The Originals Is Less The Vampire Diaries And More Supernatural
For this week’s off-topic Friday post we’re going to be talking about TV series. Specifically The Originals, which is the new spinoff series based on The Vampire Diaries.
Now in its fifth season, The Vampire Diaries is a popular series on television and while some have said that it has passed its prime, there are a lot of fans who still fervently watch each episode the moment it is out, and you may count me among those, although not for the reasons you might think. (Spoiler: I’m in love with Damon’s eyes.)
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With The Originals, which is currently in its first season and going well, what we get is a break-off series within the same world of vampires, werewolves and witches but with a different cast in the starring roles. And really, that’s what makes all the difference.
The other day I read a tweet that questioned why anyone would want more of The Vampire Diaries with The Originals, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. Okay sure, the vampires are still there, so too are the werewolves and the witches and the humans as well. And of course the series did kick off as a continuation of the stories of three particular supporting characters from The Vampire Diaries, the namesake original vampire siblings. But The Originals is a far more mature experience compared to The Vampire Diaries.
Gone is the teenage angst present in The Vampire Diaries. There is still something of a love triangle but this time it’s not as flaccid and one-dimensional as it is with Damon, Stefan and Elena. The themes present within the series are entirely different. With The Vampire Diaries you get this bunch of perpetual teenagers who are living teenage lives and experiencing teenage emotions while also being vampires, witches– you get the point. However a lot of it isn’t really that much more than drama for the sake of drama, and you do tend to find yourself rolling your eyes especially at Elena, who is her own worst enemy at the best of times. And sickening, anytime else.
The Vampire Diaries hasn’t been doing as well as it has in the past — something not at all helped by the departures or deaths of various series favourites — but it has been kept alive by some interesting plot twists and of course, its fan following.
Meanwhile The Originals has come clean out from under its shadow to show us that not only is there a better world within this canon but also, there’s a better story to be told. A grander one.
The Originals explores the themes of sibling rivalry, love and trust, while also exploring the inter-personal relationships of conflicting covens, let’s call them. Basically, everyone in the city of New Orleans hates each other and so the groups keep to themselves, only some of them are forced to interact and it is their interactions which are so damn intriguing. A witch and a vampire hate each other but must work together to achieve a common goal. Another witch sees this and comes up with a scheme to screw the vampire out of whatever deal was made. The vampire, meanwhile, was always expecting to be double-crossed and has some double-crossing in store as well.
With this series you never quite know where the story is going next, and there’s always a new twist thrown in just when you thought you could relax. The result is truly something that keeps you glued to your screen, and with none of that teenage angst present in The Vampire Diaries.
In many ways I could compare The Originals to Supernatural — which is ironic because a lot of people who don’t like The Originals or wouldn’t try it, are the ones who watch Supernatural religiously — in that it also has siblings trying to find ways to get through contrasting personalities and work it all out for the sake of family, while bigger things are happening around them. Only instead of Castiel as the breakout star and Dean as the heartthrob we have Elijah as the gentlemanly man of honour and Klaus as the reckless badass. There’s even some female empowerment with Rebekah, their sister, whose phrase throughout the series is, “Us girls need to stick together,” each time she betrays one of her brothers or stands up for something she decides is wrong.
The Originals offers a great way to spend forty-something minutes in a week, and if you’ve not picked it up because you think it’s like The Vampire Diaries then hopefully this will help you to see that it isn’t. However if you’re okay with supernatural elements in your series then I would suggest you try it out. You most definitely will not regret it.