I have a confession to make. I’m an adult who has watched eight seasons of the teen vampire soap — sorry, the vampire diaries. My boyfriend made me do it. Or I asked him to. But after a long and turbulent run, the show’s guilty pleasure is over. (just in time for the vampire slayer’s 20th anniversary.) The vampire diaries is over, and some crazy, confusing plot lines have holes in them. But as usual, it doesn’t matter because the plot yields to emotional rewards.
The vampire diaries begins with two handsome vampire brothers in their 100s who fall in love with a teenage girl. It’s not scary at all. Stefan is James Deanish’s virtuous character (Paul Wesley) and Damon is a bad boy with steely blue eyes (Ian Somerhalder). See my season 1 review for more details. The girl (Elena dobrev) reappeared several times between the brothers before dropping out completely at the end of season 6. The focus then turns to the Salvatore brothers’ relationship with each other and their quest for redemption.
Redemption is a tricky subject for “the vampire diaries,” because in subsequent seasons — literally — most of the characters are either mass murderers or conniving at the holocaust. Of course, there’s always a reason to forgive and forget, to keep the audience engaged in the happy ending of hero. The perpetrator was bewitched, or tortured with bloodlust, or had other perfectly reasonable reasons for killing. A man of judgment — as opposed to vampires, werewolves, sirens, or other supernatural beings — keeps pointing out the immorality of all this, but his perfectly reasonable position is almost ignored by others, and he is not entirely blameless.
Even in the last season, Damon, the “reformed” bad brother, didn’t kill a waitress because a man pinched her butt, which was obviously a death sentence. Countless innocent bystanders – hundreds, easily – are not mourned by the script and the audience because there is no emotional input. At most one or two heroes look sad, and then the story goes on. The vampire diaries has claimed over and over that killing random people to protect your loved ones is a perfectly reasonable way to live.
Because the TVD diagram is distorted and moving at high speed, things quickly get complicated. “The vampire diaries” became such a series that most of the characters shifted so frequently between befriending and Nemesis that it was hard to keep track of them. As an audience member, it’s best to just vaguely recall previous episodes and live in the “present” without thinking about how it was all tracked down under scrutiny.
As mystic falls becomes more mysterious and mysterious, the danger escalates. The relief is that death is often easy, but often temporary. No matter how bad things may seem, you can always count on the writers to come up with something creative but far-fetched to get themselves out of a near-predicament. This is not to say that these inventions are always well thought out. The show has long pondered over the concept of an afterlife — heaven and hell — but it remains vague
However, for something as hysterical and worthless as “the vampire diaries,” “the vampire diaries” was, to the end, a lot of fun. There was a spark in the conversation, and the actors were engaged and did their best. (admittedly, sometimes their best performances are not so good.) Damon’s banter — and Ian Somerhalder’s glee at it — hasn’t gone out of style. Nina dobrev was forgotten last season for her multiple roles, especially as the wily Katherine, fans’ favorite, but Kate graham did a good job as the lead actress, and candice king improved her acting to make up for dobrev’s departure.
To the residents of mystic falls, mystic falls can be a death trap — and it seems like a party town with big parties almost every week — but to the audience, it’s a place of entertainment. At least we have the underperforming spinoff “the originals” for at least one season. (review). The vampire diaries finale hinted that we might see some characters there in the future. The vampire diaries had a mixed ending. Yes, it’s time to go, and one could argue that it really should have ended a season or two ago. But damn it, I still miss the hyperbole.