The latest online water-cooler chat for fans of "The Vampire Diaries" centers on The CW's plan to air a spin-off series "The Originals." The eternally wicked hybrid Klaus will return with his kin to New Orleans, where they can wreak supernatural havoc on their old stomping grounds. (The show's already filming on location.) While any excuse to resurrect the sexy immortal Elijah sounds like a good idea, fans of "TVD" have some reservations to go along with their excitement.
Love for "The Originals"All of the vampires on "The Vampire Diaries" are a study in conflicts, of logic versus impulses, good versus evil. The Originals take that to an epic scale, with centuries of deeds to account for, and their tumultuous family relationships making the Salvatore brothers look lovingly well-adjusted by comparison. A lot of response to an "Originals" spin-off has been positive, with comments like, "The Originals are the best part of 'TVD,'" cropping up on entertainment sites like Deadline.
In fact, one of the big worries is that taking the ancient vampire family away from "The Vampire Diaries" could tank the original show. "By having Klaus and Rebekah leave the show," a Deadline reader warns, "They're essentially getting rid of the glue that held a lot of the current storyline together." Over at Hollywood Reporter, the first comment about the new series states, "There's literally no reason left to watch 'The Vampire Diaries,' especially with that stupid love triangle consuming everything."
The writingWhen asking about "The Originals" spin-off on Twitter, enthusiasm was tempered with concerns about the writing:
Val @Mus1c_: "I will definitely watch the pilot of the spin-off because I love the Originals. But problem: I don't really trust Plec"
Raquel @raqstew: "...depends on how they write them off, this whole season of TVD writing has been pretty bad, until the last couple of eps."
"The Vampire Diaries" has always been more guilty pleasure than Shakespeare, but that's what viewers love about it: the supernatural action, the attractive characters, the mystery and cliffhangers, and all the romantic melodrama. Some fans are feeling that the show has gone awry of late, however, with dubious character motivations and a ridiculous amount of death/rebirth arcs. And then there are the constant shifts in the Stefan/Elena/Damon relationships, that viewer Val refers to as "one of the worst love triangles I've ever watched."
While Klaus and his clan are compelling characters -- if the same plot pitfalls of the original series follow them over -- what chance do they have of fans reinvesting in a new show? A reader at EW.com complained that producer Julie Plec is "absolutely clueless as to how to organically create a cohesive season of television." "I can see it getting cancelled after a season," fan Natalie (@naterzzz) adds.
Caroline and KlausProbably one of the finest "The Vampire Diaries" moments we've had lately was in Episode 13, "Into the Wild." Trapped behind a Bonnie-created invisible wall in the Gilbert house, Klaus still manages to drag Caroline over for a deadly werewolf bite. He does it to spite Tyler, but as Caroline accurately surmises, he's doing it because the human part of him still is capable of being hurt -- and feeling love. Klaus is close to the textbook definition of "monster," and yet through Caroline's eyes, we see the possibility of forgiveness and redemption.
One of the big fears that "TVD" fans have, then, is losing this incredible relationship just as it's gone someplace really interesting. Over at TVLine, reader Deska comments, "I just love the development of Klaus and Caroline's relationship. ... It's got to be one of the most beautiful and tragic one[s]. ... Wish both can save each other." Many viewers feel that the "Originals" spin-off will be severely lacking if Caroline doesn't have a part in it. Leaving Caroline Klaus-less on "The Vampire Diaries" also kills one of her most captivating storylines, potentially leaving her as a sub-character on future shows.
Will the threads unravel?Writer Plec's view of the show is that Elena and the Salvatore brothers are what "The Vampire Diaries" is all about, and the series' eventual end will focus on what becomes of those three. She may have underestimated the bonds that viewers have formed with the other characters on the show, however, and how invested fans are in the entwining stories.
As "TVD"-watcher Natalie points out, that crossover between the original and spin-off are vital: "'cause ultimately The Originals are tied to Elena & Co. That's why they are in the show, and if that interaction isn't in this new show, it might result in poor viewership." As we can see from earlier fan comments, pulling apart that tapestry of storylines could make both series unravel.
What do you think, Yahoo! TV readers? Will you watch "The Originals"? Can it survive on its own?
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