Friday, October 14, 2011

Why I Heart The Vampire Diaries

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is my favorite show on television. It’s the only one I consider appointment TV. Last night, for instance, I was watching with my sister, and my mom started talking during the last ten minutes, and I was all, I KNOW IT’S YOUR HOUSE BUT SHHH.

Granted, this show features some very handsome men. Like Damon here.

And Alaric. And Jeremy. And Tyler. And I find Klaus's mouth strangely mesmerizing...

But mostly it’s because of the writing. It’s brilliant. Revelations that in lesser hands would be teased out over an entire season happen in one episode and then we're on to the next. You think X is the Big Bad? Well, it turns out there's a Bigger Bad that he's scared of. I never see the plot twists coming. Characters are turned into vampires, or werewolves, or killed off entirely. Beloved characters’ necks are snapped in a fit of vampire pique only to be resurrected by magic. The hero becomes a villain; the villain becomes a sort of hero. Dead girlfriends reappear as ghosts, but can they be trusted? Is that the heroine or her evil doppelganger?

It’s shocking—but it never feels like the writers are toying with us just for shock value. The twists and turns make sense through the lens of character; the way each of the (surviving) characters has grown over three seasons is incredible. Caroline was a seemingly vapid, neurotic cheerleader; now she's my favorite character, a fiercely loyal kick-ass vampire. As a viewer, I’ve come to a wary trust with the writers. I know they won’t hesitate to kill off a character I love (oh, I worry for Matt's well-being!), or have him do something so despicable it walks the line of unforgivable--but I know they'll have a good reason for doing it. And that makes for some fantastic, edge-of-the-seat viewing.

Jessica Spotswood is the author of BORN WICKED, the first book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles, coming Feb. 7, 2012 from Putnam. She likes reading stories about independent girls who still get in a fair amount of swoony kissing, so that's what she tries to write. She lives in Washington, DC with her playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey.

Currently on her nightstand: THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU & ME, by Jess Rothenberg.


  1. I've been told by many people that I need to watch this show. I think it's time to get my hands on earlier seasons so I can catch up!

  2. Totally agree. The writing is fantastic. They always keep the plot moving and nobody is safe from a vampire attack...or witch's curse...or werewolf bite...or (you get where I'm going :) Love TVD!

  3. I'm with you. Best-written show on television right now. Shame it's dismissed as a teen vampire show! (Also, I respect the show for letting Damon be shirtless for no real reason in almost every episode.)

  4. @ Nicole: You should definitely try it! Everyone I know who's tried it has ended up hooked.

    @ J. Lyn: Yes! I'm really impressed with the writers' willingness to go there and make things so dark.

    @ EarlGreyTea: Re: being a teen vamp show--I can't get my husband to watch it with me, but I think he'd really dig it if he tried. And re: the shirtless Damon--*swoons* I was totally going to post a shirtless picture but I refrained.

  5. OMG! I too am so worried about Matt's well being, but as he's the only human i don't think they'll mess with him too much. He grounds the story too well and I really hope we got more of Matt's last night's emo-ness.

    I take it since Stefan was completely left out of this post you're team Delena?

  6. @ ICountWords: I hope they'll keep Matt human; it adds a really interesting conflict for him. And yeah, I'm totally Team Dalena. I think Stefan is kind of fascinating with Katherine though!

  7. Oh, yes! TVD and Doctor Who are the best shows on television, IMO. The weakness right now seems to be they don't know what to do with Matt, Bonnie, and Jeremy. But I have faith they'll think of something brilliant. As for The Secret Circle, it only sucks more because it follows this hour of pure amazingness!