September 11, 2009By Joe Diliberto Posted: Sep 11, 2009
OMG, it finally happened — VAMPIRE DIARIES premiered on The CW last night! But why do I feel sorta dirty the morning after? Over the course of the whole show, I swapped IMs with my colleague Mala, who was horrified by what she saw — and not in a good way.
Basically, the pilot episode seemed to be trying too hard to evoke Twilight while simultaneously trying not to be a carbon copy. Elena was changed from a blonde golden girl to a morose, slightly clumsy gal who literally runs into Stefan while she's emerging from the boy's room. And Stefan can't help but remind viewers of that other, sparkly, high school vampire. My biggest question about Stefan is, why was trying so hard to get into high school — to the point of hypnotizing an administrator? Did he already know Elena was a student there, or did he get lucky to find a doppelganger for his lost love in history class? Being a centuries-old vampire helps compensate for the fact that Paul Wesley (ex-Max, GUIDING LIGHT) looks too old for high school. And lucky for vampires, leather jackets and sunglasses are eternally cool, so he doesn't have to change his wardrobe. (Apparently a foray into grunge was a disaster.) Does anyone else remember that Paul played bad-boy werewolf Luke on WOLF LAKE?
Stefan's adversarial relationship with his brother, Damon (Ian Somerhalder, ex-Boone, LOST), was the best thing about the show. Brotherly banter was taken to extreme with vamp strength, and Damon's smirking self-assurance was a great counterbalance to Stefan's emo brooding.
I was hoping the eponymous diaries would be metaphorical, but sadly, they were all too real — and used to justify cloying narration. (Stefan was not a diarist in the books, but that is only one of the numerous changes in this small-screen adaptation of the young-adult series). As if the narration wasn't bad enough, there was also one of those closing musical montages that I find so odious and unoriginal.
Well, Diary, that's all for now. See you after the next big premiere!