"Next!!!!"That is what I would have yelled out till my lungs turned blue, and with a roll of my eyes, had this show been someone auditioning for a key part in a new play. In Vampire Diaries episode one, Gossip-girls vacuity and prettiness are paired with even worse acting. Sure, they're eyecandy when sitting still, but their bodies have a stiffness and their faces an expressionlessness that's without mystery or any sensuality.

This is perhaps not entirely their fault, as I get the sense that those behind the camera are leading this frenzied bag of badness with a tight grip. The bizarre forced camera cuts are almost a comic echo of the jerky movement between storyscenes. Unlike Trueblood's masterfull baiting of the viewer, this program establishes all the bases for what is to come, leaving us little to chase after or think about on our own. And the journal fluff, especially that oh so reading in tandem? I might suppose this show is striving to look like some after school special for vampires who will behave! Finally, as if to cover up the bad acting, characters, and narrative choices, a dominating soundtrack deafened this pilot episode. Was there a behind-the-scenes debate going on about whether the idea was to make a series of linked rock videos or a TV show?

And I write this review when I am the ideal candidate for loving this program: A vampire junkie since reading Bram Stoker way back when in high school. A Buffy adorator--I even went on and bought the entire Angel series to rewatch on lonely winter nights. I read all the Meyer books before seeing Twilight on opening day here in Paris (with every teen out of school that afternoon!). But when it comes to TV vampire drama, even the quickly cut from production Moonlight had more excitement.

In short, this first episode of Vampire Diaries left me sadly disappointed. What's more, other reviews strike me as peculiarly undemanding of the show, and have startled me with their flattery. Don't be fooled, even if "everyone" feels like they should say they like this 9021-OH-Vamp show, the hype is gonna fade fast. After all, make-up runs in ugly streaks under heat like the one that will be needed to keep up a facade of greatness when there is no substance behind the curtain.

On a positive note: one excellent point for this new show--the vamp teeth choice. Nice special effect work there! Solid, animal, natural looking fangs one could expect to bite deeply into our awaiting necks. Alas, my neck is exposed but the fangs just aren't able to get close enough for me to get my heart flip-flopping as I await next week. If I am out and miss episide two, well, tant pis.



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Sep 16, 2009 12:29AM EDT

i will agree that it doesn't seem that the tv series will be as good as the book series which, let's all say it together now, came out WAY before twilight. the best part of this episode was damon mocking stefan's attempt at being furious. that comedic timing was reminiscent of the brilliant timing on buffy.i, too, have been a long time vampire enthusiast. i'll probably keep watching the series just to see how much more it can possibly differ from the books. but, i think you give a basically accurate assessment.


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Sep 16, 2009 4:37AM EDT

Every get the feeling that you have seen them all? From the first 5 mins onwards of this show I felt as though I had either seen or read something almost exactly the same. I love vamp books and films, I grew up watching Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing battling it out on tv. I was a huge fan of both Buffy and Angel and I loved Forever Knight but it just seems like there is no originality left in the genera.That said, I am looking forwards to Laurell K Hamilton's first Anita Blake novel being adapted into a tv movie (will be aired some time next year). The AB books were very original and made way for writers such as Charline Harris (True Blood) so it will be interesting to see if the move does the books justice.
I will be watching the next few episodes of the vampire diaries to see if things get better but I wont be holding my breath.

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