Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

The Originals

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
The Originals TV Poster Image
Vampire spin-off is as steamy, bloody as the original.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 31 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

There's at least a sense that people from diverse worlds can come together to fight against something that's worth standing up to. That said, male characters seem to have most of the power.

Positive Role Models & Representations

On one level, this is a battle between evil and not-as-evil, and most characters have complex motivations. But there are witches, werewolves, and vampires in this world that could at least be considered role models with positive intentions.


Violent scenes can be pretty shocking, with throat-slitting, heart-ripping, and the obvious neck-biting. Blood flows freely.


Sexual content isn't constant but includes kissing and implied sex plus story lines revolving around sexual encounters.


Gateway terms like "hell" and "damn."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking, both in bars and at parties.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Originals follows a diverse group of vampires, werewolves, and witches living in modern-day New Orleans, adding a whole new dimension to the term "night life." Violent scenes can be sudden and bloody, and though sexual content isn't constant, you'll still see some steamy kissing and seduction and trace a major plot point stemming from a one-night stand. There's social drinking, too, although language is mostly mild ("damn" and "hell," for example).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJ-Yo December 17, 2014

Captivating Show

I understand why Common Sense gave the show 3 stars, but this review is just for the first season. I am writing this after the midseason finale of 2– which has... Continue reading
Parent of a 14 and 15 year old Written byReginag123 May 23, 2016

Parental concern

Well I have a few kids and there all near the same age : I have a sixteen year old and a 14 year old and a 10 year old. My 14 year old daughter loves the show.... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written by5saltydog November 3, 2013

The Originals > The Vampire Diaries

Even better then "The Vampire Diaries", if i'm being honest. "The Originals" is a spin-off that revolves around, well, The Originals. W... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byMormont November 24, 2013

What's the story?

Involving characters from the CW drama The Vampire Diaries, THE ORIGINALS follows "original vampire" siblings Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Elijah (Daniel Gillies), and Rebekah (Claire Holt) Mikaelson back to New Orleans after a decades-long exile. Vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus swore he'd never set foot in the Big Easy again, but word of a plot to destroy him has changed his mind -- as has unlikely news that a beautiful werewolf (Phoebe Tonkin) he once slept with is now carrying his child. Meanwhile, Klaus's one-time protege, Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), has become the city's most powerful resident.

Is it any good?

If The Vampire Diaries' improbable plots don't already give you pause, then you'll probably find The Originals an easy pill to swallow. But if you're coming at it with a fresh pair of eyes, it might take you a while to figure out the who, what, when, where, and why -- and in the end, you just might conclude, "Who cares?"

Given the ongoing appeal of supernatural stories, however, there are plenty of people who do care. And one welcome twist here, at least, is that the series is set in picturesque New Orleans, a city not only renowned for its beauty but also for its fascinating diversity. That means that, in addition to vampires, werewolves, and witches, you'll see faces from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds. But when it comes to power, men -- for the most part -- are still running the show.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the ongoing popularity of supernatural beings on television and in movies, books, and the like. What's the appeal? How does The Originals compare to other shows out there?

  • What messages do the show's main characters send about gender and power? Do you think males have an advantage in the world of The Originals?

  • If you've read the books that inspired The Vampire Diaries (and, subsequently, this spin-off), how does The Originals fit into the fiction? How true to the books and their characters did the show's creators stay?

TV details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love fantasy and sci-fi

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate