Friday, June 11, 2010

The Biggest Surprise of the TV Season

Now that the networks have aired all of their season (and series!) finales, I feel that I should at least try to get you to watch something over the summer: The Vampire Diaries.

The Vampire Diaries is based on some teeny-bopper book series (that I swear I've never read, because if I'm going to read any more books about vampires, it's going to be the trashy-but-awesome True Blood series, but let's cross that bridge when we come to it, shall we?) and as I've never read them, I have no idea how they translate to the screen. What I do know is that I caught the last bit of the season and have been playing catch-up ever since, thanks to the CW, its glorious reruns, and Mike's DVR.

I know. I know, I know, I KNOW. But I am telling you -- it's actually good, it has engrossing storylines that actually get resolved, the dialogue is entertaining and far from stilted and Dawson's Creek-ish, and it has a cast full of pretty, pretty people.


The fact that it aired back-to-back with Supernatural made Thursday nights awesome.

The series focuses on Elena, a normal high school girl who loses her parents in a car accident. She then promptly falls for Stefan, a new guy at school. Oh, and he's a 100+ year old vampire.


Stefan has a brother, ALSO A VAMPIRE OMG, named Damon (who you might recognize as Boone from Lost), and he's... well, he's got issues. But oh sweet God, is he attractive. He's basically there to throw a wrench into everything and to ruin his brother's un-life.

The rest of the cast is great. Not just bit-parts and good-looking stand-ins, they all have engrossing storylines and interesting personalities. There's Elena's best friend, Bonnie, who is learning to harness her powers as a descendant of the SALEM WITCHES OH MY GOD; Caroline, head cheerleader and gossip queen, but also kind of sweet; Jeremy, Elena's brother and a total druggie; and Matt, Elena's ex and all-around nice guy.

One thing that The Vampire Diaries does - unlike so many shows on television today - is move the story along at a satisfying pace. Plot lines are introduced in the first scene and resolved halfway through an episode! And when people have thoughts or doubts or questions, they actually talk about them. It's crazy, I'm telling you. Threats? Followed through. Deaths? Many. Romantic interludes? Not too many to make you vomit, but enough to keep you interested.

If you're easily bored and distracted, this show is for you as it will keep you interested. It moves fast and it definitely delivers. The season finale cliffhanger was one of the best I've ever seen (the best being season five of Friends - Ross saying "Rachel" at his wedding to Emily), and I really can't wait for season two to discover what happened!

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