The funny thing about The Vampire Diaries is the source material was before True Blood and Twilight. I remember when it first started being advertised, and everyone called it just a duplicate of the vampire popularity. It predated the Buffy series too, and we all know that materials derive from other materials and you could say it just took from Anne Rice and blah blah blah. I don’t mind that all the Vampire mythos take aspects from one another, it just amused me that the mainstream vampire fans blew this show off in the beginning. I did too, but for different reasons. I was pleasantly surprised, and I’ve been watching for awhile now. Here’s my look at midway through season three, and opinions about the show. Spoilers below!

The Vampire Diaries is about Elena Gilbert, your ‘average high school student’ who gets in the middle of a vampire triangle. Sound familiar, yes? Of course, but it’s a lot more complicated than that. Her parents die just before the show starts and Elena copes with the changes in her life and perspective. Also her brother is losing himself in drugs, her cool but still young aunt is trying to raise them as best as she can, and this really dreamy new guy at school is giving her dreamy eyes all over the place. But he’s all mysterious and his brother is creepy (but hot), and she finds out they’re vampires. And a lot of people die and/or are turned into vampires, and there are witches and werewolves and her life just got a whole lot complicated. But like most heroines in vampire stories, except Ms. Useless Swan, she is unique in her own way. In this case, Elena’s actually the catalyst for a lot of what goes on. Because of who she is a lot of things happen, and she’s the driving force behind most of the action simply for existing. Which would typically make her a victim of course, but she tries to be active enough and she does react emotionally and responsibly to the things that happen around her.

I had trouble with this season for a major fact: I really don’t like Damon Salvatore. This isn’t to go against Ian Somerhalder, who I loved long before the show began, and I think he’s excellent in the role and of course as beautiful as a man can be. I even usually like the bad boy with a secret heart of gold who does bad things but he’s so charismatic you can’t help loving him. I liked Damon the most on the show when season one started. I could probably write a dissertation on the reasons I have trouble with this character. It could have a lot to do with the fact I’m older now and more jaded about the romantic angle of a guy who kills indiscriminately but you forgive because he’s oh so pretty. I think it’s pretty clear the audience would be a lot less sympathetic to Damon if he wasn’t Ian Somerhalder. Put in that role a squat balding guy in his forties and they’d all be saying stake the bastard already. And yes, Dee, that could mean the same of any of those ‘bad boy’ romance options in every book ever. I’m admitting that fully. I guess I’m getting to a place where I feel hostile toward those characters rather than giggly. I don’t doubt Ian’s acting ability or that he’s written well or that I don’t feel for his character. I’m just less forgiving of the guy who killed Jeremy Gilbert (back from the dead or not) because Elena said no to him, or the guy who just a few weeks ago snapped Ric’s neck and didn’t see where that was a violation of their friendship. With friends like those, right?

So since I have a problem with Damon, I have a lot of trouble with the Delena ship, and how it’s developing on the show right now. I did quit the show for a few weeks, but I came back to it after hearing some of the other great things. And that was about Stefan being evil-ish, and Paul Wesley is having a fun time doing that, and Klaus being hilariously weird/evil. There was an answer to the original mythos of the vampires and werewolves and the Original family. I think it was more or less done well. I’m interested to meet the rest of the kin, although I’m worried it’s going to start being the Original show and not really about the characters we know already. Tyler becoming a hybrid is interesting, and I want to see a little more of what he’s capable of and how he learns that aspect. I think it was risky for them to go that far with him since he now outranks (in terms of straight out power) everyone but the Originals.  I like it. His worship of Klaus is also an interesting twist to take with that character, but the part about him not having to be afraid of the full moon is also great and character driven. I love how they’re giving Michael Trevino more.

Elena not giving up on Stefan and his fight to win back his ‘soul’ has been seen before, but I think the actors are handling it well. The triangle might make me want to stab someone, yet I think it’s being acted and written well. Jeremy seeing ghosts and the ghosts playing a big part of this season was nice, although it did feel like they went ‘oh we totally killed these characters too soon and they’re awesome, we should use them again.’ I’m not complaining. I loved seeing Lexi, Anna, and Mason again. I’m a little disappointed Mason didn’t get to see Tyler, but I get why his story was elsewhere. I wonder if Jeremy only had that gift until Bonnie closed the gate, and it would be interesting if they do develop that more for him in the future. I like the idea of a medium on the show, and the whole ‘you can only see me if you think about me’ part was unfortunate. I think that was a gift they could’ve utilized down the road. I hope they still consider it. I’m disappointed that Mikael’s story was over so fast, I was hoping for a much more epic battle with him and Klaus.

The thing that surprised me about TVD is the characters are well conceived. They’re developed better than I’d expect of the channel, and they’ve changed in believable ways over the past few seasons. Yes this show is a guilty pleasure, but I’m not sure how guilty I feel about it, since it’s written better than people expect. I liked TVD better than True Blood this season, that’s for sure. Worlds better than Twilight, they can’t even really compare. I’m not sure how to explain why this show works, but I think it comes down to risk. They take big risks every single week. They aren’t safe, not in how they treat the characters and not in how they treat the audience. There aren’t many shows on right now I believe would willingly throw wrenches into everything they’re doing just to make a good story, but this show does and I respect that. So while I might want to gag over Delena, I’m willing to get past that for now because I love the overall cast. I really can’t wait to see where it’s headed with Stefan stealing all the caskets. If you want to do a serious bitch move, always ask Katherine. She is the Meanest Girl of all Mean Girls. Even Klaus can’t compare! Seriously, if you haven’t given this show a try, consider it. Season one and two are on Netflix Watch Instantly.

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Comments
  1. Solyellowsun says:

    I definitely like the show, and am also on the not a fan of Damon side. Ian Somerhalder is a pretty awesome and awesomely pretty guy, but his character, while put together well, never made me fond of him, and that has only gotten worse, lately. I almost want to see them go even farther with the risks, and kill Damon and Elena, bringing into the show different elements to keep it moving, and see what happens.

    But then I am evil like that.

    Like

    • Dee says:

      I do agree about killing Damon. I think knowing the top three (Stefan, Elena, and Damon) will never die is actually a problem for the show. They are risky in everyone else being up for slaughter, but that’s why I wasn’t concerned at all when Damon got bitten by the werewolf. No way were they going to kill him. It would’ve been AWESOME if they did actually kill him. Elena I’m fine with keeping alive both because I like her and the show would lose focus without her since she does ground it.

      Like

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