The Vampire Diaries: TV Show Review

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Few creatures of the night have captured our imagination like vampires. What explains our enduring fascination with Vampires? What is it about the vampire myth that explains our interest? Is it a fascination with the immortality of the undead? The mystery of the undead will continue to fascinate the living.

Anne Rice did so through her book “Interview with the Vampire,” using Bram Stoker’s vampire mythology. Rice’s book led the vampire march. In 1991, L.J. Smith wrote, “The Vampire Diaries,” also using the traditional vampire mythology. In the series two brothers, in renaissance Italy, fought for the love of Katherine von Swartzchild, a vampire, leading her to trick the brothers into believing that she committed suicide. The brothers, Stefan and Damon Salvatore, filled with rage, killed one another and turned into vampires themselves. The book centers on Elena Gilbert, a 17-year-old popular girl, whose parents died over the summer. Elena Gilbert also happens to be Katherine von Swartzchild’s doppelganger.

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Cover for the first book

The book series was so popular that in September of 2009, the TV show “The Vampire Diaries” aired on the CW network. Fans of the book series beware, for the TV show isn’t like the book series except for a few main parts. There’s still an Elena Gilbert, but she’s Katherine Pierce’s doppelganger and instead of being a self-centered, determined ex-cheerleader, the TV show’s Elena is more whiny and judgmental. In fact, Caroline Forbes, Elena’s friend in the TV show is more like the Elena from the book series.

The Salvatore brothers lived in 1864 in Mystic Falls, VA instead of in renaissance Italy, and they didn’t kill each other over Katherine Pierce but were shot in the process of trying to rescue her. While the location of the brothers’ past changed, the characters did not.

The actors portraying Stefan and Damon Salvatore did their characters justice in bringing them to life. Paul Wesley, who plays Stefan Salvatore, is the typical Southern gentleman. Wesley’s shyness and good-boy attitude brings a depth to Stefan Salvatore that instantly makes the viewer side with Stefan in judging and disliking Damon.

Ian Somerhalder, who plays Damon Salvatore, is the epitome of a bad boy. His snarkiness and sarcasm, as well as his trademark smirk, make the viewer feel as if he or she is truly viewing the Damon Salvatore straight from the pages of L.J. Smith’s book series.

The “Vampire Diaries” TV show is beyond good, and is even more advanced than Stephenie Meyer’s poorly written and over-rated “Twilight.” Yet, compare the two and the book series greatly outweighs the TV show with different plot ploys and the dimensions of each character. The show gets a bad rap because it focuses on vampires. Yet, every Thursday at 7 p.m. this fall the CW network will be on this viewer’s television.  

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