9 Addictive and Mysterious TV Shows Like 'The Vampire Diaries'
Blood, lust, sex, violence, and tons of high-voltage drama. The Vampire Diaries on the CW has everything you want in your supernatural show.
Just like other shows in the genre, The Vampire Diaries has its own definition of death. People die, come back, and then they die again, only to be revived once again. If anything, TVD has taught us one thing; if your favorite character dies, there is a good chance that they will come back later on.
There is too much going on to explain in words. Those who watch the show love all the mayhem and twists frequently thrown at them. Some people hate it while others follow it religiously. Well, we are not here to debate it. If you're here, it’s obvious that you are looking for some shows like The Vampire Diaries.
The Best TV Series Like 'The Vampire Diaries'
- Teen Wolf
- The Originals
- True Blood
- The Secret Circle
- Being Human
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
1. Teen Wolf
Scott gets bitten by a werewolf and then his athletic abilities get a boost as he gets faster and stronger. With these powers come a hoard of new responsibilities and dangers. But will it be too late before he learns to disguise himself?
The series is loosely based on the 1985 comedy film starring Michael J. Fox. However, this adaptation is much more darker as it is a more serious drama with violence and gore. It uses the protagonist's condition as an allegory for adolescence as he copes with a changing body and new urges.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Teen Wolf is all about teens. While it’s true that the main focus is on teens, the show is about much more than that. The first season isn’t that good since it is your typical werewolf narrative that we've seen before. Things pick up from the second season as more characters are introduced and the plot becomes more ambitious. From the third season onward, the plot becomes more complex and compelling as a mythology is developed.
We begin to learn that werewolves are not the only supernatural creatures roaming around the city. The plot only gets more complex and intriguing from there.
'Teen Wolf' Compared to 'The Vampire Diaries'
Teen Wolf has been a massive success for MTV and is right up there with The Vampire Diaries in terms of having a rabid fanbase. Both series have been accused of riding the wave that was created by Twilight. It should be noted that both series come from previous material that predates Twilight. Teen Wolf is a reimagining of the 1985 comedy film of the same name while TVD is actually adapted from a series of books that were originally published in 1991.
There was actually a bit of a crossover with the shows, though it was more like a visual gag. An episode of Teen Wolf had a lacrosse game where the opposing team had the initials of MFH on their uniforms. This stands for Mystic Falls High, the high school in The Vampire Diaries. This was a nice easter egg from the show creators.
While both shows feature supernatural beings, they are quite different in tone. As good as it is, TVD is essentially a teen drama show in a genre setting. Teen Wolf has its teen drama but it features more comedy and action as well. It actually has more similarities to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Both show have teens living in town plagued by weird happenings that they must solve themselves. Even the character dynamics featured here seemed to be inspired by Buffy.
Teen Wolf Final Season Trailer
2. The Originals
What better show is there to recommend than the official spin-off series?
The Originals tells the story of the original vampire siblings—the first of their kind. It answers a lot of questions too. How did the vampires come to be? How come they can’t go out in the sun like normal human beings?
This show answers it all as it narrates the origins of the very first vampires. Though it started as a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries, this show has evolved into a must-watch drama. It takes a little time to pick up, but once it does, it’s a roller-coaster ride. If vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural beings don't intrigue you much, the high-quality drama should be able to draw you in. There is no reason for you to not put this on your watch list.
If you like this one, be sure to check out this list of similar shows to The Originals for further recommendations.
The Originals Final Season Trailer
3. True Blood
People said that this show wasn't worth watching. And you probably believed them. Granted, the plot is a bit of a mess initially, but it gets better pretty soon.
There is a reason this series lasted for seven seasons. If you love vampire shows, you definitely need to give True Blood a shot. The gore, betrayal, romance, wolves, mythical creatures, vampires, and intriguing drama cements this show as one of the best supernatural dramas to ever air on HBO. However, some fans debate about the ending. If you're one of the critics, you can check out this article on ideas to improve the series finale.
What Is Supernatural Drama?
All of the shows on this list fit into the category of supernatural drama. These shows are typically character-driven and focus on the relationships the characters have with each other. This is done in an environment where being like vampires, ghosts, and other supernatural beings are present. It is not uncommon for the protagonists to be one of these beings themselves.
The genre arguably got its start with the soap opera Dark Shadows, which aired from 1966 to 1971. It featured many elements from horror films as well as some sci-fi elements. The most iconic example of the genre is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which still inspires many new series today. The past decade has seen the genre rise in popularity as it has merged with the teen drama and has gained an audience of young adults.
Some examples of supernatural dramas include:
- American Horror Story
- Once Upon a Time
- Hemlock Grove
It has been running for over 10 seasons and Supernatural is still going strong! That says a lot about it. Simply put, this show so damn good and addicting. Once you watch the first couple of episodes, you’ll want to burn through the rest.
You can skip some seasons if you want to, but then you won’t get to experience the full scope of the two brothers who fight all kinds of evil. It only gets weirder as the show progresses. From demons, ghosts, and vampires to gods that roam around—they have fought them all, and there are more lurking around. You don’t want to miss out on their awesome journey!
If you're looking to get a taste of this series, I recommend checking out this list of the 20 best Supernatural episodes to get an idea of what the show is about.
5. The Secret Circle
It’s a shame that this show only lasted for two seasons because it was great. Nevertheless, there are two whole seasons for you to burn through if you love vamp TV.
I'd urge you to not judge it before you give it a shot. Just because there are a lot of teens doesn’t mean it has to be mediocre. In fact, any adult who is into the supernatural genre will love it.
It’s dark, compelling, and filled with totally unexpected plot twists. This is a masterpiece that must be brought back from the dead!
The Secret Circle Trailer
6. Being Human
A vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost living in the same house? It just can’t get boring! They try to live a normal life despite being non-humans, but things always go haywire.
Every day in their lives is a new adventure as they learn that living together probably wasn't a good idea. With only five seasons, it shouldn’t take a lot of your time to churn through it.
You can either go with the original UK version or the US remake. Although the UK version is great, I prefer the US one. It’s all up to you. Give both versions a go for the first few episodes and see what you like.
Being Human UK Trailer
How would you rate The Vampire Diaries out of 5 stars?
7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Putting aside its misguided title, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an incredible show. What began as a mid-season replacement soon became a hit amongst the audience, securing a huge fan base and tons of merchandising.
The plot revolves around a girl who is destined to slay demons and vampires. She alone battles and relieves the world of evil creatures. Surprisingly, fighting vampires is only a small part of what this show is about.
It chronicles a young girl’s journey as she deals with her personal problems and identity crisis while she also finds time to slay monsters. With some daring and intriguing narratives and some terrific character development, this show is definitely one of the best vampire serials. If you haven’t watched this show yet, you can buy the DVD on Amazon.
It should be noted that the relationship between Buffy and her mom has earned this show a spot on the list of TV shows that mom and daughters should watch together.
I strongly recommend this show to everyone who loves mystery shows like TVP and Lost where things are revealed pretty slowly. It can be overwhelming if you are skipping episodes because you won’t comprehend a single thing. I strongly suggest that you watch this series from the very beginning.
Those who complain about it just don’t get this show. It’s similar to Lost where you have to interpret various scenes to make sense of it. Give the first couple of episodes a shot and see if you like it.
I believe that this show is pretty underrated, mainly because it’s a spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Don’t be mistaken though. While it’s not as cutesy as its predecessor, it manages to have a wry sense of humor even in its darkest moments.
From the cast, to the plot, to the character development, everything was top-notch. It was great to see the character Angel change throughout the show. The flashbacks revealed how evil he was in the past, bringing nothing but torture, pain, and death to people when he didn’t have a soul. Actor David Boreanez, who played the role, perfectly depicted a vampire’s path to redemption.
The biggest criticism this show received was that it was a spin-off. The idea was that a spin-off show couldn't be good. Give it a chance and see it for yourself.