There are very few books to screen adaptations that manage to surpass the source material. The show is adapted from the book series of the same name by L.J Smith. When The Vampire Diaries premiered on CW in 2009, not many believed it would be anything more than a Twilight rip-off. Eight seasons later, they realised their opinion could not be further from the truth.
How did the show turn this negative response to a positive one?
The show finds its footing after a few episodes and instantly becomes captivating. Filled with rattling plot twists, The Vampire Diaries will make you want to watch the whole show in just one binge.
The Vampire DiariesAir Date: September 10, 2009 Status: Finished Studio: Outerbanks Entertainment, Alloy Entertainment, CBS Television Studios, Warner Bros. Television No. of Seasons: 8 No. of Episodes: 171
3.Is It Worth Watching?
The Vampire Diaries is much more than the now-pejorative vampires. It is filled with suspense and most importantly delightful characters.
Elena Gilbert is a seventeen-year-old orphan. After her parents’ death, she moves to the town called Mystic Falls and enrols in the high school there.
She meets Stefan Salvatore, a sensitive and caring boy, and they fall in love. But Stefan’s older brother Damon, wants to take revenge on Stefan for turning him into a vampire years ago. He resurrects Katherine Pierce, Stefan’s past lover who looks exactly like Elena. In addition, he also becomes attracted to Elena, creating a tense love triangle.
But the story does not end with Elena and the Salvatore brothers. A supernatural aura surrounds Mystic Falls and many of its inhabitants get drawn into these paranormal mysteries.
Elena’s best friends Bonnie and Caroline join the gang of supernatural creatures as a witch and a vampire. As the seasons progress, werewolves, ghosts and hybrids are added to the plot.
Politics also plays a major role in the show. The Founders’ Council of Mystic Falls is responsible for keeping the town safe from supernatural threats. Many stories revolve around this Town Council.
By its eighth season, The Vampire Diaries had moved far from the simple love triangle of the first few episodes. It is a sprawling universe with rules of its own and plenty of good stories to tell.
The best thing about The Vampire Diaries is that it manages to incorporate a lot of storylines in the scope of its show. Not only that, the show develops all these storylines and condenses them into massive cliffhangers.
These cliffhangers are the reason behind the show’s success.
The many storylines in the show result in its fast-paced storytelling. It never slows down or mopes around with sadder storylines like heartbreak and longing.
Although the show struggles to find a footing in the initial episodes of the first season, as soon as it realises what it sets out to do, it does not waste any time in getting started. The show again falters in the later seasons but it does not become unwatchable.
That the show never became absolute trash is courtesy the characters. The Vampire Diaries features werewolves, witches and other supernatural creatures apart from vampires. The relationship between each character and each specie constantly evolves, which makes the show special.
These characters make the show and the universe that The Vampire Diaries created. These characters had so much potential that the showrunners Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson produced two spin-offs from the original show: The Originals and Legacies.
The Vampire Diaries develops its characters very thoroughly. They are made to be three-dimensional characters and is not based on a caricatural emotion.
The main character Elena Gilbert, played by Nina Dobrev, is shown to be a good girl but she does not fit the characteristic goody-two-shoes description. She has a spunk that many other protagonists lack.
The show suffered considerably when Nina Dobrev left the show in the 7th season. Fortunately, the whole show does not depend on one single character.
Stefan and Damon Salvatore have the perfect bromance. As the series has shown multiple times, the brothers fight tooth and nail but their love for each other is endless. Though both the brothers have their moments, and Paul Wesley’s Stefan is an integral part of the show, Damon narrowly beats Stefan as the better character.
Damon Salvatore, played by Ian Somerhalder, is the ideal example of a bad boy, the kind that is so attractive to girls. He is called a murderer when he is first introduced and for a long time, he is shown to be the evil half of the two brothers. However, his softer side develops over the series and the viewers can’t help but root for him. His cockiness is unmatched and will definitely melt the strongest of the anti-Damon fans.
There are many who will disregard the show because of its connection to vampires- regal creatures of the horror genre who have been reduced to laughing stock in recent times. But The Vampire Diaries is one of the better examples of a supernatural drama that packs in just the right amount of everything.
Once you get into the world of The Vampire Diaries, there is no going back. Many more (better and successful) shows await you-shows with more charismatic characters and compelling storylines.