Dear Thursday TV,

Elena escaped the clutches of Elijah, but this is just the beginning.

This note is to thank you for an utterly satisfying evening.

First, you served up a fresh episode of The Vampire Diaries on The CW, complete with a brand new villain, Elijah (after all, Katherine needs to cool off in the tomb for at least an episode). Not just any villain, he’s a super sexy, seemingly invincible vampire with a seriously cruel streak. And you gave us a very bittersweet scene between Damon and Elena, a scene that we’ve been waiting for since these two met. Swoon. To top it off, you gave us a blossoming romance between Jeremy and Bonnie as well as a newfound bond between Caroline and Tyler.

Second, you gave us new episodes of 30 Rock and The Office. What can I say? If I had to pick my favorite character on TV, it would be Jack Donaghy. He needs DIHC, and he’ll take it any way he can get it.

Then, you served up one of the best episodes of Fringe to date. Olivia began what promises to be an arduous journey home, with Peter as her spirit guide. Nowhere is the expertise of the show’s writers more evident than in an episode like this – which seamlessly weaves together overarching mythology with a single-episode storyline. In this case, Olivia and the Fringe team investigate someone who broke out of the amber, only to find that twin brothers have pulled the classic switcheroo, thereby leading Olivia to consider the possibility that she has switched places with her doppelganger.

Lastly, you ended the night with a new episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I have yet to watch it, but I know it will be funny, so thank you in advance.

Sincerely,

Your ever-devoted, Thursday-night, couch-potato friend, Andrea

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?