The Vampire Diaries is often prejudged as just a televised version of the Twilight franchise. I have to admit, I was one of these sceptics. I did (somewhat shamefully) enjoy the Twilight books and films, but it never really seemed very daring or surprising – by this I mean that Stephanie Meyer chickened out of killing off any of her characters and it often lacked action. In The Vampire Diaries however, you’ve got characters dying, turning into various supernatural creatures, falling in and out of love, and having hot vampire sex every single week. The plot lines are intricate and well thought out, and you really need to watch it from series one to understand what is going on.
The main protagonist is our American high-school sweetheart Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) – a little whiny at times but we’re invested in her character nevertheless. She gets caught up in a love triangle with vampire brothers Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) Salvatore, which over the past four seasons has created a massive divide between the fans. There are so many badass characters in this show, and Katherine Pierce has to be one of my favourites – her involvement in the plot (particularly throughout season two) is an incredible demonstration of Nina Dobrev’s acting skills, who plays both the vulnerable, human Elena and the feisty vampire ancestor Katherine. The way that Dobrev makes these two characters have a completely different presence on screen, despite the fact they are obviously identical, is pretty amazing. The doppelganger (twin) scenario does get confusing, particularly for those fellow fans who have just finished season four and witnessed the plot twist that I don’t think anyone had predicted.
Season Five is going to involve a lot of changes, with Elena going to college, adjusting to a long-distance relationship (I won’t tell you who with!), and she’s still dealing with that shocking game-changing twist from the end of season three. As well as this we will be seeing new creepy professors and new love interests for various characters. I wonder how the series will do with the move to college, and if we have finally left the love triangle behind.
Even though the first series is a bit over the top at times (I think somebody got a bit carried away with the smoke machine?) I highly recommend adding this to your box-set collection. If you like Supernatural, or were into Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then The Vampire Diaries will not disappoint.
Seasons Five is about to kick off in the US, but is highly anticipated to return to UK screens sometime in the Autumn on ITV2.