What I liked:
- Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert. It had to be a nearly impossible task to cast a beautiful woman in a “perfect girl” role and keep it on a level where people would still like her and not want to cut her up and sell her organs on the black market (that went really dark and violent, sorry). Nina Dobrev walks that line with seeming ease, because I don’t often want to murder her character out of jealous rage.
- How beautiful the cast is. Seriously, no-one is ugly. Even the hardcore-prototype-cop-mom Liz Forbes is beautiful. They all make me sick. But I need to watch them be beautiful.
- It is very different from Twilight. This released in the height of the Twilight phenomenon and the only thing it took over was the animal diet and the walking in the sun thing. Elena is blessed with more personality than Bella ever was and the relationship she’s in is neither as controlling nor as oppressive as the Edward/Bella vibe. Also, no man falling in love with baby. There is even this delightful little snarky comment to it:
- Damon Salvatore – the character, the actor, it all. Ian Somerhalder looks as uncomfortable in the first episode as I do at work birthday parties, but he grows into his character by the third or fourth episode. Everyone hates Damon in the beginning, especially with his killing spree that includes a teacher and his brother’s best friend. But what made Damon the way he is? It breaks my little soft heart all the time! Also, the eyes on Somerhalder makes that grief his grief relatable. YUM.
- The way the vampire’s eyes look when they change. It is ridiculously hot.
- Lexi – gosh I loved that character. I can forgive so much from Damon but this is the one thing that I will always be angry at him for. Lexi is one of the only things that made Stefan happy, and Damon’s idea to kill her to cover himself and Stefan was really selfish. I absolutely love Arielle Kebbel, and she would have made the best addition to this show as a permanent cast member.
- Vampire Caroline. No one enjoyed Caroline as the preppy teenager, but becoming a vampire is the best thing that has ever happened to her.
- Mason Lockwood. It boggles my mind that this man is engaged to Lady Gaga, really it does. I think the biggest problem between him and Damon was that they were both the same, and that the testosterone driven competitiveness just made them both idiots.
What I didn’t like/wish they explored a bit more:
- The pilot episode is quite bad for several reasons. The acting is first and foremost godawful. It improves over the course of season one, but that first 45 minutes is painful. Ian Somerhalder looks uncomfortable in his skin when he appears at the end of season one. Poor Caroline (honestly one of my favorite characters of the show) is presented as preppy and awful, and while she’s preppy, she’s not awful.
- Vicky Donovan – I could never attach to the actress and I still can’t. I was glad when they killed her off. Sorry not sorry.
- Kat Graham as Bonnie Bennett: what a weak and annoying character – you are a witch for Pete’s sake, grow a pair.
- The whole crow arc that is in the books was touched on briefly and never really taken any further. It is a shame, because it could have been sufficiently creepy/eerie and is about the only thing that works in those terribly written books.
- Stefan Salvatore is the Sam Winchester of his tribe. Whine whinewhine, blame humanity, whine some more. Ugh. Hearing his internal thoughts at the beginning of the episode makes me feel so violent. Though this scene worked wonders in redeeming the character… I mean oh my goodness.
After a shaky pilot episode Vampire Diaries Season one is so much fun to watch. The characters have surprising depth, there are a few twists and turns that manage to be shocking. The level of teen drama is quite high and everyone is very dramatic, but it is really entertaining and rather intense.