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TV Review: The CW's 'The Originals'

The CW premieres The Originals, a spinoff series of The Vampire Diaries, on Thursday 9 p.m. ET. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“Still, this busy pilot — teeming with vamps, witches and werewolves — is so dense with backstory it fails to provide uninitiated viewers with what vampires require: An overt invitation to come in.”

—Brian Lowry, Variety

“Instead, this all feels a bit like a shaggy dog has wandered onto the show to tell a story with as many loops, turns, twists, ironies and details as fans can possibly absorb or tolerate.”

—Verne Gay, Newsday

“There are so many vampires and undeads and such on television these days that this crew is going to have a hard time getting attention, especially if the show continues to be as much of a grab bag as the pilot episode is.

—Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

The Originals attempts to piece together the story of this family of vampires, a story that dates back hundreds of years, and the mishmash of flashbacks, origin story, and retelling of events already told just a few short months ago give the whole affair a Franken-pilot feel that simply wasn’t there in the backdoor pilot.”

—Carrie Raisler, The A.V. Club

“Like Vampire Diaries (and so much else), The Originals lacks a sharp wit, preferring the heavy-velvet drapery of self-seriousness and pretend passion. You would think the kids have had their fill by now.”

—Hank Stuever, The Washington Post