The Vampire Diaries Universe continues to be alive thanks to The CW keeping its second spinoff, Legacies, around.
And while it was nice to check back into Mystic Falls several years after Elena, Stefan, Bonnie, Damon, and Caroline's neverending battles with the forces of evil ended, it's starting to get a bit long in the tooth.
Legacies Season 1 offered up a new and exciting direction for the franchise.
A monster of the week format and a magic school setting offered something new for fans who had followed characters for eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries and five seasons of The Originals.
Coupled with a new generation of characters, it initially proved to be a worthy successor to the previous two shows in the franchise.
Both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals had stellar second seasons, filled with excellent storytelling, acting, and game-changing twists that sent both series in directions we didn't think possible.
Unfortunately, Legacies Season 2 was a meandering affair that complicated the mythology considerably.
The villain of the week storylines started to become gimmicky, the relationship drama felt stale, and the series botched one of the franchise's biggest villains in Kai Parker.
If you watch The Vampire Diaries online, you know Kai would have laid waste to any of the Legacies characters with the flick of his wrist.
On The Vampire Diaries Season 8, he was driven by rage and sent back to a prison world to live out the rest of his life, or whatever.
After thinking about it, Alaric putting bad teenagers in the same prison world meant that he created a ticking time bomb that was just waiting to go off.
It was made worse by the way Kai was killed off. Fans were grinning from ear-to-ear at the prospect of Chris Wood's villainous character returning, only to be left confused about how the series managed to butcher the character.
Caroline Forbes is not even on the show, and her character is being assassinated just by the existence of her daughters.
If you watch Legacies online, you know we're being led to believe that Candice King's alter ego is trying to find a way to stop the merge that would make one of her daughters consume the other.
Given the rise of mythical creatures arriving in Mystic Falls, and especially the return of Kai, the very notion that she would not return to aide in the mission to save him.
Caroline was selfish in the earlier episodes of TVD, but by the end, she had blossomed into one of the best characters around.
Then there's the Bonnie Bennett of it all. Her war against Kai almost cost her her life, so there's no way she would not have returned to dole out some justice against him.
Also, Kai realistically would have wanted to take Bonnie out for banishing him in the prison world, but that's a story for another day.
The Vampire Diaries and The Originals built a wealth of vivid mythology over their collective 13 seasons, so it's inevitable that characters will continue to pop up from those shows.
The forced relationship drama is another big issue here. Yes, the two shows had a lot of bickering about relationships, but it feels too watered down on Legacies.
The series clearly targets a younger audience, but it should still be paying homage to the shows that came before it.
You would think that a new villain every single day would result in some big deaths, something that divided fans of the previous two series, but Legacies is not a TV series that strives to take risks.
Instead, it moves from plot-to-plot without much care for the plots left dangling.
Granted, it sometimes checks in on them a few episodes later, but for the most part, they don't get the time to breathe or the resolution they deserve.
There's only so long a series can ride the coattails of the two shows it spun off from, so Legacies is walking a tight rope as it enters its third season.
The characters, aside from Hope, the twins, and Landon, are one-dimensional because there are simply too many side characters to serve them all.
Rafael, Kaleb, Jed, and M.G. disappear for episodes at a time for no apparent reason.
Both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals managed to serve their roster of characters much better, but maybe the monster of the week is the fault here.
It must be expensive to have a new costume, makeup, and special effects for a new villain every week, so maybe the show should start telling arcs over a season instead.
The monsters of the week were decent on Legacies Season 1, but most of them were bizarre on Legacies Season 2.
The Malivore plot does not have the legs to be dragged kicking and screaming to the eventual series finale.
Legacies Season 2 was cut short due to COVID-19, but it's hard to imagine many of my issues being resolved in a handful of episodes.
A lot of plots were left in flux due to the early shutdown, but it will all come down to Legacies Season 3 to see if the series improves.
For now, it started strong and flamed out just as it was getting very good.
As a show in The Vampire Diaries universe, many things should have been handled better.
What do you think, Legacies Fanatics?
Is the show dragging down the franchise?
Hit the comments below.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.