First Impressions

The Vampire Diaries

Aired on: The CW

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Iím not really big on television shows based on vampires.  I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer for a short time before growing bored with it.  I saw a couple of Angel episodes but never really got into the series.  But I have read a few vampire novels, including a vampire manga with a similar storyline to the much talked about The CW television series The Vampire Diaries.  Intrigued, I decided to watch the first episode.

            The Vampire Diaries is actually loosely based on a young adult novel series written by L.J. Smith, not the manga series I had thought of when I first heard about the show.  Taking place in the town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, The Vampire Diaries stars Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert, a teenager coping with her return to high school after the death of her parents in a car accident from which she was the sole survivor.  Elenaís attempts to return to normal life are difficult, but she struggles on, unlike her goth brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) who has decided to drown his sorrows in drugs and alcohol.  But her optimistic best friend, Bonnie (Katerina Graham), a descendant of the Salem witches, predicts that everything will change for Elena this year.

            Enter Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), the new kid in school that every girl wants to know.  Stefan only has eyes for one girl, Elena.  We soon learn that there is a reason for this infatuation.  It would seem that Stefan is actually a vampire who has been pining over an old girlfriend (circa 1864) named Katherine who just happens to be the spitting image of Elena.  Happily, Elena is attracted to Stefan, but something new is lurking in town, something that threatens to destroy the town of Mystic Falls and prevent Stefan from ever finding happiness with Elena.  And that something is deadly.

            The Vampire Diaries is actually an interesting concept.  The two lead characters, Elena and Stefan, are avid journal writers, allowing us to understand the characters in a rather interesting way.  We are given insight into their innermost feelings, something you canít possibly understand visually, by listening to the entries they make in their journals.  The storyline is interesting although the forbidden vampire love thing has been done before.  This series seems to put a different spin on the whole concept, making it not so much of a copycat romance as its previous successors.

            At first I was confused with the whole idea of a vampire who can travel around in the daylight, but they sort of touched upon this in the first episode, making reference to the ring on Stefanís finger that has something to do with this ability.  Another thing that bothered me is the way that the people of the town of Mystic Falls seem to be oblivious at the goings on in their town.  Car accidents almost occur on busy streets and no one notices.  People are found dead and its not the talk of the small town they are from.  New people start appearing in town and its no cause for concern.

            And yet, The Vampire Diaries was intriguing enough for me to want to see another episode.  Fans of past youthful television series on The CW such as Smallville, Supernatural and the like are sure to enjoy this series which is darker than most of The CW fair, but relates to quite a bit of their fan base.  I havenít yet decided whether this is a series I will add to my fall season must watch list, but I am somewhat interested and am willing to check out the next episode of The Vampire Diaries airing Thursday at 8:00PM EST on The CW.


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