Have you been watching The Originals? Because it’s been knocking our socks off. We may even be dare we say it? starting to look forward to the darker, more morally ambiguous series more than its source material, The Vampire Diaries. Here are five reasons why The Originals just may be better than TVD.

The focus on family

Not to get all Brady Bunch on you, but we’re suckers for a good family-themed program, and this one is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Unlike the aforementioned Brady Bunch, these siblings’ spats end with one or more of them daggered and left to desiccate in a coffin for decades to centuries at a time. Yeah, not your average family drama. But, that only makes this “Family is power” theme that much more addicting. And they can do light-hearted moments, too. One of our favorite scenes of the series so far came in this week’s Season 1, Episode 6 (“Fruit of the Poisoned Tree”) when we saw Klaus and Elijah engaged in their own little “vampire book club,” and Rebekah teasing them for it. You know what they say: The family that reads together, stays together! Or, was it rips people’s hearts out together? We can never remember.

It’s fresher

Though we love the on-screen history that TVD has, sometimes it can feel a little repetitive. How many times have we seen Elena waver between Stefan and Damon? Or, been to a Mystic Falls costume party? A lot. Sometimes, that history adds layers and greater depth to a scene, and sometimes, it just feels tired. With The Originals, everything feels new, but we don’t have to give up the emotional connection we’ve established with the Mikaelson family over seasons of TVD. Instead, we get to explore a new fictional world with them where the stakes and values are different.

All Mikaelsons, all the time

What can we say? We love watching Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah scheme, sabotage, and celebrate perhaps more than we love watching Elena, Stefan, and Damon do the same. When they were on TVD, it was frustrating to only have them as supporting cast members. Now, they get their very own storylines, and it is glorious. We will always love our Mystic Falls gang, but at least for now we’re kind of more interested in what the Mikaelsons are up to in New Orleans.

The broader scope

Though TVD often manages to bring into the narrative the question of Mystic Falls power dynamics (i.e. What is the Council up to? Who knows about that pesky vampire population?), The Originals brings that to a whole new level. This isn’t just the story of the Mikaelsons; It is the story of this fictionalized-version of the French Quarter where humans, vampires, and witches have managed to co-exist. Watching the different factions compete for control and try to sustain equilibrium is just as much a part of the story as the personal goings-on of the central characters more than that, the two are inextricably intertwined and we love that.

The theme of redemption

We love watching the bad guy turn into the good guy. It gives us hope that anyone can be saved and that people are inherently good, and one of the most compelling questions in The Originals remains: Can Klaus be redeemed? He’s made disappointingly little progress in this respect so far, but we suppose we wouldn’t want for the change to happen too quickly. There was a time when TVD had its own sub-narrative of redemption to keep us peeled to the screen in the Damon storyline, but that has more-or-less played its course (for now). It’s Klaus’ turn.

Do you like The Originals more than TVD right now? Sound off in the comments below!

Catch the next episode of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, November 7 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. The Originals airs on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.