Sunday, January 8, 2012

Vampire Diaries: The Books or TV Series?

The Vampire Diaries book series by L.J. Smith was never my cup of tea. I bought books 1 and 2 (in an omnibus edition as seen to the left) from Barnes and Noble a couple years ago, and I thought the story was garbage. Yeah, this happened to be during my Twilight-vendetta-phase where I angrily raged against vampire pop culture for polluting the reputation of the young adult book genre. But I still stand by my dislike of the books. They never really appealed to me. Character-wise, I found the main protagonist Elena to be too unrelatable, and plot-wise, every twist was trite -- even though the book was published pre-Twilight.

However, this is where I get to start my rant. I absolutely adore the T.V. series adaptation of the books. The Vampire Diaries is probably my number one guilty pleasure. I know, it’s a CW production. People who are TV connoisseurs turn their noses away from CW because it's the “teen drama” channel for its long running series like Gossip Girl and America’s Next Top Model. 

Let me just say…WHO CARES? 

The Vampire Diaries started out really slowly. It was really angsty and the characters all seemed to follow a straight, predictable plot. However, it’s only been three seasons and I’ve seen ten seasons worth of plot twists. If you’ve followed the show, you’d also be plenty exhausted with trying to keep up with the newest escapade of Elena, Stefan, and Damon (and I mean this in the best possible way). As I continued to watch the series, I found myself diving into the storyline as if it was a great book. I rooted for the characters and mini ranted with my best friend about the latest episodes.

I sort of wish, for once, that the books followed the T.V. series more closely. Unlike the generic vampire drama in the books, the T.V. series humanizes every character we see, developing them into actual 3D people rather than cut out T.V. stereotypes. 

I urge you all to give The Vampire Diaries a try…at least past the first few episodes (because I know the pilot was a disaster…fog machines should be banned from sound stages for eternity).

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