The Vampire Diaries not only held my interest, but entertained as well. It's a solid cast that works well together although the plot isn't the most original. Then again, if you take a human/vampire love story and set it in a high school environment, you're not going to get anything intensely original.
The character of Stefan was a little reminiscent of Edward in his personality and as to his looks, was it just me, or did he bear some resemblance to a young Angel? I mean, leather jacket? Check. Caveman brow? Check. Brooding eyes? Check. Despite these similarities (or perhaps because of them) I found Stefan an enjoyable character, though I hope his character will change things up throughout the season - I'm looking forward to finding out more about his past with Katherine.
Elena is more unique than Stefan's character. She's not the clumsy, shy Bella, nor the supernatural ass-kicking Buffy, but her own individual character. I liked the whole tragic past angle, it gives her a little more depth than other people and props for not making her an only child. I found her relationship with her brother highly engaging. She has a lot of potential when it comes to character development and that's what I'm looking forward to most.
As for Damon, I wasn't impressed. An interesting character to have (because really, how many vampire siblings are there?) especially since he is the villian of the series, but Somerhalder's performance seemed tame. He has been sorely missed since his departure from Lost and I was looking forward to seeing him again, but for me his portrayal of Damon wasn't evil or bad-ass enough. I hope that he'll get better in the coming episodes. And although a love triangle is not original either (Edward v. Jacob, Angel v. Spike, etc) I'm definitely excited to watch the two of them duke it out for Elena's heart (which is something we never got to see with Angel and Spike).
Overall, I liked it. And I'll definitely keep watching it.