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on November 5, 2016
The show is good or more to the point cute. The directing is horrible. If you like tortured forbidden lover triangles, tween style heroics, and misunderstood monsters, then this us the show for you. I got sucked into it but the directing was soooo bad I almost didn't make it past episode 1. Since I had paid for the season, I tread on. Bandages switched to the wrong side, people switching positions, day walkers that shouldn't be day walking, and plot missteps abound. If you are annoyed severely by this kind of poor directing then you might not want to even get started. If you're more into the "every single person in the show is hot and the stories are cute and dramatic. .." but the mistakes don't bother you, then this us your show.
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on March 15, 2013
As a huge fan of vampire lore as well as other elements of the supernatural I will say that this series is one of the better takes on the vampire craze that has swept through the entertainment industry of late. There are so many shows/movies out nowadays dealing with vampires and their supernatural cousins werewolves plus witches too that it is hard to keep up with everything. My introduction into Hollywood's take on vampires came in 1987 when "The Lost Boys" was released and I fell in love with the concept of vampirism, especially when I saw how handsome the vamps were with their rock star good looks. Kiefer Sutherland made one great vamp. Then later "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" the movie came out in 1992 followed by the show in 1997 and its spinoff "Angel" all of which rekindled my affection for the genre. It didn't hurt that Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt also made it look appealing to have fangs and suck blood in "Interview With The Vampire" in 1994. So in keeping with my interest in the vampire mythology I began to watch all the newer vamp shows- "True Blood," "Being Human," the movies "Twilight"- and also "The Vampire Diaries." I have to say that Diaries in my opinion is the most appealing of all the recent takes on vamps and it even covers, as all the aforementioned shows do, the equally popular werewolf lore plus even throws in a witch or two. Now that the zombie popularity wave has swept through eclipsing the vamp/werewolf craze I'm waiting for a show or movie that combines ALL the different supernatural elements.

Diaries is interesting for one thing b/c the books on which the show is based came out in 1991, way before any of these other popular shows burst onto the scene. I don't know why it took so long for them to be adapted into a tv show but I'm glad Kevin Williamson took an interest in developing them. Making a name for himself by bringing us movies such as "Scream" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer" he was the perfect visionary genius to translate this wonderful story of a girl in love with two brothers- one generally good, the other a bad-boy- to the small screen. I'm glad also that he chose to use television instead of film to do it so that the story can go on and on. Thankfully "Twilight" is now over but Diaries can go on and on with new characters and new stories adding to the old characters and stories.

This show gives us a chance to grow with it- grow with the stories and the characters. The characters and plots are not one-sided but are multidimensional which makes for some great entertainment. At the center of the story initially is the love triangle between Elena and the vampire Salvatore Brothers- Stefan (Elena's smoldering white knight) and Damon (her smokin' dark knight)- both of whom are in love with her. This first season pretty much centers on their relationship while friends circle the periphery coming into their own with time. Elena's friends Caroline and Bonnie are a vampire and a witch respectively. Males also in Elena's world include Tyler who is coming to terms with being a werewolf and Alaric who is a vampire hunter plus ex-boyfriend Matt and little brother Jeremy who has his own problems. Elena is learning about herself while processing the changing roles of those around her and dealing with high school in the aftermath of her parents' tragic death.

The show is dark and mysterious with very little tongue in cheek humor that made Buffy so clever. It explores the mysteries and past of the town instead of focusing on high school which is refreshing and appealing since we've had so much exposure to high school with Buffy and Twilight, just to name a couple. A big part of the show is the town's and the characters' past which is often shown in flashbacks. (I'm not sure why several reviewers seem to think the characters are time-traveling? It is obvious the past is being seen in flashbacks as the characters are remembering their history. As far as I can tell, no one does any time traveling here.)

Season 1 has lots of good writing and storytelling plus lots of interesting characters and plot twists- never a dull person or moment with this show. It is rather exciting and not over the top graphic gore. The creators do not waste such a delicious premise by ruining it with graphic gore, sex or profanity. This show is plenty scary and is a bit mature in theme. I also like the creativity with which this show is made- that makes it more appealing than the dull Twilight theme which got old after the 2nd or 3rd installment. The actors are pretty good too. At first I wasn't happy with the show version of Elena since the book portrayed her differently. However, the tv Elena now seems a stronger character than the book heroine. I remember Paul Wesley from a "Smallville" episode and he has come into his own on this show as Stefan. To me, the most appealing star is Ian Somerhaulder who as Damon owns this character.

This show is definitely worth watching and even holds its own among all the other vamp shows and flicks out there. I'd say it only takes a couple of episodes to get into it and once you're sucked in (excuse the pun) you won't want to quit. Expect to marathon watch the season through to the end. My guess is you won't be disappointed. I imagine it appeals mostly to teenage girls but I'm almost 40 and I've watched it with my 13 year-old godson who likes it, as well as with my 64 year-old mom who is addicted to it too. I don't think it is limited to any age group. It might appeal more to females than males but who knows?
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on March 20, 2012
This is the second time I have bought "The Vampire Diaries: The Complete First Season". I completely wore out my first copy. I watched it so much some of the discs started skipping. I love this show. I can watch it over and over and never get tired of it. Here is the basics about it:

The Vampire Diaries stars:
Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert
Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore
Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore
Steven R. McQueen as Jeremy Gilbert
Sara Canning as Jenna Sommers
Katerina Graham as Bonnie Bennett
Candice Accola as Caroline Forbes
Zach Roerig as Matt Donovan
Kayla Ewell as Vicki Donovan
Michael Trevino as Tyler Lockwood
Matt Davis as Alaric Saltzman

"The Vampire Diaries: The Complete First Season" comes with 5 discs and 22 episodes.

DISC ONE-
1- Pilot (commentary by Executive Producers/Episode Writers Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec, and Director Marcos Siega)
2- The Night of the Comet (Unaired Scene)
3- Friday Night Bites
4- Family Ties
5- You're Undead to Me (Unaired Scene)

DISC TWO-
6- Lost Girls (Unaired Scene)
7- Haunted (Unaired Scene)
8- 162 Candles
9- History Repeating
10- The Turning Point (Unaired Scene)

DISC THREE-
11- Bloodlines
12- Unpleasantville
13- Children of the Damned
14- Fool Me Once (Unaired Scene)
15- A Few Good Men (Unaired Scene)

DISC FOUR-
16- There Goes the Neighborhood (Unaired Scene)
17- Let the Right One In (Unaired Scene)
18- Under Control
19- Miss Mystic Falls
20- Blood Brothers

DISC FIVE-
21- Isobel
22- Founder's Day

SPECIAL FEATURES:
-Into Mystic Falls
(Bringing Vampire Lore and the High School Experience from Page to Screen)
-When Vampire's Don't Suck!
(The Popularity of Vampires and the Fans Who Love Them)
-The Vampire Diaries: A New Breed of Vampires
(Casting the Series)
-The Vampire Diaries: Vampire 101
(The Rules of the Vampire)
-The Vampire Diaries: A Darker Truth
(Webisodes)
-Second Bite
(Gag Reel)
-The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening
(Audiobook)
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on September 12, 2010
Spoiler free! This review only contains background information and general information.

I was skeptical of this show at first, because I was told that it is a teen drama. Since I am 28, this did not appeal to me, until a 32 year old friend of mine showed me some clips from the show. I immediately had to watch it. While the first episode did seem a bit juvenile, the show quickly started to transition, and I would not hesitate to say now that this show is made for adults. While there are 22 episodes, one could easily sit down and watch each 45 minute episode back-to-back on a lazy Saturday... it would be worth the sleep deprivation. The Vampire Diaries has quickly become my favorite show (in case it helps you, my other favorite shows are Dexter, True Blood, Buffy, Veronica Mars, Bones...).

So which audience is this show for? The CW targets the show towards 18-34 year old women. Yes, you read that right; this is not supposed to be a teen show (although they can watch it and enjoy it).

The show centers around a small town (yes, the town is one of the main characters) called Mystic Falls. About 145 years ago, vampires existed in this town, but then the townspeople who knew about their existence torched them. Some escaped and moved to other places. Most of the current townspeople don't know that vampires exist.

I think the actor who shines the most in his role is Paul Wesley who plays Stefan Salvatore, the eternal 17 year old vampire. Stefan has returned to Mystic Falls because of a teenage human named Elena who looks identical to an evil vampire named Katherine he loved, who was killed 145 years ago. Not to worry, the actor is 28 in real life, and he doesn't look like a teenager, so you won't have to worry about feeling like a cougar. Stefan is a lot like Angel from Buffy, because he broods and hates himself because of what he is; he refuses to drink human blood. He also has secrets and regrets, which he thinks about daily. You could think of him as the vampire with a soul if you wanted. Although he plays the sweet vampire, you can still sense (actually it will come out temporarily) that he has a dark side and could possibly be a bad boy if he wanted to. His acting prowess shows even more in season 2 when he gets over his issues and embraces his true nature.

Ian Somerhalder plays Damon Salvatore who is Stefan's older vampire brother. This is the true bad boy. Well, the bad boy with a heart. Not a heart of gold, but he does have some humanity. Damon is the prime reason why some people I know watch this show. Actually, it's hard to tell if it's because of Damon or Somerhalder himself. Damon has come back to Mystic Falls for a couple reasons: to make Stefan's life hell and another reason which will be revealed later in the show. You see, Damon was also in love with Katherine and he can't live with the fact that Katherine turned Stefan into a vampire, since he thought that Katherine only loved him and wanted to share eternity with only him.

Elena, played by Nina Dobrev (of Degrassi fame), is a 17 year old who has just lost her parents in a car accident. She feels dead inside, but then she meets Stefan and he fills the void. No, this isn't going to be just like Twilight (the Vampire Diaries is a unique story--it has a bite). Elena might not only end up with one suitor, because just like Katherine, she has more than one admirer. The viewer has to wonder if there is foreshadowing involved when Elena is warned that as long as she has a Salvatore brother on each arm, she's doomed. This love triangle is very subtle the first season, but it's impossible to miss. Again, another prime reason why some viewers tune in.

The secondary characters are just as interesting and fun to watch, so while there are many story lines, none of them are boring.

Watch this show for the great storytelling, Paul Wesley's acting, the eye candy, the love triangle, or for your favorite character (because you will have at least one and there is great character development).
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on January 14, 2011
I'm the type of fan who uses her DVD's extensively for fanfiction, character studies and the like. Growing up with shows and books like Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, I'm well versed in the vampire genre.

Those who are opposed to premises too much like the Twilight Saga will be weary of this series at first. Even keeping in mind that The Vampire Diaries came before Buffy and Twilight, at first glimpse, it may feel a little too much of a repeat of the same plot again and again. Personally, I've given L.J's Smiths books a try but haven't really gotten into it. Again, far too much like every other series out there (Vampire Academy, comes to mind here). The show, however, is nothing like the series. Yes, it borrows surnames and personality types but essentially, the show is it's own title.

What makes the television series different is the complexity of the plots. Yes, there's the high school vampire trying to live a normal life by dating a fairly plain heroine but the show has layers. Ultimately, it's a show about relationships and people. Vampires are just catalysts that puts plots into motion.

While Stefan remains the original brooding vampire (not counting Luis of Interview with the Vampire), he is his own personality. He is not a controlling boyfriend and is determined to let his love grow on her own while still being there when she needs him. That being said, Elena is different from most heroine's as well but if you've read the book series, you'll see right away that she is not the Elena Gilbert of the books. While she isn't my favorite character of the show (Caroline Forbes holds that spot.) I approve of the way she was designed. She is no Buffy but she refuses to let the love of her life take over everything about her. Even when he does. That being said, I also applaud Nina Dobrev of her skill. She really showed her talent towards the middle of the first season and later in the second.

Even as the show holds its own stereotypical characters, it also has a multitude of original *people*. The secondary characters (Caroline Forbes, Bonnie Bennett, Matt Donavon, etc) have their own layers and issues. Their lives do not revolve around the main characters as so many shows force upon them.

As far as the actual DVD set goes, if you're a fan of the actors you'll love the bloopers. They are hilarious and really show how much the cast has fun with the show. The picture quality is great on smaller televisions but if you want to view these on those big wall tv's you're better off getting High Def. Like wise, if you're looking for screencaps and the like, you'll also want High Def for better quality. The quality is good enough, however, that it will not take away from the viewing experience if you want to pass up on the HD.

In the end, The Vampire Diaries is *not* another Twilight. It has it's own feel and really makes the entire cast of the town of Mystic Falls come to life. Even stock characters like Bonnie Bennett cannot rely on that label. This show isn't afraid to take risks with their characters and plots. It'll wow you again and again.
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on April 15, 2011
I watched the first 2 or 3 episodes online when it was first airing, and it was alright, but I fell out of it mostly because I couldn't catch it when it was on live and it was just a hassle to watch it on their site for whatever reason.

I regret not keeping up with it.

I noticed a coworker reading the books, so I ended up borrowing and being hooked, forcing my brother and guy friend to read them. We rented these off Netflix and watched together, and let me TELL YOU, once you get to episode 5 you JUST CAN'T STOP!!! And for the record we are a female and two guys in our early to late 20s, so it isn't just for female teens!

This show has likeable characters with real reactions and wonderful personalities (Damon, anyone??). The vampires are awesome. The cast is great! If anyone is familiar with Alias or Heroes, you will be so happy when David Anders appears midway into the season (he's got a Sark type personality from what I remember of him).

This series goes in a completely different direction than the books, changes backgrounds, adds new characters, combines characters, but the way it's done actually doesn't make me wish they'd stick to the books more at ALL (like how True Blood makes me feel at times, but that's another story...and series ;) ). I have my preferences in both the books and the series, but I'm able to see them as separate stories and love them both.

Let me tell you, if the finale of this season doesn't get ya, I don't know what will. One of the most satisfying and exciting ones I've seen in a long time, with of course a crazy cliffhanger to make you want another season. And since I jumped on the Vamp Diaries bus a little late I have to wait until season 2 is done airing before I can start it!

So what are you doing? Order this now! And for $20 for an entire season it's a STEAL!!!
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on June 26, 2011
It's definitely worth it to watch The Vampire Diaries on Bluray. The episodes are beautifully clear, and you really do need that extra definition to make for the best watching experience due to all the dark settings. The extras are okay--I liked the one with some behind-the-scenes footage (like about how it feels to wear those ginormous red contact lenses for the actors who have to play out blood lust) and cast interviews--but they aren't really the selling point of this product. Just get it for the episodes.

Though it starts off slow, this series is definitely interesting and is still going strong. To compare it to other popular vampire series: True Blood is for those who like campy, "adult" vampire fun, Twilight is for prepubescent teenage girls and romantics, and TVD is for those in-between. There's enough "activity" to satisfy the vampire realist, and enough romance to attract its target audience of women 18+. I do admit that sometimes you can see why it was marketed for The CW--there is hand-holding and melodramatic teenage romance and gushiness (though it is limited, I can assure you) but overall the series is pretty mature philosophically. And yeah, it's entertaining, but not from showcasing the grotesque and obscene.

And no offense to the author, but it's way better than the books.

Get it on Bluray--I assure you it's worth it.
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on July 8, 2011
My mother arrived for a weekend visit with Vampire Diaries First Season in tow. My goal was to dote on her during her stay, watching whatever she wanted to watch, serving whatever she wanted to have at meal times. I was not immediately receptive to The Vampire Diaries as I am a devoted Twilight fan, as is she. After the first episode, she asked if we could watch another...again the answer was yes because she wanted this. At the end of the weekend she returned to her home leaving her Vampire Diaries with me...her 'mother knows best' smirk securely in place. I could not return it until after watching it twice and learning that the original books were written in the early 1990's convincing me that this is not a Twilight knockoff, but a genuine work. Upon learning that, and reflecting on the new found common ground for me to share with my mother, I am hooked. Her copy was eventually returned to her and I ordered a copy of my own. Now we enjoy "VD" weekends where we get together and watch our favorite show, with our husbands' blessings. The characters are well developed and the plot is rarely transparent. When the actors say in interviews that they can't wait to see the next script to see what happens, you know you have a good one. The merchant was Frank's Online Store, 973-272-4142. They had very competitive prices and shipped immediately. As an Amazon Prime member, my order arrived within two days in exceptional packaging. This transaction definitely rates a 'do-over' as I will happily order again when other products of interest come available.
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on March 8, 2012
This is a great show. With the general exception of the first three or so episodes, every episodes is interesting, enthralling, & exciting. The acting is superb, the first of many things that set it apart from Twilight. Another is that the characters have more, well, character. The villains in this series are particularly amazing. The feel of the show is a bit dark most of the time. Sometimes very dark. Expect a lot of death. Especially in the first season, someone dies pretty much every episode. There are several surprises throughout the season, some of them are particularly shocking. The chemistry between the leads is spot-on, both the romantic relationships, and the other, subtler relationship of brothers.

Newcomers should keep in mind that this is intended as a teen show, though its quite popular among other demographics. That said, if you like adventure and a bit of meat to your love stories, then this is a great show for you. You'll find yourself hooked.

The Blu-Ray release is a good buy - I would recommend it or the DVD over any digital purchase for the most part.
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on April 1, 2013
since I am a fan of ian somerhalder, I had to buy this. I always thought the vampire tv shows were corny. it is 2013 and I finally had the interest and time to watch it. I love the storyline and how everyone is intertwined in some way or another. the fact that ian somerhalder and nina dobrev is a real life couple makes the show even more interesting. and the fact that ian somerhalder is utterly hot, it makes the story even more juicy!

I am almost done with watching season 1 and will buy the other seasons. I am just hoping the vampires will not suck the life out of every human being in mystic falls. it is what they like but the fact that humans are still around makes the story even more exciting. at some point, I forget that the story deals with vampires. it is the love and personal issues that takes the viewer away from the whole vampire theme. this is what I like. seriously, if every scene had some vampire sucking blood, it would be so boring.

I totally loved the very, very last scene in the 22nd episode of the 4th disc. I found myself rewinding the part where Damon kissed Elena, well for all of those who watched it already know who he was really kissing... but I couldn't care less. the fact that he kissed her just made it so romantic and the 1st physical step to their relationship. the way he pecked on the cheek first and then kissed her to the full extent would make any ian somerhalder fan convulse!
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