Monday, December 12, 2011
The Vampire Diaries - A Review
I just finished watching season 1 and 2 of the Vampire Diaries. I tried to watch them when it started, but I don't get the CW on satellite and I don't like to watch shows online, so I didn't keep up with them. Plus, I HATE cliffhangers and when each episode is a cliffhanger, it drives me nuts! So, as is the case with Supernatural (another one of my favorite American shows - which is a very short list), buying the series and watching them all at once, is always the best course for me. But I've not bought The Vampire Diaries because they've always been pretty expensive...thank goodness for Amazon! I managed to finally catch them on sale and got them for $11 a piece!
Anyway, on to the review, since I had already seen about half of the first series, I knew the basic storyline, girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, boy turns out to be a vampire...simple enough concept. But, of course it doesn't stay that way! Stephan (the vampire), falls for Elena (the girl) who, with her younger brother, is being raised by their aunt because their parents died in a car wreck. But no sooner than they start their romance, Stephan's evil brother, Damon, arrives to muck things up, basically for the sake of revenge. You see, Stephan and Damon fell in love with the same vamp, Katherine, who happens to look exactly like Elena, well, technically, Elena looks like Katherine, actually she is Katherine's doppleganger (you have to watch for that explanation). It was Stephan's fault that Katherine was killed (or so Damon thought), so Damon has spent the last 146 yrs blaming Stephan for Katherine's death, for stealing Katherine, for turning him into a vamp (although he loves being one), pretty much for existing and Damon is hell-bent on ruining Stephan's life. But he doesn't plan on Elena and also doesn't plan on falling for her and his feelings mess up his revenge plans.
Confused yet? Add the fact that both brothers can walk in the sunlight because of rings spelled by witches, more witches, werewolves, more vamps, original vamps, hybrid werewolf-vamps, civil war flashbacks, 14th century flashbacks, the return of Katherine, who is hell-bent on getting Stephan back and numerous other agendas that can get a bit confusing, as well as tons of other things and you end up with really great TV! The actors who play Elena and Damon are involved in real life, but it doesn't affect the acting between the actors who play Elena and Stephan...I've seen that happen too many times, two actors become involved and it affects the relationship that is supposed to be going on between characters...kisses aren't as passionate anymore, or looks aren't as "real". When I'm watching fictitious television, I want to get lost in it just a like a book, I want to be completely sucked in and feel like it's real, even though it's not...that's escapism. Bad acting will ruin it everytime, but not a problem on this show! When Stephan tells Elena he loves her, I get chills! That's the way it should be and that's good acting!
There are tons of similar projects, True Blood, Twilight, etc, etc, and I'm a vampire nut and watch them all, so what makes TVD different? It just is. TVD does makes fun of all the others (one example that comes to mind is that Damon is asked by Caroline while he is glancing at New Moon (and dogging it BTW) why he doesn't sparkle, to which he answers something to the effect of because this is the real world and vampires don't sparkle, only Anne Rice got it right). Damon has an incredibly smart mouth and quick wit but has a ton of internal emotion (a bit close to home) and Stephan is the perfect man (unless he gets human blood in him and he makes Damon look like the good brother). Elena finds herself torn between the two, even though she loves Stephan, but also is torn between the fact that they are, by their very nature, killers, and slowly as various friends and family get turned or die, it tests the very nature of how strong her love for Stephan actually is. On top of everything, Elena has no desire to become a vamp...at least no so far, a refreshing change from most vampire stories where the girl always wants to get turned.
I've said it before, after spending weeks watching nothing but one show, completely immersing myself into the depths of one world, once I'm done, I feel weirdly empty. The third series isn't out on DVD yet and, for financial reasons, best to wait, iTunes would cost way too much. I've thought about reading the books (since I've had them longer than the TV series has been out), but apparently the books are like the Sookie books and True Blood...the Sookie books are an outline for the show, but not followed. Apparently, in TVD books, Elena is a mean girl and not very well liked (same with the Sookie books, I don't like the book Sookie at all, but the TV Sookie is OK), the storylines are different. So I'm at a loss at what to do for my TVD fix! The power of OCD!
But of the three (Twilight, True Blood, or TVD), I think TVD is my favorite. I never liked Bella and never thought she deserved Edward in either book or movie form (and I much preferred Jasper anyway), so Twilight is out. I lost interest in True Blood (the books, which I read first) when Sookie dumped Bill and, even though I watch the show, I constantly expect it to follow the books (another case of actors getting romantically involved and it affecting kisses with other actors), and find the storylines from the book confusing with the storylines from from the show in my head. I stopped the Sookie books at 7 when I realized they just weren't gonna get back together (I also don't like book Eric whereas most of the fan community love him and want him and Sookie to be together).
TVD has action, romance, drama, passion, humor (even if it can be dark), the supernatural, and pretty much any other genre you can think of. Even characters that get killed always seem to come back for one reason or another, so no one is ever lost in Mystic Falls! So as far as vamps go, I think The Vampire Diaries probably get my highest vamp series accolades!