I have every reason not to watch The Vampire Diaries—after all, it’s a blatant ripoff of the best elements of every other CW show. Elena is Dawson’s Creek’s Joey Potter, the object of two boys’ affections. She is also Smallville’s Clark Kent, the central character with a mysterious alter ego. Damon and Stefan are One Tree Hill’s Lucas and Nathan, brothers and bitter rivals. And Mystic Falls, Virginia is Gilmore Girls’s Stars Hollow, Connecticut, a quirky east coast town with a complex history. Plus, there are the obvious Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer connections. I’m a True Blood fan and I’ve watched all the Twilight movies thus far. I’ve seen it all, right?
Well, yeah. But that doesn’t mean that The Vampire Diaries isn’t fun. On the contrary—it’s loads of fun. It’s True Blood, minus the truly disturbing sex scenes and overbearing “historical” accuracies. It’s Twilight, plus better actors and weekly (not yearly) installments.
If you’re new to The Vampire Diaries like me, the Season 2 premiere was as good a spot as any to jump in on the action. And if you're a returning fan, you're probably still reeling from how awesome Thursday's episode was. Nina Dobrev worked overtime in it as both Elena and Katherine, Elena’s vampire-doppelganger-counterpart, and she did a hell of a job. (And I'm not just saying that because I loved that she was in the Emmys opening number with Jimmy Fallon and the Glee kids.) Even though she played both parts, it seemed like there were two different actresses on the screen. Katherine walked with a swagger, talked with an attitude, and commanded Damon and Stefan’s attention in a forced, almost tragic way. Oh, and because she’s an evil vampire, she kills people. How disorienting to see that sweet familiar Elena face snuff out Caroline! I’m assuming Fringe and its two universes will welcome Nina with open arms if this vampire thing fizzles out.
Katherine isn’t just causing physical harm to innocent bystanders, either. She’s turning Damon (Ian Somerhalder) into an emotional wreck, which might be the best twist of all. In just one day—the premiere picked up where the Season 1 finale left off—he’s received two identically short ends of the same pointy stick. Elena and Katherine rejected him for Stefan (Paul Wesley), which only means that he’ll turn into a raging, amusing, entertaining lunatic this season. Let the games begin!
What did you think of the Season 2 premiere?