Dear Vampire Diary,

 

P.S. - Why doesn't anyone get how special I am?

Dear Diary, Life sucks. Signed, Every vampire romance protagonist ever.

I have to say I’m impressed from the very beginning. It would be difficult to top this intro for sheer emo power. A girl narrating a diary entry about how she wishes she could be more happy since her parents died? Inspired.

 

Elena’s best friend just learned from her grandmother that she’s a witch…or a psychic, she seems unclear. She also has a really weird attitude about the news, though, she seems both obsessed with the idea and deeply cynical about it.

 

Elena and her brother Jeremy live with their aunt Jenna, who looks like their slightly older sister. I’m not sure she should be in charge of raising other people, for one she’s not doing anything about Jeremy’s very special pilot episode  drug problem. He’s addicted to generic pills.

 

So Stefan, a brooding new transfer student, shows up at the office and uses mind control to get them to accept him without transcripts and medical records. I think you’re doing that wrong, I think you’re supposed to use mind control to get OUT of school.

 

Elena meets Stefan in the hottest place for single teens to hang out…the graveyard. Theirs is the typical beginning to a romance: boy meets girl, girl gets injury, boy’s forbidden lust for blood causes him to vanish into the mist like Batman.

 

Soon you will join the shrine to my dead girlfriend...would you mind putting on this old fashioned dress?

If I can't have you, then I shall track down your distant descendant who looks exactly like you! It's good to be a vampire.

What is it about Vampires that makes them all into stalkers? Seriously, the vast majority of Vampire fiction seems to portray them as stalkers. Here we learn Stefan, who is clearly a vampire though it hasn’t yet been explicitly confirmed, has returned to the town of Mystic Falls because he learned that an identical-looking descendant of a woman he once knew is living there now.

 

What is up with the school’s history teacher? He calls out Elaina in front of the class about her lack of knowledge about oddly specific civil war casualty facts because her parents died too long ago. Like even if this seemed like something she should know, giving her a hard time about her parents dying is super inappropriate.

 

Elaina spots her brother sneaking off into the woods during the high school woods kegger. “That’s my brother”, she says to Stephen. “The drunk one?” he asks, as if most people here were not drunk.

 

Good and evil vampire brothers? They would be the best buddy cops! Well, they’d probably fight crime at night, so I guess they’re more like buddy vigilantes. They do apparently have anti-sunlight death rings, which are cool, even though they don’t make sense. Still much better than the Twilight solution of not giving a crap about how vampires work.

 

At this point it has become something of a common trope for there to exist good vampires that don’t feed on humans, but why are they always portrayed as weaker? Couldn’t they just drink larger quantities of animal blood and be on even footing? Either way, if you fed on a bear wouldn’t a bear be stronger than people? Actually, how does the system to quantifying blood “power” work?

 

***

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

I like that in the love triangle between Jeremy, Vicky and her awful boyfriend Tyler that  Jeremy is the “compassionate” guy because he gives Vicky hardcore, unprescribed painkillers after she’s attacked by a vampire. Who says chivalry is dead?

 

Aunt Jenna gets called in for a parent teacher conference, though I’m not entirely sure why that happens, or why that happens in the middle of the day. Of course the only person on hand to talk to her is Mr. Tanner, the horrible history teacher from the pilot.

 

Sure he has experience with kids, but I don't think he's qualified to tell a parent that raising teenagers is impossible.

"Do you want to go out with me?" "No." "Wrong answer! I'm so charming you MUST want to go out with me!"

He continues to be a jerk with this actual exchange from the episode:

 

Mr. Tanner: It’s an impossible job isn’t it? Raising two teens?

Jenna: It’s been tough but no, it’s not.

Mr. Tanner: Wrong answer. It’s an extremely impossible job, anything less and you’re not doing it properly.

 

Okay, so this is an extremely weird moment. Most of the characters on the show are all hanging out together at a restaurant even though many of them don’t get along. Elena and her friends are there, but so his Matt (Elena’s ex-boyfriend who is always awkward around her) and Tyler (one point of the abusive love triangle). Suddenly Jeremy walks up and everyone is vomiting secrets at one another like it’s their final confession or something. It’s like after one episode the writers were tired of the characters not knowing all this information, so they decided to force everyone together and exposition it forcefully.

 

And now Stefan and Elena are already making out. So much for dramatic tension! Seems like the writers are really eager to get on with some other part of the story. I’ve got my fingers crossed it’s worth all of this weirdness.

 

I never really understood why people thought vampires were hot. I feel like they’ve been romanticized for a long time, but even if they aren’t stalking or lurking, most of them are fairly likely to murder you for sustenance. This episode ends with Elena’s fairly blonde friend Caroline and Damon hooking up. Well technically it ends on his post hook-up feeding. Just smoke a cigarette or something, dude, eating people’s not sexy.

 

And while we’re at it, why must we bookend episodes with vampire attacks? Also not sexy. Aside from which, it’s super suspicious

 

***

 

Dear Vampire Diary

 

Well I guess that Damon feeding on Caroline wasn’t actually a vampire murder, but more of a literal vampire love bite. This means that we’re still on track to have two vampire attacks per episode. The town coroner must be getting overtime.

 

How many cars do you guys usually benchpress? I usually go for 5 because I prefer more reps at lose weight.

Don't mind me, just an ordinary teenager with a shady past and an arsenal of superhuman abilities.

You know, for a vampire, Stefan’s doing a lousy job staying low key. He uses super vampire strength and speed to turn Tyler’s football prank around on him. Then, he engages the insufferable history teacher in a strangely heated battle of name the year historical things happen, which he wins with his personal experience from vampire immortality.

 

Speaking of Mr. Tanner, the world’s worst history teacher, he plays practically every role within the school. It’s kind of weird, he’s the history teacher, the football coach AND the guy in charge of parent teacher conferences. The only other member of the school staff I’ve seen is the secretary at the office, no principal no other teachers…I’m starting to wonder if this isn’t a one man school and all the teachers are just this one jerk in a series of comical disguises.

 

This episode is focused on extracurricular activities: cheerleading and football to be precise. I guess brooding vampire love stories just aren’t as relatable as they used to be. It feels almost like the network said that this show needed more high school, so we dropped all of those stories involving secrets in the last episode in order to incorporate more familiar high school stereotypes.

 

Of course, had the free will lacklace also had some diamonds set in it, Stefan would be getting lucky tonight.

Screw diamonds! In a world full of mind controlling undead, a free will necklace is a girl's best friend!

For their “we barely know each other” anniversary, Stefan gives Elena a necklace full of something called vervain. Luckily she doesn’t think that a gift of jewelry is rushing things, as the necklace turns out to protect her from Damon’s mind control powers.

 

You know I really do want to be skeptical of the brooding vampire stereotype, but the actor playing Stefan (Paul Wesley) does a genuinely good job with it. When he’s around Elena he acts like a slightly subdued person with genuine emotions, but when he’s around Damien he goes stoic, trying not to show signs of weakness to his brother who’s usually in control. It’s not the most emotional range I’ve ever seen, but it’s believable to me for a vampire.

 

This town’s got a serious raven problem, they’re all over the dang place. We need to call in some exterminators or some owls, which are apparently predators of ravens.

 

Oh no, Tanner just got eaten! Who’s going to run the entire school!? Won’t somebody think of the children!?

 

This whole “you won’t kill my high school girlfriend” idea is a Torchwood plan for sure! Stefan has no means of backing up his claim, so he’s pretty antagonizing his sociopath of a brother while hoping Damon doesn’t actually kill Elena. He’s lucky so far, as Elena survives the episode, but Tanner did not.

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