The Originals TV Poster Image

The Originals



Vampire spin-off is as steamy, bloody as the original.
Popular with kids
  • Network: CW
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2013

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).

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?

TV details

Premiere date:October 3, 2013
Cast:Claire Holt, Daniel Gillies, Joseph Morgan
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Book characters, Brothers and sisters, Misfits and underdogs, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of The Originals was written by

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What parents and kids say

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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 been OUTSTANDING. Season 1 was decent, but the writers really upped their game this time around. It adds intrigue and the most compelling family drama I've ever seen (family drama us usually banal, but these characters are over 1000 years old and they're all smart, manipulative, and still really care about each other). The sex is minimal; all that's seen on screen is some heavy kissing and maybe some shirtless-ness. It does have great messages about what the word "family" entails, what loyalty you owe them, and why sticking together is always a good thing. The Vampire Diaries is about romance, but The Originals is very much about sibling relationships. The women also gain in power, becoming a force to be reckoned with.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
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