The Legacies Pilot Review

The Legacies, the spin-off to the Vampire Diaries spin-off, priemered on Thursday, the story of a teenage Hope Mikealson, the tribrid offspring of a vampire and a werewolf at the magic school in

Landon Kirby and Rafeal Whaithe are two foster brothers living with a highly religous foster parents when Rapheal is subjected to an excorcism. Saved at the last minute by a mysterious girl

One of the underrated elements of this show is that it could have taken place within the same time period as Vampire Diaries. There’s no reference to social media, no trump jokes and no real defining trends, in fact the one pop-culture reference I caught was to Twilight and Harry Potter.

The Salvatore school was beautifully set up, with the Vampire Diaries mythology to back  up  things such as magical chemistry and history it does genuinely feel like a CW version of Hogwarts.

The actors themselves were all fine, Hope Mikealson played a great substitue for Elena, Landon was interesting and  Alaric is the perfect link between the two worlds. The girl playing Lizzie Saltzman feels like the biggest weak link in the pilot- although maybe it was the distracting wig.

The party scene at the end of the episode is a direct call back to the party in the woods at the end of the pilot for Vampire Diaries. Drunk magical teens being fun, drunk and magical, Legacies proves that even magic can’t help with a broken heart.

The Legacies is an slick, stylish story that feels true to it’s two predecessors however is there still an audience out there that cares?

Personally I loved it, it was the perfect set up to the world for new viewers and had enough Easter Eggs to satisfy viewers of the original (lol) viewers. However will new viewers care?

The most popular teen shows at the moment are Riverdale, 13 Reasons Why and a variety of superhero shows, Vampires are a thing of the past I mean most current teenagers were 7/8/9 when there was the vampire boom was the biggest thing on the planet.

I wish there’d been more of the Kevin Williamson snappy dialogue or some of the violence from the first season of it’s original show. When Vampire Diaries came out it was the better looking, sexier, more violent  version of it’s wildly popular counterpart Twilight. Legacies really doesn’t have any contemporaries to draw from, except maybe the extended Harry Potter universe. Actually Legacies could have benefitted from a twelve month delay and poked fun at the slew of supernatural shows that have priemered this month.

I’d give Legacies a middle of the road opening, it’s charming but unless it gives us a reason to tune in (despite creepy Landon) then there might be just a finite amount of episode. There’s at least one season to this show but unless it steps up its game I worry that there’s nothing else to this show.

Sirens ‘Pilot’ Review

Plot

A fishing boat accident sparks a serious of mysterious events in the ‘world’s mermaid capital’

Quick Review

A sci-fi fantasy adventure that plays by its own rules Sirens is an interesting take on an overlooked myth

The Deets

It’s strange to see a woman as the aggressor in fantasy romance shows, I was a teenager throughout the vampire craze so I automatically read brunette heroines as passive and weak (vampire diaries, fallen, twilight it  was a trope of the genre.)

Elin Powell plays our main mermaid ‘Ryn’ named after a children’s TV show character and she is ridiculously good in this role. She’s a fish out of water (I’m here all week people) and her physicality embodies that. From the first shot of her feet lagging behind her, the head movements and thousand yard stare you see something that isn’t of this world without any explanation except the audience figuring out she’s helping her captured mermaid sister. It’s fascinating to watch her work even if she says barely three words during the whole episode. More than anything her story feels natural even if we don’t know all the ins and outs of it.

Ben, our main character, our Elena Gilbert is doing excellent accent work (both of the main actors are British) but there isn’t much to hold onto in the way of character. He is the rebel son of the town’s founding family and a marine biologist, other than that we don’t really know anything. Bad Boy with a heart of gold? Misunderstood heartbreaker? Ted Bundy-esque Serial Killer? Who the fuck knows, at this point he’s the audience avatar.

The story unfolded naturally from the town’s founding day to the fisherman’s story of an attack and a mysterious sea creature. Interactions between our two leads as well as Ben with Maddie allowed us to get a feel for the main characters. Action scenes were also fun to watch and set the tone for what this series is going to be about. The introduction of the military and their awareness of mermaids provided another hook to the series.

Here the town and the marine wildlife are playing second fiddle. I have no idea about the mythology surrounding mermaids or sirens, breadcrumbs were dropped but you’re not going to find anything particularly significant. Rather than just hints towards the mermaid/siren of it all it would have been better to see scenes such as the sirens song through a pov (such as being told ‘oh sirens songs do xyz’)

I overall enjoyed the pilot and the subsequent episode however with the pacing I’m worried that this show won’t find it’s audience. The post-college mermaid drama crowd isn’t all that big and there isn’t a clear definition of the show’s type to bring in genre fans it may need to drop a full season (+netflix!) before it starts getting the attention it deserves.

This new freeform show is solid sci-fi that refuses to push its story too quickly and right now I’m definitely tunaing next week.

The Bold Type ‘Pilot’ Review

The cultural obsession with vampires came right when we needed an escape from the economic crash of 2008, Glee became culturally relevant after a national spotlight on bullying and the move to a more nuanced look for female characters came with the rise of fifth (?) wave feminism.

The Bold Type takes a look at women’s magazines in 2017 deals with relationships, work and wrestling with what feminism means in an environment that’s come to be known as anti-feminist in the past few years.

Our three leads are Jane, Kat and Sutton, three best friends working at the magazine and each has their own problem. Newly promoted Jane can’t find anything to write about, Kat wants to make an important story happen and Sutton is has a complicated relationship with an exec. Beautiful, charming and the reason I’ll probably watch this show when it premieres on the 11th, none of the problems put forward are really breaking new ground.

I feel like the mid-00s might have perfected the fashion-magazine life trope with films such as the Devil Wears Prada and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and TV shows like Ugly Betty. The healthy mix of wish fulfilment, romance and drama has been replaced with realism which is basically the opposite of a twenty-year-old affording Chanel.

So are magazines still the pop culture tentpole they once were? With underpaid positions in the arts, purely online competitors and job losses constantly in the picture The Bold Type doesn’t really address these anxieties instead focusing on what it means to be brave.

Younger, or Young and Hungry are probably this shows spiritual cousins at the moment but both of them had a hook, Eliza’s a woman in forties feeling pushed out by a world that values youth and Gabby is just dead broke, both of these problems feel accessible regardless of the avenues the shows go down on an episodic level. Wrestling with bad pitch ideas doesn’t relate to a lot of people.

Interesting moments came from the discussion of what feminism means and the Adenia, the lesbian Muslim artist who can’t see the stealth feminism Scarlett magazine is trying to portray and the speech at the end by the editor-in-chief about how feminism and fashion don’t have to be two separate things although this enlightenment is soured when one of the girls slut shamed her best friend for ‘screwing up.’

Overall I think the show has the potential to say something interesting, the backdrop, the acting and the writing is there (striking the right balance with social media lingo is still something a lot of shows have trouble doing) but I don’t think it’ll gain a following unless it says something culturally relevant to the millennial girls it’s trying to attract.

Auli’i Cravalho coming to TV?

A hit movie, Oscar-nominated song and now a TV show under her belt before she turns eighteen, Auli’i Cravalho is the definition of #goals.

Now the actress who came to global fame as Disney Princess Moana is going to be heading up the new musical pilot for NBC.

Drama High by Michael Sokolove tells the true story of one of the most famous high school theatrical programs in America and the teacher that has shaped the lives of thousands of students. Presented as ‘Glee meets Friday Night Lights’ it’s easy to see how this could translate into TV. Auli’i will be playing one of the students and no doubt the show will incorporated into the show.

No word on a series order just yet but with the minds of Hamilton and Friday Night Lights behind it, Drama High will not doubt become one of the most hotly anticipated shows of the next year.

Zach Braff to return to TV in Start -up podcast adaptation.

A collaboration between Scrubs alum Zach Braff is set to air on ABC about the wonderful world of start-ups.

Based on the podcast of the same name Start-Up will follow Braff’s character Alex Schuman, a journalist and family man who decides too go out on a limb and launch a Start-Up. The show will follow all the ups and downs that go with it.

2016 was quite the year for podcasts and TV shows are snapping up adaptations, with Lore and Serial both being picked up by networks. Although the success of them remains to be seen, a podcast adaptation will most likely already have a built in audience and are both different enough that they probably won’t get the same criticism as a book adaptation.

Braff is best known for his work on comedy series Scrubs as J.D the day-dreaming doctor and for his directing work on films like Garden State.

Mary + Jane pilot

In this new MTV sitcom we have all the markers of something ordinary, we have spunky brunette and sweet blonde trying to get a business off the ground in a sea of colourful characters.
Jordan and Paige are like every twenty something millennial, just trying to create their own start-up in a cutthroat business world.
But instead of selling homemade hairbands on etsy they’ve found their calling in a ‘mostly legal prescription’ weed delivery service.
We’ve got Jordan, the tough stoner who doesn’t care for a lot of L.A’s bullshit and accidentally sleeps with the customers.
And very nice, very particular Paige who states “I gave up my lifestyle blog for this.” When Jordan doesn’t seem to be taking the business as seriously as her. In this pilot, the two girls are trying to make their way up the ‘green 15’ of weed delivery services in L.A after their rival hipster manages to get there with the help of a picture of Seth Rogen.
It’s either a very cute version of breaking bad or a tougher version of two broke girls, it finds it’s footing somewhere in the middle. In terms of story I can’t see it going past the first season unless they have something up their sleeves, but that’s never stopped TV shows before so lean back and enjoy the ride.