Published on Starpulse.com
Has anyone else noticed that vampires are getting very, very trendy? There was a time in the 90s when Anne Rice’s “Interview With the Vampire” came out and that inspired some great new versions of the old monster tale. Then there was “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” that brought pop culture and vampire horror together in a hilarious high school drama kind of way, and that show’s spin off “Angel” continued the legacy.
Lately vampires have been booming in a big way thanks to “Twilight” and “True Blood,” and now there’s a new series coming to the CW for vamp-fans to salivate over. “The Vampire Diaries” starts on the CW this Thursday, September 10, so Starpulse thought we’d get a close look at the series and its beginning.
Here’s the funny thing about “The Vampire Diaries:” it actually started long before “Twilight” and “True Blood,” and yet no doubt this show will constantly be compared to them as a rip-off. Nope, kind of the other way around, sorry! It started as a young adult horror novel series written by L.J. Smith (sound familiar?) in 1991. Four novels were originally published, but then the author took a break and brought the series back in the past year.
The book series is about Elena Gilbert, a pretty girl in high school who gets attracted to the new boy in town, Stefan Salvatore. She’s pretty much instantly attracted to his mysterious aura and complete indifference to her. Eventually Elena finds out that Stefan is a vampire and this firmly pushes her into the ‘totally in love with him’ category. Meanwhile Stefan’s sexy and vicious older brother Damon appears, and the three are locked into a dramatic love triangle. In an effort to protect spoilers from “The Vampire Diaries,” in case the show goes in a different direction, that’s as much of the plot that can be divulged.
The series is going in a slightly different direction, but the major plot elements seem to be the same. Elena (Nina Dobrev) recently became an orphan and is trying to pull herself together, and that’s when she meets the new boy Stefan (Paul Wesley). The two have an instant connection and lean on one another to get out of their respective dark moods: her parents, and his centuries old sense of self-hatred and lost love.
When Stefan’s hateful brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder) comes to town, things start getting more dangerous…but is Damon really the enemy, or is he a threat to Stefan on a more personal level? A few changes include the name of the town, the creation of Elena’s brother Jeremy, a few physical changes in the characters, and the main backstory of the Salvatore brothers. The latter might be a shame, since going from Renaissance Italy to Civil War is a pretty massive jump in character background.
The three young stars of “The Vampire Diaries” might seem very familiar to TV fanatics. Nina Dobrev is known for her regular role on “Degrassi: The Next Generation” as single mother Mia Jones. Paul Wesley guest starred on “Army Wives,” “Everwood,” “American Dreams,” and many others. Ian Somerhalder, well, “Lost” fans probably immediately screamed BOONE! His character Boone was one of the first to die on the show, a very tragic and memorable incident, but Somerhalder also co-starred in Life As A House, The Rules of Attraction, and Pulse. The main writer of the show is Kevin Williamson, who fans might remember from the Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer series, plus Dawson’s Creek. So it seems like he’s right at home with this high school horror drama.
“The Vampire Diaries” is already getting some mixed reviews, and it remains to be seen how vampire fans will react to this show. Will they embrace another chapter of their favorite monsters in action, or will they get annoyed at how much it relates to the other things they’ve seen? The tragedy of this show is how it came earlier than many other shows in series, and yet will probably be cursed by unfair comparisons. You could just as easily say the similarities between it and “Twilight” (or any modern vamp tale) are because “Twilight” stole ideas from L.J. Smith, and that would likely be closer to the truth. Yet it is possible that people watching it now will feel “been there done that” and brush it off.
It’s up to you to decide if “The Vampire Diaries” is worth taking a bite out of (pun intended!), and it airs on the CW September 10th at 8 PM EST.