I was told before I began that "The Vampire Diaries" was like Twilight, with a silly character torn between a nice guy and an evil one. The reality is that the resemblance is superficial, and literally so. In a move that was very self aware, Stefan (the main vampire and overall Good Guy, played by Paul Wesley) resembles Edward Cullen. Nina Dobrev, a brown haired, brown eyed girl plays the main character Elena (who was a blonde in the books), echoing Bella Swan's coloring. The show also often makes references to Twilight as well- it's very aware of what it's doing here. "The Vampire Diaries" is roughly based on the series of books by L. J. Smith but, as I understand, the show covers different ground and changes up lots of stuff, including Elena's appearance and personality. I don't know, I never read the books. I may occasionally reference things I heard about being in the books, but I assume they have separate canons due to the race and personality differences. Just so we're clear.
Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot
The episode starts out with a death scene right out of an urban legend. This kind of thing (urban legend death) starts the first two or three episodes and is eventually dropped. In this episode, I *think* it's the hook but I swear to nothing, I'm tired. We later (not that much later) find out it is the work of Damon Salvatore, Stefan's eternal brother, who is played by the insanely hot and talented Ian Somerhalder.
While this plot point is eventually dropped, I don't mind- Damon could easily stage deaths like urban legends for his own personal amusement before something else distracts him.
One of the weaknesses of the early shows, which they later ditch, is the lame voiceover that kind of is all over the place in the earlier episodes. It is far too literal and ruins the subtleties of the acting, which is a shame because the cast is actually really good. Elena starts off telling us how she's gonna fake it til she makes it. Stefan also does VO a lot, and at one point they VO ending in the same sentence. The phrase "gag me with a spoon" comes to mind. I don't blame the actors, voice over is hard to pull off properly.
|I'm kinda in love with her myself, honestly.|
|I liked Jeremy right off, but he kinda reminds me of my brother, so take that as you will.|
|Grams says I'm a witch. Did I mention that Grams says I'm a witch? Because she totally does.|
|Matt and his Emo-stare|
|Also, because she always says the wrong thing. But she's working on that.|
|He also has the Brow of Brooding and a hair style I refer to as The Cullen|
On her way out of the men's room she bumps into future love interest and new hottie, Stefan Salvatore. He lives with his "Uncle" in the family boarding house on the edge of town. It's a really cute scene, actually, and Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrev have a lot of chemistry together as a young couple falling for each other. This is actually one of the reasons I kept watching, because Bella and Edward has as much on screen chemistry as two bits of wood. So I was interested to see where this went, and what happened when she found out Stefan was a vampire. In the interest of full disclosure, I was also interested in Ian Somerhalder. I find Damon, the character, reprehensible at best but incredibly hot.
Later, Elena is writing in her journal in a cemetery. She's sitting at her parent's grave, which is sad and sweet, but still a little weird. She also, as far as I recall, never does this again. But, again, they drop the journal writing voice overs and just take it as read that both Stefan and Elena are journaling. While she is busy writing her thoughts, a big black bird shows up. I'm still not sure if it's a crow or a raven, I'm betting a crow. He caws at her as the fog rolls in, and she tries to shoo the bird away. But things get too weird, so Elena does the smart thing and leaves.
|Black bird and fog: also not subtle|
|Dark Willow? Is that you?|
Also, Caroline Forbes, ladies and gentlemen
Caroline: *knows everything about Stefan*
Bonnie: You got all that in one day?
Caroline: Oh please, I got all that between 3rd and 4th period.
There's a teacher known as Mister Tanner (I believe this is a jab at Full House and I don't care if you don't believe me) and he is a dick. He is also the breed of teacher I dislike most: the teacher who is also a coach. It's not that I haven't had good coach/teachers, but nearly all of the worst teachers I have had have also been coaches. But he's a dick to pretty much everyone, and actually gets mad when a student knows things. Stefan pwns him at the town history, largely because Tanner was being a jerk to Elena.
|I like to think his first name is Richard.|
|Tyler Lockwood: also a bit rapey.|
|Snack. Also, hard to get an image of her smiling this episode. She's really pretty in an angular way.|
Stefan goes home to his "Uncle" (who, btw, calls him "Uncle Stefan") and tells him there was another vampire. Then, Damon shows up. It's the first time we actually see him, of course.
Damon reveals that drinking human blood gives vampires more strength than Stefan's diet of woodland critters (he refuses to eat people blood of any kind) by roundly kicking Stefan's ass. The show ends later this same evening, with Caroline revealing all her insecurities while Damon is in earshot, looking smug.
|His default look, really.|