If you’re looking for a fun show to watch this summer check out The Vampire Diaries. Yes, really.
It’s true that back when the show premiered in 2009 I couldn’t even finish watching the boring Twilight-meets-CW-soap-opera pilot. But I began to hear rumblings on the Internet that the show improved, a lot. During season two, those rumblings spread until a couple friends told me, "yeah, the pilot was dull, but the show is really fun now." So I checked it out….
Once I hit somewhere between episode 5 and 8, the plot took off. Things happened, people died, the main couple went from being another version of Bella and Edward to characters with real personalities. Thankfully, Elena has better things to do than obsess about becoming the perfect wife, doing her father’s laundry, or worrying about looking old, and Stefan has no time to watch Elena sleep or fuss at her for wanting to kiss him. This couple has friends to see, town events to help out in, and people to save, and happily they enjoy kissing and more and look very pretty together too.
The show ends up combining the best parts of a small town soap opera– the gossipy intrigues that happen at the town’s weekly festivals and dances– with the fun supernatural action of vampires and witches. Since each episode ends on a cliffhanger I ended up watching the entire first season in less than a week. By season two I was completely hooked and talking up the show to others so I had people to talk to about the weekly happenings in Mystic Falls.
The Vampire Diaries is not some great literary show. It doesn’t have Buffy level dialog or great metaphors about high school. It’s a straight up soap opera with vampires and a lot of action, but it’s such a competently-plotted soap opera. Plus, the evil vampires have fun being evil. In other words, it’s a fun guilty pleasure. Did I mention everyone is super pretty? Yeah, that’s a plus too.
[Season 2 is currently rerunning on the CW on Thursday at 8pm. You can also buy episodes or the whole season on iTunes or Amazon Instant Viewing.]
[Season 1 is available in DVD form on Netflix. You can also buy episodes or the whole season on iTunes or Amazon Instant Viewing.]