, and Hope Mikaelson after she is separated from the Hollow and her father and uncle sacrifice themselves for her.
Hope is back at the Salvatore School in Mystic Falls trying to figure out her new place in the world. In walk foster brothers Rafael and Landon, a werewolf and his mysterious best friend. Once they join the Salvatore School things quickly change, not entirely for the better. The school is left working together to defend themselves against a new darkness that's descended on Mystic Falls. They are left relying on legends and folklore to fight old and forgotten monsters, to keep the balance between what they think they know and what's actually going on.
The show has gotten a lot of disrespect online from hardcore TVD/TO fans. These individuals are claiming that the original shows aren't represented enough and that the stories aren't as strong as they were previously. Now granted, showrunner Julie Plec has brought a very Teen Wolf/Supernatural approach to different monsters every week, which challenges the formats of its predecessors. However, at its core, the show still focuses on relationships between supernatural beings, both with themselves and the outside world. There's still a love triangle between two brothers who've fallen for the same girl. There's still an Original family member to possibly jeopardize everything as they know it. And finally, there's still Alaric Saltzman, who is the main reason I got into the new series.
If you're on the fence about actually dedicating time to watch, "Legacies," let me say that it's totally worth it. There are some new storylines that have a lot of potential and some old storylines that are continuing with their stories. Remember The Merge between Jo and Kai and Liv and Lucas? Well, that's all going to be addressed. According to Julie Plec, our favorite sociopath Kai Parker will also be making an appearance, as well.
On the very likely chance that you're one of those people who absolutely can't watch it unless more cast members from TVD/TO are featured, fear not! In the first season, we see the return of both Jeremy Gilbert and Matt Donavan. In addition, there are so many Easter eggs. Freya, Klaus, Caroline, Damon, Elena, and even Stefan are mentioned throughout the season. Not to mention that the Salvatore School is actually located at the Salvatore Boarding House.
It's totally up to you whether you watch the first season or not, but I have to say that it filled the TVD/TO size hole that was in my life. It definitely is not like anything you've seen in the past, but it does stay true to the universe and the integrity of the characters and their shared lives. In addition, it has been said many times my Julie Plec and the writers at "Legacies" that former cast members will always be welcome to come back to the show. And to be honest, with the heavy Caroline dialogue that's occurred this past season, I really hope she comes back for an episode or two in the next installment.