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The Vampire Diaries back to reviews
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Overrated. I know, right?
So, The Vampire Diaries is this massive sleeper hit, as most of you know. Word on the street is that they dressed it up as a tawdry CW drama, but this show's got legs; every episode is critical to the season-long arc, and actions have consequences™.

I actually like Stefan. Paul Wesley (Smallville) is a capable actor, and a worthy successor to the Angel / Louis / Edward mantle. On the other hand, Damon (Spike / Lestat / Jacob) really got on my nerves. Chalk it up to Ian Somerhalder's acting or poor direction, or the popularity of lone wolf snarkers on TV. Characters like Damon are never serious. The only purpose for being there is to appear 'hip' and meta for the audience. Whenever Damon glances away and wiggles his eyebrows to suggest depth, I get embarrassed for Somerhalder and want him to disappear and stop sucking out all the drama.

The rest of the cast is solid, especially Alaric (who would've made a great Stefan, but oh well). I'm not wild about Klaus as a villain, for various reasons (lack of motive, zero menace, Flat Character, punch-bowl lips).

Not to be snarky, but I think our first impression of Vampire Diaries was correct. After all, don't all soap operas have ongoing arcs and melodramatic twists? From what (admittedly little) I've seen, the series is boilerplate CW and has little to offer in the way of plot that hasn't been cribbed from Buffy, Tru Blood, or similar works. This is by no means a condemnation; it is what it is.
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