Legacies boss talks carrying on The Vampire Diaries tradition of a decade dance
If there is one thing that all fans of The Vampire Diaries know, it’s that you should be equal parts excited and terrified whenever a decade dance comes around. On the original The Vampire Diaries series, Mystic Falls High School’s annual decade-themed dance always brought huge mythology twists, epic/heartbreaking romantic moments… and usually a death or two, no big deal. So when Legacies announced that fans would get a decade dance this season, everyone immediately went on high alert. Something big is going down in “Screw Endgame.”
Executive producer Brett Matthews tells EW that it’s because of that reputation that this series is carrying on the decade dance tradition from The Vampire Diaries to Legacies while still making it their own.
“God, having written so many of them on the old show…,” Matthews trails off with a laugh. “[Showrunner] Julie [Plec] and I really love when we get to take things from the old show because it was such a big part of our lives and bring it to the new show which is now such a big part of our lives. It’s really a beautiful experience to live that timeline.”
On Legacies, however, the decade dance takes place at the Salvatore School instead of at Mystic Falls High, which Matthews reveals is all thanks to Alaric (Matt Davis) and Caroline (Candice King) bringing over such a huge influence on their lives to the new school they’ve founded. “It just makes sense that that is something that would have migrated,” he adds. “I’m sure Caroline Forbes had something to do with it. Those traditions tie this family together. Of course, those characters were a family in a weird way, some blood, some not, but those traditions endure.”
Legacies‘ first decade dance is all about the ’80s, and the creative team didn’t stop at just the costumes, hair, and decorations. From the 8-bit title card to the music throughout, the entire episode is so on theme that it’s clear this was a labor of love for all involved.
“Thomas Brandon, who is my brilliant co-writer on this episode, he and I are products of the ‘80s, as are a lot of our cast and crew,” Matthews says. “The ‘80s is just something that speaks to us on almost a genetic level. That’s why we did such an all-in approach — for us it’s nostalgic, it’s fun, it’s very specific and that specificity is what makes television good and episodes special. That’s what we went for in this case.”
Legacies airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.