I didn’t have faith in “The Vampire Diaries” when it premiered in 2009. I resented the CW for trying to capitalize on the “Twilight” craze, and L. J. Smith’s “Vampire Diaries” book series, on which the show was based, was pretty boring, at least to me.
But after two episodes I was hooked, and it became clear that show-runner Julie Plec was a Joss Whedon-ish mastermind who could turn a not-so-great vamp tale into a glorious, supernatural soap opera. “VD” is nothing like Whedon’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” of course, but both shows are high art compared with their source material. And both have earned a beautifully loyal fan base (just check out all the “VD” hashtags on Twitter on Thursday nights).
It’s viewers like me who should be watching “The Originals,” Plec’s new “Vampire Diaries” spinoff, which airs its third episode Tuesday night. The new show follows angry-yet-vulnerable vampire Klaus and his siblings, who are, as the show’s title suggests, the Adams and
Eves of all bloodsuckers. Klaus has left Mystic Falls, Va., the fictional town of “Vampire Diaries,” for New Orleans, where he plans to take the city back from his old friend and rival, Marcel.
After seeing the pilot (which was basically a cheat sheet for newcomers) and last week’s episode, which took Klaus further into his spinoff world, I have some thoughts (or pleas) for Plec, the woman who has been the master of my Thursday nights for four years. I trust you, Julie. I say all of this because I care so much (maybe too much).
1. Don’t cast too many straight-haired brunettes who have the same bone structure. I’m two episodes in, and I can’t tell the difference between all of these actresses, even though their characters have names like Sophie and Davina. Can you give a few of them perms or something? Your ladies are beginning to look like doppelgangers (unintentionally, I assume).
2. More Leah Pipes, please. We’re all living vicariously through whatever human character you give us, so let us get into her head. Pipes has a great face, and I want her to get more screen time. She’s ageless like Sara Canning’s “Vampire Diaries” character Aunt Jenna. (R.I.P., Aunt Jenna.)
3. Please don’t let Klaus get too silly. Actor Joseph Morgan’s vaguely British, mean-vampire rants became a staple of “Vampire Diaries” (hence the spinoff), but when he yells things like, “I’d have a greater chance of draining the Mississippi with a straw!” it is difficult not to giggle.
4. Don’t kill people unless you’re sure you want them dead. How many times did Klaus (and others) die on “Vampire Diaries” before coming back to life? Fifty? We’ve already got some extinguished characters on “The Originals.” Don’t resurrect too many of them.
5. Please don’t forget the love story. “The Originals” has so much lore, so many intricate plotlines about rules for witches and vampire-werewolf hybrids (and their babies). But you must remember that “Vampire Diaries” started as a fairly simple tale about two brothers, played by Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley (who looks like a cross between Robert Pattinson and Theo Epstein), who were in love with the same woman. Sure, there was legend and mythology, even in the beginning, but it worked because it was a very basic love triangle. The romance is always what compels us.Meredith Goldstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.