2. Warring Undead Brothers
They’re scary, sexy and they hate each other’s guts. Well, sort of. We Supernatural fans in the audience already know the fun provided by a set of quarreling, quipping siblings. Stefan and Damon provide a nice, 8 PM compliment to 9 PM’s Sam and Dean. In the books, Damon is largely concerned with Stefan’s destruction, but TV-Damon’s motives seem more complex. “I want you to remember who you are,” Damon explains. Of course, big brother’s not opposed to making his little bro’s life a living hell in the meantime: “He wasn’t always such a looker,” Damon tells Elena, offering to drag out the family album.
3. Choose Your Own Morality
For those of us who were disturbed by the enforced abstinence—and early marriage—of Edward and Bella, lovers Stefan and Elena seem a little more realistic in their affections … and a lot less judgmental. Not that we haven’t observed the negative effects of human-vampire sexcapades (see Buffy’s second season for a chilling example), but we’re talking teenagers, here, and soul mates at that. Fortunately, Paul Wesley and Nina Dobev have solid chemistry, and their first kisses are both sweet and believable. Although Elena opts to slow things down in episode three, the decision seems based more on personal readiness than subscribing to any social or religious mores.
4. Jeremy and Vicki
He’s dealing drugs in the wake of his parents’ death. She’s attracted to all the wrong men, both the high school and immortal variety. She was using him for pills, and he was using her for sex, but somewhere along the line they both developed real feelings. When Vicki goes back to bad-boy Tyler in episode two, we all feel Jeremy’s pain.
5. Odds and Ends
Together, Williamson/Plec and books’ author L.J. Smith have populated Mystic Falls with an intriguing assortment of minor characters. Jilted lover Matt lets former girlfriend Elena push him around; however, Zach Roerig’s (Friday Night Lights) dignified performance prevents this character from being a true pushover. Caroline (Candice Accola) is the self-proclaimed girl that guys don’t want, however her honesty, and her catty quips at pop culture, keep us on her side. Even Elena and Jeremy’s aunt Jenna (Sara Canning) escapes some TV parental stereotypes, telling Jeremy about her own drug-dabbling in an attempt to get through to the troubled teen.
6. The Tunes
Granted, I am not a teenage girl. Still, I doubt I’m the only one feeling put off by Diaries’ weekly soundtrack of pop hits. Occurring at romantic and emotional moments, the songs provide an unrelenting, upbeat backdrop to what is actually a dark story. In viewing the first few eps, I found myself longing for more varied musical accompaniment. Might Williamson and company consider cutting a few of the cheesy pop songs in favor of some instrumentals? A love theme might be in order …
7. The Diary Device
Elena and Stefan can’t quit bringing up their shared journal-keeping quirk, but we’ve yet to see what it adds to the story. Here’s hoping the show drops this device and lets the characters convey their emotions more naturally—like through their words and actions!
The CW’s newest supernatural offering is far from perfect. The acting isn’t always 100 percent, and some of the characterizations could use tweaking. Still, The Vampire Diaries is a solid hour of entertainment, with plenty of guilty pleasures for the senses. Enjoy!