Posted by: pop-break | April 29, 2013

TV Recap: Vampire Diaries Introduces The Originals

marla pachter looks at a show within a show …

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What’s the worst thing in the world imaginable? I want you guys to think really hard about this, because it’s a difficult question and your answer says a lot about who you are as a person. I hear some of you saying famine or genocide, cancer, realizing the love of your life is a serial killer, etc. These are all pretty valid. But the answer I get most often, and I think we can all agree this is literally the worst thing in the world, is when you’re really looking forward to watching your weekly TV show, and something else is on instead. I often end up killing myself when this happens, but it turns out I’m immortal so it’s a less dramatic effect than I intend.

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Anyway, I was actually prepared for this week’s episode of The Vampire Diaries not actually being an episode of The Vampire Diaries. I’ve known for months that they were making the spinoff pilot The Originals as an episode of VD, and have been dreading it. There’s a few reasons for my dread, but as you may have guessed, the top reason is that VD has actually become the show I look forward to most every week. Not only does this pilot mean I lose an episode of my beloved VD, but it also means VD really wasn’t on this week. Earth. Shattering.

Last week’s episode left off with Klaus (Joseph Morgan) receiving a letter from Catherine, leading him to look for a witch in New Orleans who had information of particular interest to him. It was an odd, out of place letter, that read a lot like “Oh hey look, I’m totes setup for the new pilot. Teehee.” It did not make me optimistic about The Originals pilot. I’m happy to get rid of Klaus, he’s a terrible character. I know a lot of the fans go bonkers for him, but I think that’s just because he’s British and exceedingly good looking.

For those of you who don’t know, Klaus is a member of the original family of vampires. But he is also a werewolf. He is actually the original hybrid between a vampire and a werewolf, and a major goal of his in past seasons was to create as many hybrids as possible to form himself his own family. Now, here’s how cool of a person Klaus is. His idea of family is to have a bunch of hybrids who are sire-bonded to him. Yerp, they’re his minions. They feel compelled to do whatever he says, just because he created them. And that’s how he likes it, goddamit! When Klaus doesn’t get what he wants, he just hurts or severely poisons someone to change their mind. After all, being the original hybrid, in many cases his blood is the only thing that can save anyone anyway. So he really can just get whatever he wants, not to mention he can’t be killed. He’s mean, he’s evil, he’s a nuisance, and nobody likes him. The only person he has any sort of chemistry with is Caroline, because honestly Candice Accola has amazing chemistry with everyone and needs to become the biggest star of our time right this instance. And Caroline won’t be in The Originals. She will remain on VD (thank balls). So … why do we want to watch a show about a whiney character who can get whatever he wants easily and is mean about it? Like I said, I guess it’s because he’s hot? And British. Let us never forget the power of a beautiful British accent.

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I’m also happy to get rid of Hayley, who actually did turn out to have a necessary purpose on Vampire Diaries, but was also just incredibly annoying and blah in the process. Phoebe Tonkin who plays Hayley is Australian, and her American accent somehow makes her sound like a mentally deficient surfer girl. There is … not much more to this character. It does not say a lot for this spinoff that two of the main characters are ones I can’t wait to get rid of. On the downside, Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Rebekah (Claire Holt) follow suit, joining their brother in New Orleans. Well Rebekah will eventually, she’s a confirmed cast member on The Originals, but it looks like she’ll stick around VD for the rest of this season. Elijah, the most interesting and mysterious original, who just exudes this presence that makes you want to learn more about him, has always been a sometimes character on VD, so it’s actually nice to have a surefire way of seeing him by tuning in to The Originals. But it’s Rebekah, who has become one of my favorite characters on the Vampire Diaries who I will truly be sad to see go. Petty, emotional, complicated, and powerful – Rebekah is a kick ass vampire woman with issues. She just wants to be loved, and love her, I do.

So … what exactly is pulling these characters away to New Orleans? That is complicated and a little convoluted. The Original Family lived in New Orleans many years ago, and though they have moved around a lot having to run from their vampire hunting father (it’s complicated being an original vampire, what can I tell you?), Elijah notes that New Orleans was the place where they were happy as a family. Klaus liked it because when they lived there, he ruled that town. Now he comes back to find that one of his New Orleans minions (not a hybrid, but a vampire whom he taught everything he knew) named Marcel has become top dog, and boy have things changed. Marcel doesn’t just rule the vampires in New Orleans, he rules the whole town. He’s run all the werewolves out of town, and he has the witches wrapped around his finger. Under Marcel’s rule, no witches in New Orleans are allowed to practice magic, and if they do he somehow knows about it. A mystery I don’t really care about the answer to. Charles Michael Davis plays Marcel a little over the top, and with not enough bite. He’s currently on Grey’s Anatomy where he plays a nonchalant douche bag quite well, so hopefully he’ll fall into a stride playing Marcel.

But the witches are PISSED. Marcel has taken over their lives. Why don’t they just leave New Orleans? Because then there would be no plot for this spinoff, silly goose. So blah blah blah, they find out Hayley is pregnant with Klaus’ baby, blah blah blah they perform a spell to confirm it and kidnap her, blah blah blah Marcel kills one of them, blah blah blah they use Hayley’s baby as leverage to get Klaus to help them overtake Marcel. At least … I think that’s what happened? It was kind of fast and there was a lot of exposition. Which does happen sometimes in pilots, but I expected more from the writers of The Vampire Diaries. And Hayley being preggers is just weird. I guess vampires can’t have children so Klaus was all, “I don’t need protection, I’m so cool, I’m Klaus.” And Hayley was all, “But I’m a werewolf, so your werewolf parts impregnated me LOLZ I’m still in love with Tyler though, didn’t the witches make me look pretty?” I am paraphrasing, of course.

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And Klaus’ response to finding out Hayley is cooking his little hybrid cub in her oven tummy? “Kill her, and the baby.” He’s so charming, that Klaus! No wonder all the fans love him and want to be impregnated with their own little hybrid babies. But Elijah convinces him that family is power or something. It’s stupid. Klaus eventually decides to help the witches. Not because they are holding his son hostage (well like, maybe a little bit? I don’t know.), but because he wants to be king of the castle. He’s jealous of Marcel, and he wants to take over New Orleans and restore it to how it was back in the day.

It’s kind of a loose plot. The whole thing was kind of ridiculous, fast, and unnecessary. I don’t like the new characters, I only like two of the old ones, and I’d rather them just stay a part of the VD crew. But then again … Vampire Diaries took a little while to come into its stride, so its possible The Originals will do the same. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll find it just as addictive, just as interesting and unexpected. But I highly doubt it. So, Klaus fans can rejoice. But the rest of us smart people … can probably skip this one.

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