Vampire Diaries

Emma McCarthy watches yet another series based around vampires, can this deliver something new?

I’m a simple fan to please when it comes to vampires. Nothing fancy; biting of the neck, stake to the heart, no sunlight, the usual. Vamps have been getting a pretty bad rep lately, even going so far as to have an entire movie made purely to mock them. It just seemed that the days of scary vampires draining people of their blood were going the way of the walkman. That’s why I was reluctant to let go of my Buffy DVDs and start watching the Vampire Diaries, a television show based on a book series that came out in 1991.

After all, the concept seemed all too familiar; girl meets mysterious guy at school, they fall in love and then shock! He’s a vampire. Either you want to watch the Vampire Diaries because it sounds exactly like Twilight or you want to avoid the Vampire Diaries because it sounds exactly like Twilight. But here’s the thing, though they are kinda similar, there’s one thing Stefan Salvatore has that Edward Cullen does not; an evil vampire brother.

Damon, played by Lost’s Ian Somerhalder, really does make the show his own. He’s the vampire that does prey on humans for fun, makes everyone’s life hell, rips out the heart of ex-girlfriends and has a blast while doing it. He does not, would not, sparkle. He’s the fun of the show and his interactions with his younger brother Stefan are really one of the programme’s biggest highlights.

The two work extremely well together despite the fact that they don’t want to. I have to admit, at first I wasn’t too sure about Stefan but Paul Wesley, the actor who plays him, really is a breath of fresh air as the stereotypical  Louis/Angel/Edward reluctant vampire and good guy. He has great chemistry with Somerhalder’s Lestat/Spike/Angelus deliciously evil predator. You really do believe the two are brothers. But the vampire duo aren’t the only characters the show has to boast about.

There’s Elena, the show’s main character, who is not in love with Stefan because he’s a vampire, she’s in love with him despite the fact he’s one and she takes some time to get there. There are also her best friends Bonnie and Caroline who have interesting stories to pad the series out and Jeremy, Elena’s younger brother with an addiction.

The series is very much a show about gorgeous high school kids being gorgeous as they go about their complicated lives and the show is definitely a guilty pleasure but once you get into it, I dare you to not become obsessed. Mysteries come about and unravel as the body count of Mystic Falls (Really, with a town name like that, how could you not expect vampires and witches?) rises due to “animal attacks”. This show is very much directed to an audience who miss the days of Buffy, Angel and Charmed but its older feel can also have it lumped in there with True Blood. If you’re not squeamish and you’re thirsty for a fun show to fill an hour, Vampire Diaries is definitely the show for you.

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