Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Vampire Diaries - Season 1

The Vampire Diaries - Season 1
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     I stayed up until after midnight last night finishing TVD series and I must admit, I was very impressed by all of the show had to offer. From the storyline, the characters, the music and even the costumes (there are several flashback scenes from Virginia 1864). I was surprised the to find out the the books series the show is based on is actually quite old. The series started in 1991 and has continued since then.

     What makes this show wonderful is the characters, especially the three leads, Elena, Stephan and Damon. All of them had their own unique characteristics and interesting personalities, combined with the supporting cast of characters who all contribute to the ever suspenseful story.

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Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder)
     A typical love story of a mortal girl (Elena) who falls in love with a handsome immortal man (Stefan) may seem stereotype and even a little redundant. Then comes along the wild rebellious older brother (Damon) who gives no thought to rules and humanity and the story becomes very interesting, very quickly. As I watched I began to compare notes between the characters in TVD and in Twilight and the contrasts were incredible. So incredible, that I feel like an idiot for not seeing it sooner!

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Elena Gilbert // Katherine Pierce
Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert and Katherin Pierce
     In the small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, four months after the death of her parents, Elena Gilbert is determined to pull her life back together. She goes to school, she smiles, she says she's all right and everything seems all right. The she runs into a very handsome, quiet man in the school hallway and everything in her world changes from that second. Elena is catapulted into a dark dangerous life that constitutes of secrets, lies, betrayal, love and death when she finds out that Stefan Salvatore is a vampire. 

     Kindness, compassionate and generous are the qualities that people know Elena by, but her greatest are courage, friendship and the ability to see the good in others around her. As well as the ability to love, Elena is very self sacrificing and is willing to put her family and friends in front of her heart to protect them. She expects the best of people, no matter who they are and what they may have done (mainly Damon) and has a very strong sense of right and wrong.

     I loved the character of Elena within the first 5 min. of the show. When she met Stefan, I was inwardly groaning, expecting the lovestruck Bella Swan syndrome of obsessive love. I really didn't see it though, there was curiosity and question asking, but it was quite subdued (thank God). When she and Stefan do fall in love, Elena becomes happier and more content with life, but her happy world comes crashing down again when she finds herself in the midst of a brewing war between the humans and vampires of Mystic Falls.

Nina Dobrev as Katherine Pierce
     That begins when she finds out that her new love has been heartbroken by a certain young women from long ago (1864 to be exact). A women he said to be the most beautiful women in the world, but was also selfish and cruel. That is Katherine Pierce, who not only messed around with both the Salvatore brothers,  but was also the one that turned them to vampires and made their lives a living hell. Elena learns that she is a descendant of Katherine's, which is why they look so much alike, and then finds out the scary fact that Katherine is coming back to Mystic Falls to finish what she started with the Salvatore brothers and to destroy the town and its inhabitants.

Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan and Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert
     If I would choose between Bella Swan and Elena Gilbert as the better heroine, I would say that Bella Swan shouldn't even be in the heroine category. After watching Elena's development through season 1 from a shy insecure orphan to a strong and independent young women, I began to see how Bella Swan really is selfish, self centered, arrogant and downright cowardly.

     When Elena found out that Stefan was a vampire she immediately wanted him gone and wanted nothing to do with him for the safety of her family and friends. Bella was so obsessed with Edward as a vampire she gave no thought to anyone else in her life. Elena knew she could do just fine without a guy in her life (even though it was painful), but Bella's attitude when Edward left her in "New Moon" was nothing short of childish. While I enjoyed Elena's generous personality with others around her, Bella doesn't give much thought to anyone regardless if Edward is in the room or not.

     And I can just add that Elena is much prettier than Bella and at least she knows how to laugh as well (seriously, she has the cutest laugh ever!!!)

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Stefan Salvatore
Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore
     I'll be honest, I was expecting a brooding, woe is me, "You shouldn't be with me, I'm a monster!" shallow love interest. Brooding (sometimes, because he's shy) yes, but the rest was absolutely not existent. Stefan Salvatore is the complete opposite of Edward Cullen. He follows Elena around because he is interested in her, but not in her blood. Her striking resemblance to his former love interest Katherine is what really draws him to Elena, but when he realizes that Elena is nothing like Katherine, he finally finds happiness. He wants to be accepted by people in Mystic Falls without revealing who he is and in general, wants to be a good person.

     He can be romantic, but what I loved most about Stefan was how he made an attempt to know the other residents of Mystic Falls, most especially those who were close to Elena (Edward never made that attempt in Forks). He didn't stalk Elena 24/7 and gave her friends and her family a chance. As the show progresses, I loved seeing Stefan's kindness and generosity come forward toward other people, he didn't believe in manipulation, but rather patience and understanding. 

     Not to say that he doesn't struggle with who he is. Like all vampires, Stefan struggles with the desire for blood. He stayed off if it long enough to resist is, but even someone as strong as Stefan is not all powerful to resist the temptation of blood. In many ways, Stefan reminded me more of Jasper Hale (Edward Cullen's brother) than Edward Cullen himself and the more I watched and observed his character the more the resemblance between the two vampires became apparent.

      Stefan has much to deal with, whether it's blood lust, heart trust or just general day to day living, but then comes the problem of his older brother Damon. Just when Stefan thinks he might have everything under control, his wild rule breaking older brother swoops in and steals the scene in Mystic Falls and then Stefan knows there is really trouble. In spite of his brother's short comings, Stefan is determined to see some good and humanity and Damon.

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Damon Salvatore
Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore
     "The Vampire Diaries" wouldn't be what it is without the Damon Salvatore. Arrogant, narcissistic, self centered, manipulative with no trace of humanity or goodness, Damon seems to be the classic antagonist for a vampire franchise. Every character has their story, even the villains and Damon's story is the most compelling story on the show. He may not care about humans or humanity in general, he may not care about the choice between life and death and he may not care about his brother's concerns about him, but what Damon does care about is a heart that has been broken and a soul that has been alone for 145 years.

     Damon's  purpose to returning to Mystic Falls is not to terrorize his brother (which he does successfully), but to bring back from the dead, Katherine Pierce whom he still loves in spite of what she did to him. He will stop at nothing to accomplish what he believes to be right and doesn't care who he has to kill, manipulate or turn to do it. In the midst of this, Damon comes across Elena, his brother's new girlfriend and he is intrigued, but cares nothing really for Elena and her human ways. 

     Slowly Elena's kindness begins to work into Damon's cold heart and she believes him to be good, even when he doesn't and his own brother has given up on him. As the Damon's character progresses in the show, he starts out as the villain ready to wreck havoc on Mystic Falls and ends up becoming an unlikely hero to the people there.

     What I love most about Damon is that even though he is the main villain, he is also the comic relief of the whole show, which is probably why he is so popular. All of his dialogue is made up of either sarcasm or sexual references (usually toward Stefan and Elena). He is probably the most charming vampire villain I have yet to see on television. One minute you want to drive a stake through his heart and the next minute you want to do everything in your power to save him. Damon is also unpredictable, therefore he is untrustworthy and you are are at constant odds to know which side he is actually on or if he is on any side at all.

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Love In a Hopeless Place
Elena and Stefan
     Elena's relationship with the two Salvatore brothers couldn't be more different. With Stefan she feels safe and protected. They both have the same goals and dreams. They understand each other, better than others do. She doesn't have to doubt Stefan and his motives and always believes that Stefan will do good no matter how bad the situation may become.

     The love between Elena and Stefan is not obsessive love, but pure honest love. Honesty is an important issue to them and without honesty they cannot love completely and wholeheartedly. When Stefan falls into dangerous blood lust, Elena pulls him out by confronting her guilty past and reassuring him that there is a reason to live even in a world dominated by darkness. Elena has Stefan's love, not by wining or complaining, but through her kindness and generosity toward others.

     For Elena, Stefan is straight forward, his mysteries are explained and questions are answered as she walks beside him in perfect harmony and contentment. Stefan is her calm in the storm and her warmth in the bleak cold nights. Stefan is all the good and honest and right in the small town of Mystic Falls and Elena considers herself very fortunate and blessed to be loved by him.

Damon and Elena
      And then there is Damon. Damon Salvatore who teases, provokes and annoys Elena to no end. All the two of them seem to do is fight non stop about everything. Damon thinks it's ridiculous that a mortal can live happily with a vampire. He scoffs at the idea of vampires being able to do good in the world. He first sees Elena as a nuisance who gets in the way of his plans, but slowly realizes that there is more to her than warm blood and a beating heart.

      Elena dislikes Damon from the moment she first meets him. She already has to put up with male drama from her brother as well as her ex-boyfriend and she really doesn't need it from her new boyfriend's brother. Overtime Elena, in her good way, believes that Damon possesses some kind of goodness. If he wants to bring his long lost love back from the dead, that must mean he has a heart that still loves.

     Their relationship becomes complex with each episode. Damon becomes fiercely protective of Elena and even comes down on her own brother for disrespecting her. When another vampire threatens to bring danger into Mystic Falls, Damon retaliates and says,
 "You do not come into my town and threaten the people I care about. Going after Elena? Bad move. You leave her alone or I will rip you to bits."
Elena in return defends Damon and believes there is more to him that what is seen on the surface. Even she has her limits though and when she is pushed to the edge she can give up Damon entirely. 

     Where Stefan's path is straight forward and clear, Damon's is winding, twisting and confusing, not knowing where it begins and where it may end. Damon is the storm that Elena can never seem to calm and his coldness only makes her hate or love him more, depending on how he has made her feel.

     Stefan is the answer that brings light and Damon is the mystery that always lurks in the shadows, not wanting to be found.

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The Vampire Diaries
     I am really surprised at how much I have grown to love this show! I'm not a huge fan (yet), but it's a good watch. Being a vampire show, there is graphic violence and sexual content as well as drug use in the beginning. The storyline is strong and engaging and the episode soundtracks are great. Above all, I love the characters, there are the characters you absolutely love and characters you absolutely despise with a passion.

     I've started Season 2 and so the story just gets deeper and darker.

And the characters just get better and better!

"All I Need" by The Temptation Within

Featured on The Vampire Diaries Season 1 - Ep. 19 "Miss Mystic Falls" 

This is my favorite scene from the entire show where you get a glimpse into Elena and Damon's beginning relationship. And the song itself is simply beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. I have heard sooo much about this show, but I was wondering... would you recommend it?


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