The Vampire Diaries: Season 1
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It's Elena's first day back at Mystic Falls High School since the tragic death of her parents. Along with her Aunt Jenna, Elena tries her best to look after her troubled younger brother, Jeremy, and salvage what family they have left. The first day is already shaping up to be a struggle for Elena until she meets the mysterious new kid at school, Stefan. Elena is touched that he can relate to what she's going through. What Elena doesn't know is that Stefan is a vampire, constantly resisting the urge to taste her blood. As their undeniable connection grows deeper, Stefan's dangerous older brother, Damon, shows up to wreak havoc on the town of Mystic Falls - and claim Elena for himself. The Vampire Diaries is based on the bestselling book series from Alloy Entertainment.
Like HBO's True Blood, the CW's Vampire Diaries proves there's always room for more good-looking bloodsuckers. Cocreated by Kevin Williamson (Dawson's Creek) and based on the young adult series by L.J. Smith, the show revolves around Elena (Nina Dobrev), an orphan who lives with her aunt Jenna (Sara Canning) and her underachieving brother, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen), who has a thing for bad girl Vicki (Kayla Ewell). As the school year begins, Elena meets Stefan (Paul Wesley of the smoldering stare) and sparks fly. With the aid of a special ring, he can go out during the day, thus keeping his true nature a secret. After he returns to Mystic Falls, his ancestral home, Vicki gets bit, and Elena's best friend, Bonnie (Katerina Graham), has strange premonitions (Jasmine Guy plays her grandmother).
Upon uncovering Stefan's secret, Elena learns that he and his brother, Damon (Lost's Ian Somerhalder), once loved a woman who looks just like her (their Civil War past plays out through flashbacks), while Elena used to date Vicki's brother, Matt (Zach Roerig), a football player with a flaky mother (The O.C.'s Melinda Clarke). As more citizens turn up dead, the town council sets out to stop the culprits with help from Elena's uncle John (Alias's David Anders) and his ex, Isobel (The L Word's Mia Kirshner).
It's easy to take a cynical attitude toward a supernatural soap like The Vampire Diaries, but it gets more things right than wrong. There's moping, goopy ballads, and mumbo jumbo about crystals, but the story lines are compelling and the writers are smart enough to anticipate the Twilight comparisons. When his girlfriend Caroline (Candice Accola) asks why he doesn't sparkle, Damon quips, "Because I live in the real world." Extras include deleted scenes, featurettes, and commentary on the pilot. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Top customer reviews
Vampire Diaries is a guilty pleasure. Despite the fact that the series is set-up with the high school crowd, it definitely has a more adult feel to it with the complex issues that come up and the dark, edgy violence. The first couple of eps played a bit too 90210(ish) but then the series really took off.
The main characters are well rounded and believable even in unbelievable situations. The series has managed to weave a set of relationships that breath life into each of the characters. Elena is the high school girl who must not only face personal tragedy but a new boyfriend (Stephan) that may or may not be what he seems. And Stephan has his own family issues with his bad boy brother, Damon. And while Damon is definitely bad (body count anyone?)he has reasons he believes are valid for the pain he inflicts.(mostly)
Elena as played by Nina Dobrev is a smart girl with a compassionate heart who definitely doesn't put up with any BS. In this vampire tale she doesn't just automatically tell Stephan it's all right when she finds out his secret. It's not cool that he's a vampire. People die around him and that's not ok. They fall in love despite his being a vampire rather than because of it.
Stephan Salvatore, Mystic Falls resident brooding vampire, started out (to me) a little too much like an Angel wannabe but Paul Wesley has done a competent job in opening the character up. What he does to Damon in the basement was truly chilling. I was like, HEY!, aren't you supposed to be the good guy!
And last but not least of the lead characters, Damon. What can I say. Damon is just delightfully bad. Ian Somerhalder plays him with relish. In the wrong hands, his character could have easily become a cliche but the actor has turned him into someone you just can't help but feel for (equal parts sympathy and revulsion)as he struts his way around, doling out cruelty with a smile, all the while hiding a secret of his own.
The supporting cast is also just wonderful in their roles. Kudos especially to Candice Accola for her portrayal of Caroline Forbes. The whole cast was well chosen and that they're all beautiful and sexy doesn't hurt either.
Anyway, before this review becomes a novel... just watch a few eps. I dare you not to get hooked on it.
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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