Saturday, September 6, 2014

THE ORIGINALS: Missing True Blood? Try This Captivating Vampire Series On For Size!

Disappointed that True Blood has ended?  Looking for some more vampire action?  Then it's possible The Originals will be right up your alley.  A series spin-off from the CW's The Vampire Diaries, The Originals bears some similarities to its relative, but mostly in crossover characters who make the transition to a more,  if I may be so bold, adult series.  Most of the characters here are adults - ancients to be exact.
The Originals are exactly what the name implies:  THE originals.  Ancient vampires who were the first of their kind, created centuries ago by a witch mother anxious to save her children from death.  The Mikaelson family currently consists of five siblings, three of which factor heavily into the plot-lines of The Originals:

Klaus (People's Choice Award Winner for Favorite Actor in a new series, Joseph Morgan) showed up first on TVD, wreaking havoc in Mystic Falls.  He is a very powerful, VERY headstrong hybrid (half vampire, half werewolf) due to an affair his witch mother had with a werewolf.  He returns to New Orleans seeking to reclaim his power and control over the city, all the while trying to protect his unborn child - a product of his own coupling with a werewolf - Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin).  To gain control of the city he will need to thwart the domination his former protégé, the very sexy yet fierce Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) has over all the supernaturals and humans alike in NOLA.

Elijah (Daniel Gillies) also first showed up on TVD, attempting to keep a tight leash on the destructive and murderous plans of his younger brother Klaus.  If a vampire can be amicable and mellow, Elijah is the closet to that that you'll find.  He had a generally peaceful relationship with the Salvatore brothers and especially Elena from TVD.  He still found time to be a vampire though, and when the Mikaelsons trekked to New Orleans to set up shop, Elijah spends much of his time keeping Klaus out of trouble and the rest of his siblings unharmed. He develops a fondness for werewolf Hayley, causing a further rift between the brothers.

Rebekah Mikaelson (Claire Holt) is the only sister of the vampire clan and because of various insecurities, is quite cruel and spiteful.  Nonetheless, she continues to have a soft spot for her brothers and follows them to New Orleans.  This develops into a serious problem when she rekindles an old flame with Marcel.  The two were lovers a few centuries ago, but family ties and loyalties forced them apart.  She is eager to help keep Hayley and her unborn child safe, yet desires the power the family previously had over the city.

When you factor in a coven of witches, more vampires and werewolves than you can shake a (sharp) stick at, and some plain 'ol humans to up the ante, you've got an entertaining show rife with violence, battles between good and evil (and evil & evil, natch!), romance, and of course, a whole lot of bloodshed.  

The Originals: Season One (from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group) was just released on DVD Sept. 2 and awards us with not only the entire 22-episode season, but with some great special features, including 5 new featurettes - one of which details the origins of creating the spin-off series and another which lends more light on the Mikaelson family's complicated back-story. Of course it has commentary, deleted scenes, and also boasts some highlights from the 2014 PaleyFest!  You have just enough time to binge watch the entire series before its Season Two premiere on Monday, October 6.  I really have to say this DVD is an awesome package and you won't be disappointed.

The Originals is the CW's #2 show (after The Vampire Diaries) among adults and it's easy to see why - if you're looking for some escapism from the grueling banality of day-to-day life, and/or you're missing True Blood  like the devil, you owe it to yourself to pick up this DVD (better yet, get the Blu-Ray combo pack and see these guys in the highest definition available!) and settle in for a wild ride.

Just so you know, it's not necessary to have watched The Vampire Diaries to start watching this show.  It stands alone with its own mythology and story-lines. It's super-sexy while still staying true to vicious and savage vampire lore.
I'm psyched for Season Two!  Get sucked in!

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