The Vampire Diaries: LITERALLY Vampires with Diaries, You Guys.
December 6, 2012 § 1 Comment
Or: Reading is Fundamental?
Honestly, I feel like you know what this show already is, so let’s just start with the pilot episode and feel this shit out. See what happens…
For the first episode–and really only the first episode–fog is kind of a “thing.”
To most people this would look like two assholes just driving around on a foggy day in Virginia, until the female passenger exclaims, “What’s with all this fog!?”
The easy answer would be: “Well, it’s the mountains.”
What he actually said was: “It should clear up in a sec.”
However: the car then crashes after a silhouette pops up out of nowhere. Out of (and I’m just going to go all-in on this with italics) the fog. They hit the guy, the body goes rolling over the hood, they spin out by the side of the road and flip out, etc. And the scene that follows (with the guy unwisely getting out and the girl not getting cell reception…) is just exactly the scene you’d imagine playing out.
They both wind up vampire-ed.
We then skip to an autumnal-as-all-balls morning–the first day of school actually–narrated with brief soliloquies from our undead sexy-eyebrow guy (Stefan Salvatore, played by Paul Wesley) and leading doe (Elena, played by Nina Dobrev). The former stares into the sunrise from a domestic rooftop and narrates how he’s come back to town after so long because he “has to know her”; the latter writes in a diary and clears up almost immediately who this mystery “her” is.
And yes, she starts her entries with “Dear diary…”
God. I don’t know. Once you glean that Elena’s parents have died in a car accident, leaving her as soul survivor, with only her younger brother and a short-lived quirky aunt in her life…well, it all plays out about as predictably as the intro.
Let’s zoom out.
There’s not much conflict over what The Vampire Diaries (Creators: Julie Plec, Kevin Williamson) is about.
According to Netflix: “Trapped in adolescent bodies, feuding vampire brothers Stefan and Damon vie for the affection of captivating teenager Elena.”
According to IMDB: “A high school girl is torn between two vampire brothers.”
So of course a smouldering cast of highschoolers (though, ‘adolescent bodies’ is descriptive of no one…)
…anda game of romantic Pong with a kind of “meh” brunette was basically what I expected going in. And it is that. Though, I will front with you: I had no idea the “Diaries” part was so literal.
But it is; The Vampire Diaries actually involves quite a lot of rigorous self-documentation, reflection, and journal-keeping. (Stefan is a boy so he calls them “journals” in the actual scenes.)
By the way: ravens are also a big thing in Vampire Diaries‘ pilot episode.
Anyway, after the fogand the raven Elena runs, leaving her diary behind.
Elena doesn’t seem to realize that her diary is missing; later that night she gets ready to go out to (what becomes the equivalent of Buffy‘s token teen-hangout, The Bronze) The Grill, she’s surprised when she opens the door to find Mr. Journal-Keeping himself…
It’s this guy:
This is Elena’s surprise-face.
He assures her he didn’t read it. She is surprised and asks, “Why not?”
It’s not as good as early- to mid-series True Blood, yet it’s nowhere near a bad as Twilight in that: people have sex, people get killed–a lot of them even killed by the vampires–Elena isn’t completely vacuous as a female character, and her wounded spirit results from the writers actually throwing her some super shitty curveballs.
Also there’s a plot to speak of. Sure, the plot is essentially: “everyone Elena knows, dies (including Elena herself in the current season), while dudes hit on her.” There’s a lot more reflection, handling of addiction and grief, a lot more damage accrued to contend with…and, again, it breaks the genre’s cherry of having a leading lady die/be turned into a vampire.
Turmoil occurs thusly, though the actual journals–the causation for their even being a tender, introspective side to the show–are more sparingly peppered throughout the scenes. Which by the last season are pretty overwhelmed with vampires, “originals,” magical/cursed hunters, witches, hybrids, something called “sire bonds”…
It’s not entirely vapid, just, mostly.
Oh, also, to add to the “pro” category: while some immortal fellas are given sexy accents and not others, the Dreamy Dudes are all relatively in the same shape. (So’s to incur ‘hubba-hubba’ eyes evenly “across the board”:http://www.homorazzi.com/article/hottest-vampire-diaries-men-shirtless-pictures-ian-somerhalder-matt-davis-paul-wesley-steven-r-mcqueen-zach-roerig/ and so no one’s left with comparative grandpa-chest…)
Like, look at this guy:
…now this guy:
But I digress. Even while deploying some staple romanti-fantasy, there’s an odd returning factor of books/journals and even at the apex of a plot involving sexy babe…
the team gets worked up and…goes to the library to research 16th c. distribution ledgers.
Like I said: you know what this show is.But did you know it all happens in a library?
Just, everything happens in this library.
They flirt in the library…
They drink in the library…
Yeah, I really don’t know what else to say about this show.
Ha ha, this guy…
Not that Stefan’s so perfect. He has a really inconspicuous “daylight” ring, like something from the set of Roswell.
A Few Neither-Here-Nor-There One-Liners:
“It’s the fog, it’s making me all foggy”
“‘Chill it’, is that stoner talk??”