Thanks, CW, for a bloody good time

Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev do a great job with their respective characters, Damon and Elena. I’m guessing we will see a lot of these two young, talented actors in the future.

As you may know from previous posts, I am a die-hard Truebie. So at the end of season two, I was suffering some severe depression. Then came Vampire Diaries (CW, Thursdays at 8 p.m.), which immediately lured me in with the hope that I could somehow survive eight months without Sookie, Bill and Eric.

When Vampire Diaries was announced I thought it had potential, but I was a little worried that it might be Gossip Girl with fangs. I was even more worried when I picked up the books, which are really quite ridiculous. Trust me, as an avid reader of science fiction and horror, I can say with confidence that the show’s writers have done remarkable things with the weak material from the books by P.C. Cast.

As the first season progressed, it became clear that the show was much more than a teen romance drama that happens to involve vampires. It’s got some great young actors – Nina Dobrev (as Elena Gilbert) and Ian Somerhalder (as Damon Salvatore) really stand out, and the story has mystery and intrigue. And it’s not afraid to take risks. This season major characters like Vickie, Pearl, Anna and John Gilbert all bit the dust.  

Of course, last week was the season finale – and what a finale it was with the return of Katherine, Damon’s newfound conscience, Jeremy’s suicide, John Gilbert’s murder and the revelation that Tyler is more than a high school football player. As with all shows, you can’t really judge it until a few seasons in, but the final episode really has given fans a lot to think about and look forward to.

Throughout the course of the year, I tried a few new shows (Eastwick, Parenthood, Funny or Die and Happy Town) but none of these held my interest. Except Vampire Diaries. So if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and catch the first season online, on DVD, or on re-runs. I think you’ll be sucked in.

The Vampire Continuum

I just got around to watching this week’s episode of Vampire Diaries, so you’ll have to forgive my delayed reaction. It should suffice to say, though, that I could barely stand the wait until I had some free time to catch up with my DVR.  

First off, the obvious – Stefan is back on the sauce, and I have to say I kind of like him better when he is being bad. Sometimes his adherence to vampire vegetarianism is downright boring. And of the two Salvatore brothers, Damon is definitely sexier and more intriguing, largely because he embraces his nature.

I like to think of Vampire Diaries as being in the middle of the Vampire Continuum. On one side you have Twilight (a lot of innocent romance, and soft on the horror) and on the other side you have True Blood (very steamy romance, heavy on the supernatural horror). And right in the middle you have Vampire Diaries, which shifts to be closer toward one extreme or the other depending on the episode. I like all of these movies/shows, by the way, but my favorite is True Blood, so I relish the times when Stefan, Elena and Damon are more risqué. I’m also hoping that Damon is going to up the ante and bite Elena soon.

Then we have Elena’s uncle, John Gilbert, with another invincibility ring. This, like the Lost dynamite, screams TV trope. Clearly these rings just exist so that the vampires in the show can have worthy adversaries. Let’s just hope there aren’t too many more of them around, because it could get stupid.

Lastly, there is Jeremy, who read Elena’s diary and now knows everything. I figured this was going to happen eventually. That diary was like a celebrity sex tape – it was bound to get out and cause a stir.

For those who tuned in this week, what did you think? I’m hoping that we get to see some werewolf action soon out of Tyler and his father.

27 Vampires

Well, well, well – isn’t Jeremy quite the little fang-banger? I don’t know about you, but I would have pegged him to be more of the vampire slayer type, so I was more than a little surprised when he offered Anna a drink. If I had to guess, I would say Elena won’t be too happy to find out that he is in the market for a double-wide coffin.

In case you aren’t up to speed yet, I’m talking about last night’s episode of Vampire Diaries.

Moving on, the double date between Elena and Stefan and Caroline and Matt was awkward, to say the least. Even though I believe she loves Stefan, it’s pretty clear that Elena has a strong connection with Matt (who I find to be quite charming, for a human). Too bad for Caroline.

I’m still not sure what Pearl is planning with the 27 Vampires, but she is one tough vampire broad. No worries though, with or without eyes Damon is still a VILF. From the sneak peak we had of next week, it looks like Stefan is going to get captured and it’s pretty clear that P-A-I-N is in store.

No Bonnie again this week and Alaric was noticeably absent after his central role in last week’s episode. All in all, though, it was a good one. What did you guys think?

I’ll take Bachelor #5, please

For the trouble of waiting weeks for a new episode, fans of Vampire Diaries were treated to a solid hour of smoldering vampire good looks, brewing trouble, and some interesting twists and turns.

I’m a big fan of Ian Somerhalder, who plays Damon Salvatore on the show. I loved him as Boone in Lost, and I love him even more as the bad-boy vampire in this show.  He’s witty and charming, and also ruthless, and all of these personality traits came out last night. He mourned Katherine’s betrayal in typical fashion – by nibbling on some co-eds and drinking copious amounts of alcohol. And when Elena (Nina Dobrev) told him she had discovered the identity of her birth mother he showed genuine concern for her, in his own way. You could cut the sexual tension between those two with a knife. Also, I would be remiss if I did not add that he looked gorgeous sans shirt.

Elena’s back story has taken some interesting turns, and last night’s episode left me with as many questions as answers. We now know who Elena’s mother is, but who is her father? Has Isobel been watching and waiting for Elena all this time? And we know a little more about the mysterious Alaric Saltzman, but his newly discovered ring of invincibility sure is a wild card. And where is Katherine exactly? Her minions seem to be coalescing around Pearl, but I have no idea what plans they have in store. There is obviously some connection between Elena, Isobel and Katherine, but it has yet to be revealed. Bonnie was also absent from this installment.

The weak link in this episode was Matt’s mom, Kelly, who is quite the smelly pirate hooker. It’s never good when shows centered on teenagers feel the need to insert random parental figures – it comes across as forced and awkward. I don’t even remember Kelly or Matt mentioning Vicki, which is just bizarre. Nevertheless, I actually felt bad for Caroline, in spite of the fact that I have previously categorized her as a psycho hose beast undeserving of Matt.

We have four more episodes in season one, and I can’t wait to see what questions are answered, and what turns the story will take. For its first year, the show has done a great job of mixing in back story, stage-setting, and compelling storylines. As with all shows, I think it’s going to have a lot of momentum next year. What do you think?