Sunday, February 19, 2012

Six Things I Really Like About The Vampire Diaries

NOTE: This post may, and probably will, contain mild to major spoilers for the first two seasons.
(Although, having said that, I started watching season one more than halfway through the original airing of season two; I went in knowing full well that Character A becomes a vampire, Character B and Character C hook up, etc. . . . and that did absolutely nothing to spoil my enjoyment. So I'm just saying.)

1. Supernatural Hierarchy
In the first two seasons, we meet vampires, witches, werewolves, Original Vampires, and ghosts.
Ghosts are a bit of a mystery, so let's focus on the other four.
Actually, you know, I was going to examine this a bit more in-depth, but here's what it boils down to: Witches are vastly more powerful than vampires, werewolves, or Original Vampires. They're naturally immune to compulsion, they can hit vampires with a mind whammy that hurts them far more than vervain, novice witches can throw people around with their thoughts. And so on and so on.
As for werewolves: This has so far not even been hinted at in the show, but it is my personal belief that a werewolf bite is fatal to vampires because the witch who came up with the curse (when are we ever going to get around to hearing that story?) specifically made it that way. "Nature demands balance" and all that.
So yeah, long story short, witches are the bitches in charge.
Which is interesting, when you think about it. Vampires and werewolves have been around in Story for centuries and centuries, and they're basically nothing more and nothing less than metaphors for some of our most primal fears. Witches have been around even longer, in real life and in Story, and they were originally just people who knew things other people didn't. And yet, in almost every fictional universe you've ever heard of, they're the ones you go to when you need to stop vampires or werewolves or unspeakably evil forces who are older than time.
All I'm saying is, that's pretty cool.

2. The Humor
It doesn't happen very often, but occasionally, this show makes me drop everything and laugh so hard I fall out of my chair. Usually due to a deadpan line uttered by Caroline or (much less frequently than you would think) Damon. For example, that time in "Masquerade" (one of my favorite episodes, by the way) when he tells her to "skip the teen drama."

3. Vervain
Compared to Buffy, vampires on TVD are - I don't just want to say "more powerful" - FUCKING SCARY. They're so fast you'll never see them coming; they're so strong they can shatter your spine with two fingers; they can use MIND CONTROL on you (for example, to make you forget that they had sex with you and then drank your blood); if they've ever met a witch, chances are she's created a piece of jewelry that lets them walk around in the sunlight without bursting into flames; they almost instantly heal from things like being stabbed in the gut, and having their eyes gouged out only takes a few hours until they make a full recovery; they're not affected by holy water or garlic or religious symbols of any kind; and they're more or less impossible to kill.
So thank goodness they're so ridiculously susceptible to vervain.
Drink just a little of it and drinking your blood will debilitate them long enough for a stake to the heart.
Hold it in your hand, or wear a locket that contains a little, and they won't be able to compel you.
Dilute it in water and it basically turns into Vampire Acid.
Touch them with it and they burn.
Along with the whole invitation thing, this little herb is probably the only reason anyone in Mystic Falls can sleep without nightmares.
Best part? It ACTUALLY EXISTS. The writers did not make it up.

4. Caroline Forbes
When Bonnie's busy forgetting that she can move things with her mind (even though that's THE VERY FIRST THING SHE GOT THE HANG OF after finally learning about her heritage) and Elena's upset about her epic vampire romance love triangle woes (gag me with a spoon), she is always there to step up and say something awesome or do something awesome and make my soul do a happy dance.
I've loved her since that scene in the pilot, but my love for her really skyrockets during season two. I find it very interesting that becoming a vampire seemingly turns her into a better person.
Also-also, believe it or not, but I tend to hate vampires as a general sort of rule (drinking blood = icky). Caroline is hands-down my favorite vampire in all of fiction.
Also-also-also, I love how the writers felt the need to insert a vampire-werewolf love triangle into the show (because that's always so FASCINATING, am I right?) . . . but in this case, the vampire is the girl. The human is one of her would-be suitors.
And, speaking of romance . . .

5. Despite it being a "romance" show, pretty much every female character eventually becomes a total badass.
'Nuff said.
Elena deserves special mention, though. She finds out that her boyfriend is a vampire and becomes MORE capable of looking after herself. Remember that time, right after she figured everything out, when that crazy vampire attacked her at the school dance and she STABBED HIM WITH A PENCIL?

6. Music
There was a moment in the pilot where I threw up my hands and said (out loud), "Alright, that's it! I give up; I'll stop fighting; I LIKE THIS SHOW, OKAY?" That moment happened when one scene ended with "Kids" by MGMT playing in the background and the next scene started with "Running Up That Hill" by Placebo.
Since then, I have rarely heard a song that I'm familiar with, but I have frequently come across new songs I have to track down and listen to a thousand times because they are just that good. Examples include, but are in no way limited to . . .
"Help I'm Alive" - Metric
"Fire in Your New Shoes" - Kaskade featuring Martina of Dragonette
"Young Lovers" - Love Grenades (Sam Sparro Remix)

More later.
Much love,

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