I should never even have watched the first episode of the Vampire Diaries...
I am not the target audience for either the show or the CW network (I'm 35, well past my tween, teen and college years). Unlike many who fell in love with Dracula, Interview with a Vampire and Anne Rice, I was never into vampires or any other supernatural/science fiction melodramas. In fact, until recently, I had never even heard of True Blood or Twilight (and I have yet to see either of those franchises). So you may wonder -- how is it possible that I am now a Vampire Diaries addict?
It's really very simple -- vampires or no vampires, it is the best show on television right now.
The writing, direction, production, pacing and acting is all superb (especially given how many of the young actors on the show had little or no experience on television series before they landed this show). The casting was spot-on (especially the three stars) and right from the beginning I was able to relate to all of the characters. Even the guest stars have been cast perfectly (although given the death toll on this show, I have learned not to become too attached to any of the cast members, be it a guest star or one of the contract players).
This show could easily have degenerated into an annoying teenage melodrama (especially since the first season has focused on setting up a love triangle between a seventeen year old human girl and two centuries-old vampire brothers and I have always hated triangles). Somehow, despite its premise, the actions and reactions of the characters have managed to stay believable (for the most part) and relatable (and I don't even mind the triangle -- yet). Even the non-supernatural storylines manage to surprise you (the teenagers don't react the way you expect TV shows to write them and the relationships are surprisingly mature, open and real). Thanks to the writers, the pacing of the storylines is so fast that most story arcs begin and end within two episodes, usually by hitting you with shocking cliffhangers which are then answered immediately within the same episode or the next episode. And, despite the dark and supernatural storylines, the show manages to not take itself too seriously and infuse just enough snarky humor to keep it entertaining.
The show runners like to say that what drew them to the show was that it wasn't just about vampires; it was about a town with a rich history of relationships and a history of the supernatural. That is true, but what drew me to the show were the terrific characters, writing and storylines. Most of the time, I forget the show is even about vampires (and that is high praise, given that I'm not really a vampire lover).
So in sum, despite my normal aversion to teenage shows, vampires and the supernatural, I am now utterly addicted to a teenage vampire drama on the CW called The Vampire Diaries -- in fact, don't bother to call or e-mail me at 8:00PM EST on Thursdays -- I won't answer because I am completely engrossed in the goings-on in a town called Mystics Falls. Come join me -- I guarantee it won't take long for you to get addicted -- maybe then, we can start a support group for TVD addicts.