Whenever I stumble across a series and I see it has a healthy five seasons and 22 episodes a season, my heart does a little leap of joy. Let the binge-watching commence! And that's exactly the case with The Originals.
The Originals is a spin-off of the popular supernatural drama The Vampire Diaries, but make no mistake—this show stands on its own two feet (or fangs).
It trades the high school angst of its predecessor for a darker, more adult story centered around the original vampire family, and the complex dynamics that have plagued them for centuries.
Set against the rich cultural backdrop of New Orleans, the series artfully weaves together intricate plots, rich character development, and compelling themes of family, power, and redemption.
Its appeal stretches beyond the typical teen drama audience, serving a narrative filled with Shakespearean elements that might well attract those who never thought they'd enjoy a “vampire show.”
What Is The Originals About?
Set in New Orleans the premise is that siblings Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah Mikaelson are the first-ever vampires on earth, making them The Originals. That special title also comes with complete immortality so the trio have been roaming around the earth for a thousand years.
In fact, they created New Orleans but left decades ago to get away from their father. Fast forward to the 21st century, they are back only to find the city in turmoil.
The vampires have well and truly taken over and are at war with the witches. To make things worse, Marcel, who was sired by Klaus, is now the self-proclaimed ‘King of the vampires'.
The series is deeply rooted in themes of family, power struggles, loyalty, and moral ambiguity. The Mikaelsons find themselves pitted against various factions in New Orleans, all vying for control over the city and its supernatural communities.
Within the family itself, long-standing feuds, love triangles, and betrayals add layers of complexity to the story. Characters undergo significant transformations throughout the series, facing moral dilemmas that challenge their beliefs and loyalties.
Klaus, who starts off as a menacing anti-hero, undergoes perhaps the most striking evolution, grappling with his identity as a father and a brother. His family, friends, and enemies similarly evolve, often in unpredictable ways.
Over five seasons, The Originals must battle enemies and each other to stay alive. But immortality is both a blessing and a curse so can they survive New Orleans or will they live forever?
The Originals Official Trailer
Is The Originals Worth Watching?
One of the show's greatest strengths is its nuanced, multifaceted characters who defy easy categorisation as simply good or evil.
The show creates a rich, immersive setting in New Orleans that combines history, folklore, and magical realism.
Thankfully, despite so many episodes, it maintains a tight, well-executed plot across its seasons, keeping you engaged without dragging on unnecessary storylines.
If I were to be picky, while the main characters are well-developed, some of the side characters could benefit from more consistent writing and development.
And then there's the tricky element of trying to keep up with all the various forms of magic. The rules governing these powers are sometimes unclear or inconsistent, which can affect the overall narrative.
If you watch the episodes back to back some of the plots become a little repetitive. Klaus plots against Marcel to get his city back. Things go wrong. Elijah bails him out. Marcel gets hoodwinked. He fights with Klaus. They become friends again. Rebekah tut tuts a lot.
The good news is that the rest of the stories do move along. Plus there were only five seasons made so the whole Mikaelson saga does get wrapped up in a neat bow.
And if you want to know where to watch The Originals click here!
The Originals Cast & Characters
Joseph Morgan as Klaus Mikaelson. He is the self-proclaimed King of the French Quarter of New Orleans and the Original Hybrid: half-Original Vampire and half-werewolf.
Daniel Gillies as Elijah Mikaelson. He is an Original Vampire and Klaus's older maternal half-brother.
Claire Holt as Rebekah Mikaelson, an Original Vampire and Klaus's younger maternal half-sister. She is Klaus's favourite and the youngest of the Mikaelson siblings after the death of Henrik.
Phoebe Tonkin as Hayley Marshall. She was originally a werewolf, later a hybrid, who conceived a daughter with Klaus named Hope Mikaelson following a one-night stand with Klaus in The Vampire Diaries creating the first ever tribrid.
Charles Michael Davis as Marcel Gerard, a vampire and former slave who was turned by Klaus, his former mentor.
Daniella Pineda as Sophie Deveraux, a powerful witch of the French Quarter, Monique's aunt and Jane-Anne's sister.
Leah Pipes as Cami O'Connell, a human bartender with a psychology degree who acts as a therapist and transcriber for Klaus Mikaelson.
Danielle Campbell as Davina Claire, a powerful young witch and Marcel's adoptive daughter
Yusuf Gatewood as Vincent Griffith, a witch once possessed by Finn, the eldest brother among the Mikaelson siblings.
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