Monday, July 9, 2012

The Vampire Diaries


I don't think this series could have a more embarrassing name. I feel silly telling anyone I watch it, and for a while refused to watch it myself thanks to its tween-overdone title. BUT for anyone who hasn't seen this, it's surprisingly mature and well-produced. I don't think it's fair to compare it to Twilight, but if we did, I'd say this show is significantly (like in the hundred-folds) better in terms of plot, darkness, depth, and production value. It's actually sad how much better a TV show is than a billion-dollar movie franchise.




Unlike Twilight, which singles in on the life of a mundane girl and her vampire love, TVD includes a spectrum of characters, and a world containing a variety of dark fairytale elements, rather than just vampires and werewolves. Here we've got witches, ghosts, and general magic added to the mix, which sounds cheesy at first, but ends up making for an overall richer, more realistic environment. I also like that they twist the traditional definitions and are not afraid to make their own, e.g. with hybrids.

I've watched all three seasons, and have to say the first season remains the best. Two and three had some fun twists, but somehow lacked the addictiveness of the second half of season one. I think it's because the stories are getting a bit redundant, as with every American TV show after a few years. The season three finale was pretty dramatic though, and makes me at least willing to give season four a shot.


Moving to characters, I'm personally not a fan of anyone in the show except a few of the originals (Klaus, Elijah, and sort of Rebekah). Everyone else is getting a bit boring and annoying, especially Elena. I was momentarily happy when it looked like she'd died at the end, but of course that'd be impossible for the series to continue. Strangely though, Katherine is alright and always a fun watch, probably because she's so ridiculously selfish, so if she makes a return I'll be happy. Anyone else shipping her and Stefan?

My least-favorite character? Caroline, left
Caroline and Bonnie are tied for most annoying side character, with Caroline in the lead right now. Something about her whiny voice and rather stupid shipper storylines irritates me every time she comes onscreen. Bonnie annoyed me most in season two when she was a goody-goody bitch, but she's coming around. And the fact she just saved Klaus makes me applaud.


Stefan and Damon - can Elena just move on already? At one point I liked them both, but now all of the "romantic" scenes are unbearably repetitive. If I had to pick one for her, I'd say Damon since Stefan is just too boring (despite the producers' attempts to make him badass in season 3. Plus we all know what's going on behind the scenes in terms of actor hook-ups, and I'd like to see that properly represented on screen. I also still remember the guy who plays Stefan from his days as a druggie on Everwood, and as I didn't find him attractive then, I find him even less attractive now. Damon's bad-boy attitude is great for about a season, but the sarcasm and "great love" for Elena are wearing thin (plus I don't understand the latter).

I do like that the show isn't afraid to kill off fairly important characters, even though I'm horribly annoyed every time one of my favorites goes (especially when you can see it coming). Examples of ones I loved: Pearl + Anna (loved both the actresses and characters) and Alaric. Examples of ones I was happy to see go: Vicky (something about the druggy + slut combo made her the most repulsive character for me, so I was happy to watch her arc end early), and Mikael (crazy old man).

The best scenes in the series by far are flashbacks to any prior time period. It adds an extra level of beauty and history to the story, especially when the costumes and sets are as impressive as they are. My favorites are of Katherine in the feudal times with the originals, along with the Civil War ones in season 1.

My hope is that next season we cut down on the teen angst and start moving on with the bigger story, especially involving the Originals.

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