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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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).
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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?
Themes & Topics
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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.