The Originals

Common Sense Media says

Vampire spin-off is as steamy, bloody as the original.





What parents need to know

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

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."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking, both in bars and at parties.

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).

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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?

This review of The Originals was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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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. We follow Klaus, Rebecca, Elijah, and Hayley as they move to New Orleans; Hayley in search of her biological family, and the rest trying to take back their position as the somewhat "founders" of the city from a vampire named Marcel who has taken all the credit. What I particularly think makes this better then it's counter part is that it is not all about love triangles, there is more then that. This show revolves around family and about protecting them, and the willingness to do anything for them if in danger. All of the women on this show are strong, and independent. Even pregnant Hayley is no damsel in distress. Overall I think this is a much more interesting show then The Vampire Diaries, and if you already aren't watching you should!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 16 years old Written byMormont November 24, 2013

The Original

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byGirlyGirlwithDocs October 12, 2013

Possibly Worth Continuing If You Have Seen The Vampire Diaries

I have been thoroughly disappointed with this TV series so far. Only onto two episodes, and the random characters popping up and not-so dramatic plot twists are irritating. Rebekah is constantly reminding us that she is British and despite the fact she is trying to 'help' the vampire has just thrown a wrench in Klaus' plans. The only decent characters on the show are Ellijah and (surprisingly) Haley. Her character development has actually been fairly good despite the fact that I am a major Klaroine shipper. Marcel's role in the plot has just annoyed me in general and I do not understand why Pec had to do this spin-off. It also recaps nothing for anyone who hasn't watched the Vampire Diaries and only true fans will care for the show. Then in that group of fans will slowly diminish to nothing as (only on the 2nd episode) this show has already started dragging and being a disappointment. For appropriateness, this show is for mostly teens and some tweens. If they can handle a bit of gore, of course. And when Pec does throw out gore, it is not done tastefully. Anything sexual is minimal, but if it does follow the pattern of the Vampire Diaries their may be some sexual content that does not really show anything.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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