I am conflicted over The Originals. It's like I'm a vampire-werewolf hybrid or something.
The Originals, a spin-off series from The Vampire Diaries, debuts Thursday on CW and CH. Also on Thursday, The Vampires Diaries returns for its fifth season on CW and the recently re-branded M3 (formerly MuchMore).
My split reaction to The Originals can be summed up this way: On the one hand, I do like some of these transferred characters a lot. On the other hand, I am not impressed by how they're acting to set up a story that is too complicated.
Since the show is called The Originals, let's briefly go back to the beginning. A few seasons ago on The Vampire Diaries, a great character named Klaus (Joseph Morgan) was introduced. Klaus was one of the "original" vampire siblings - which also included Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Rebekah (Claire Holt) - but Klaus was the only vampire-werewolf hybrid.
Klaus did a super job terrorizing Mystic Falls, so much so that he was rewarded with his own spinoff. There essentially was a pilot for the new series embedded into the fourth season of The Vampire Diaries. The essentials of that story are re-told from a different perspective in the first episode of The Originals.
Klaus is back in his former home of New Orleans to deal with not only a coven of duplicitous and desperate witches but also a former protege turned vampire foe named Marcel (Charles Michael Davis). What do I like about The Originals? I continue to be fascinated by Klaus. I love the Rebekah character, too. And atmospherically, the show looks and feels cool. But beyond that, I do have some issues.
Kicking off The Originals, Elijah is virtually insufferable. He always was the de facto "good brother," but he has become too righteous and noble. When he vowed to "always protect" someone for about the fourth time in the opening episode, I literally and sarcastically snorted out loud, "Oh, of course you do!"
I'm also not sold on Marcel as a worthy opponent for Klaus. Judging people by how they look isn't fair in real life, but it's at least partially fair in the TV acting game. And Marcel looks to me like he should be modeling men's suits, not ruling the French Quarter with an iron fist.
Plus, the whole background story with a pregnancy and witches and rules about who can be killed, it's quite indecipherable at first blush. All the characters, including Klaus and Marcel, are kind of playing both sides of Bourbon Street. I hope things get clearer.
The Originals is supposed to skew a bit older than The Vampire Diaries in terms of target audience, and it does, and that's fine. I just hope The Originals remembers that while it's okay for Klaus to be a hybrid, you don't want the story to be one.