by Dale Raven North
I don’t know how it happened; maybe it was too much idle time or too much alcohol, but I watched the pilot episode of “The Vampire Diaries” and was immediately hooked (or bitten). There’s no excuse for it. The story is implausible, the writing mediocre, and the product placement insufferable, but the vampires are really hot, and once I started I couldn’t stop.
The premise is simple: two brothers move to their birthplace, a small, colonial town in Virginia. One of the brothers, Stefan Salvator, falls in love with a classmate at the high school, the fetchingly exotic Elena. Elena cannot resist Damon’s James Dean-esque, brooding charms and they become an item. Stefan’s brother, the smoldering and dangerous Damon, develops a not well-concealed attraction for Elena and a predictable love triangle takes shape. (I know what you are thinking: “This sounds like a ‘Twilight’ rip-off.” Well, it’s not. Neither of the brothers are werewolves.) Soon Stefan confirms that the Salvator brothers are vampires. The plot thickens when it is revealed that Elena is the doppelganger of Katherine, the vampire who turned the brothers Salvator into blood suckers 150 years ago and was the prior object of their shared affections. Damon and the many other vampires that flock to Mystic Falls have soon turned half the town into vampires (and the other half doesn’t seem to notice).
But it doesn’t stop with vampires. The werewolves show up in packs, bent on killing vampires. And there are witches, whose primary talent seems to be giving vampires migraine headaches. At this point, virtually everyone is undead, canine or supernatural – except for Elena’s clueless aunt who doesn’t notice that everyone is dying.
The Vampire Diaries irritates me. No one seems to work, but simply engage in paranormal activities and attend endless balls and galas. The cops believe that all the blood-drained corpses are due to animal attacks and do nothing to investigate. And there’s the product placement. Fine, they drive Fords and use AT&T, but I cannot accept that the characters all use Bing. More than once, characters have said things like, “Let’s research that online. Let’s Bing it.” I can believe that they are vampires, but I cannot suspend my disbelief sufficiently to accept that young people are using Bing instead of Google.
Despite its many flaws, every week I look forward to this mystic melodrama. I guess there’s a lot I’ll put up with for the sake of a few super hot vampires.