Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A little whine and cheese goes well with "The Vampire Diaries"

October 15, 11:20 AM — Portland Vampire Examiner — by Devon Downeysmith

The Vampire Diaries is my guilty pleasure show. It’s the “snickers” I hide by the bedside table and steal bites of when you’re not looking. For a vampire connoisseur, this damn show may be my downfall. But I can’t hide any longer and find I must reveal, unabashedly, the clearly identifiable truth that I just love this silly show. So the actors are playing high schoolers and are in their 20’s. So what. They don’t even look like high schoolers. It’s pretty obvious they’re in their 20’s. So what. So we’ve got magical rings that make daylight no problem, vampires who drink liquids other than blood, over-the-top fog machines that appear in nearly every scene, the stereotypical crow whose existence serves as a premonition of bad things to come, the sepia-toned old photograph revealing (you guessed it!) that main human protagonist/love-interest looks EXACTLY like main vampire protagonist’s long-lost love from his pre-vampire time. So cliche from start to finish. So what, so what, SO WHAT!   

Ignore the cheesiness and join me in a magical world where Boone from Lost is a deviant vampire whose looks could kill, a strong man by the name of Damon whose pansyish brother, Stefan, is sensitive but brooding and has washboard abs. Indulge yourself in this strange, nonsensical wonderland where jerky teachers get killed off before Homecoming, and where your boyfriend’s face turns downright ooogly when he can’t contain his bloodlust.

From one episode to the next the viewer will find a wealth of fantastical events to entertain and confuse them! Psychic best friends testing their powers and lighting cars on fire, burnouts hanging out in cemeteries just doing drugs because they’re too cool for school, campers getting “attacked by animals” (and you know it’s never an animal), and the cute popular blonde being brainwashed by an ancient vampire! And hey, at least nobody sparkles!

Plus – the Vampire Diaries is also an educational experience! Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far:
1)  Good shows spend money on fog machines, not actors.
2)  If you wait long enough, your long lost love will be reborn and look exactly the same – so just stick it out!
3)   Vampires in leather jackets can save the world!
4)   Don’t go to the woods to see a comet because you will die.
5)   Vampires react to blood the way I respond to cake.
6)   Vampires will do anything to get their girl. Even if it means going back to high school.
7)   It only takes 5 episodes to figure out your boyfriend is a vampire.

The Vampire Diaries is just plain fun. So the writing may not be that great, the acting a little exaggerated at times, and the vampire stereotypes are played out to the max…but I don’t care. With no date for True Blood season 3 in sight and one whole month left until New Moon, the Vampire Diaries is a sweet, nourishing oasis in a desert without vampires. When I reviewed the pilot script I predicted that the show would be "sick", and I find now that I am not too far off from my original prediction. Just like too much snickers this show is sick good - and also slightly nauseating. Try it out – what have you got to lose except your precious brain cells?

Devon Downeysmith is also a self-proclaimed Vampire Nerd, and you can read more of her musings at www.vampirenerd.com.  About the site:  It's kind of tongue and cheek, but it's also serious. Not like dead serious, more like UNDEAD serious. Because we're not goths or emo kids. We don't sit around in black velvet pants with fake fangs pretending that we're vampires. We are real people with real jobs and real lives. So, we sit around in regular pants with regular teeth...and we talk about vampires a lot. Okay, truthfully...we talk about vampires all the time.


Anonymous said...

"Vampires will do anything to get the girl. Even if it means going back to high school." -- Priceless! THanks so much for posting this, Michele! I don't get to watch the series much, but I actually liked the vampiness of it -- how the vamps blinked in and out of a scene at a moment's notice, tried to mesmerize people, and killed HS football coaches without thinking twice.

I am definitely following vampirenerd.com -- this is a great article!

susan said...

I had to stop in and say hi and comment on your article which I think is quite interesting. I blamed you a few months ago on getting me into vampire books and I want to say thank you. I guess the word BLAME is not correct ..it should be I CREDIT YOU for getting me into the vampires. ha ha thanks so much. Hope you do great and hope your own vampires entertain you on Halloween. susan L.

wcvamp said...

love your comment on The Vampire Diaries....i usually just DVR this show and then watcha few in a row and while it is recording, i have it muted, because i am also reading a book...
btw, reading a kiss me deadly on my brand spanking new kindle...which i love it and love the story...

Soni (VampirePhile) said...

Yes, thank God(ric) no one sparkles!

Thank you for a great article!

I so agree with you, the Vamp Diaries is definitely making as a good (dare I say synthetic blood ) substitute twix the return of TB (which rumour has it is set to return Sunday June 13th, 2010).

Apart from VD's storyline, what is also keeping me "enthralled" is bad boy Damon.
He is fast becoming my "guilty vamp pleasure" (along with TB's Eric and Blood Ties Henry).

Damon's vicious and unpredictable nature (and not to mention his: "Cocky much? / "Very MUCH!", sexy as hell personality?? ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the love! Vampire Diaries is definitely nerdtastic! Can't wait until Thursday to see what crazy shenanigans they'll be up to this week in Mystic Falls!

Margaret Carter said...

L. J. Smith's "Vampire Diaries" series of books is pretty good, so I was glad to see a TV series made from it. The program doesn't measure up to what I remember of the novels, but what's new about that? :) I liked her "Night World" universe -- paranormal creatures, mainly vampires, as other nonhuman species -- better, however.

Most folklore vampires aren't destroyed by the sun, and some are active during the day. The destruction by sunlight thing was invented by the silent movie NOSFERATU. In classic literature, Ruthven, Varney, Carmilla, and Dracula can all function in daylight. Also, many folklore vampires aren't restricted to blood as their sole food or drink.

Moonsanity said...

I watched the first few and finally stopped DVRing it. I can see why a lot of fans would love it; I really can. I'd rather get out my Buffy and Angel DVDs and watch those again:)

ddurance said...

I'm likin' the Diaries as well. Elena's brother is an interesting character to me.