I can openly admit I am biased toward supernatural drama TV shows compared to “normal” human TV shows. I can’t explain why this particular genre really appeals to me. Over the past 11 years, I’ve devoured supernatural fantasy genre that usually contained the element of vampires. The CW’s The Vampire Diaries and HBO’s True Blood were my first vampire-centric TV shows. Prior to this, I’d only read YA or adult fiction supernatural fantasy novels that mainly involved vampires.
The Vampire Diaries (TVD) introduces Niklaus Mikaelson and his siblings in Season 3. The Original family. The first ever vampires. These characters brought a wonderfully different dynamic to The Vampire Diaries plot arc. They really caused havoc and chaos for the Mystic Falls gang. Audiences fell in love with the characters of Klaus, Elijah, Rebekah, and Kol Mikaelson. TVD fans wanted them to have their own spin-off TV show. There is plenty of rich storylines to be play out for these complex characters. They are millennium old vampires. Plus, I loved how the historical flashbacks are seamlessly incorporated into the modern-day storylines of TVD.
The Vampire Diaries aired the back-door pilot for The Originals in episode 4.20 on April 25, 2013. It had solid view ratings. 2.24 million. The CW network gave the greenlight for a full season order for TVD spin-off for the 2013-2014 show schedule line-up. The official The Originals pilot aired on October 3, 2013.
Compared to TVD, The Originals is drastically different. It revolves around the vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus Mikaelson and his vampire siblings becoming deeply enmeshed in the supernatural politics of New Orleans. There has always been a power imbalance among the vampires, werewolves, and witches. These supernatural communities don’t usually get along well. Of course violent power struggles frequently ensue in New Orleans. Understatement of the century. The human community are almost always oblivious to it. On the other hand, The Vampire Diaries mainly revolved around dynamics and drama among the Mystic Falls gang. It stayed far away from politics among the supernatural communities. The Originals has much darker undertones interwoven throughout the storylines. Also, the violence is a smidgen more intense and gory. This TVD spin-off is aimed at a slightly older age group.
Klaus Mikaelson can easily carry his own show. Yet, the plethora of multi-faceted and complex characters add more richness to the plot arcs. Vampires, werewolves, and witches galore. Pretty early on you get emotionally attached to many of the characters. But some take time to grow on you. You will form love/hate relationships with certain main and supporting characters. I immediately fell in love with the concept of The Originals after the back-door pilot episode. It can firmly stand on its own while still having enough overlap to tie back to TVD world.
Very few shows can reduce me to rivers of tears from intense emotional feels. Tears of sorrow. Tears of joy. The Vampire Diaries and The Originals joins these elite ranks. The final season of The Originals has been especially emotional for me. Pretty sure I’ve cried at least once or twice in every episode. The cast ensemble are such talented actors in their own ways. They brilliantly convey a plethora of emotions in all the scenes. Every actor in the main and supporting cast was impeccably chosen for their role. Immense chemistry among them on and off-screen. It is what enhances or ruins the success of a TV show.
Just like every TV show, the first few seasons have strong storylines and character development. It needs to build and establish the world for the audience. One or two latter seasons will have weaker plot arcs and character development. Despite its flaws, I love The Originals too much to completely give up on this TV show. I’ve invested too much time to walk away from it. For better or worse, I must see it through the end.
The Vampire Diaries series finale aired on March 10, 2017. Time to mourn yet another of my beloved long-running TV shows. Yet, I was comforted to know The CW had renewed The Originals for a fifth season in May 2017. My joy soon became short-lived. In July 2017, it was confirmed that Season 5 would be the final season with only 13 episodes. Not enough time to get over losing The Vampire Diaries. Now, I must also say farewell to The Originals only one year after TVD’s series finale. I don’t wanna say goodbye to Klaus, Elijah, Rebekah, Kol, Freya, and Marcel…but all good things must eventually come to an end. The series finale aired on The CW on August 1, 2018. I’m losing too many of my beloved supernatural drama TV shows within a short span of time.
The Vampire Diaries and The Originals achieved an impressive feat. Longevity to still remain successful even when vampire genre’s popularity had long faded from mainstream pop culture. The Vampire Diaries aired from September 2009 to March 2018. The Originals will have aired from October 2013 to August 2018. On top of this, TVD world is expanding to spawn another spin-off called Legacies. This particular spin-off would focus on Klaus’s daughter, Hope Mikaelson. It was fascinating and exciting to explore New Orleans but we shall be returning back home to Mystic Falls. A new generation in Mystic Falls. I’m willing to give Legacies a chance.