Falling in and out of love with The Vampire Diaries
In 2009, the CW debuted a series called The Vampire Diaries based on the book series by L.J. Smith. I was fifteen and hooked from the beginning, still riding the vampire wave of Twilight. Now, the show is coming to an end after eight seasons this Friday, March 10th at 8 PM. As fans, the cast, and the crew look back on the last eight years and share memories and thoughts, I thought I’d reflect on my own experience as a fan. Here’s how and why I went from a dedicated fan to barely hanging on at times.
I would like to state as a bit of a disclaimer that I did not read the books prior to watching the series so my opinion is based on the television series. I have, in the past, looked up the differences and tried to piece together the events of novels, but I don’t have a complete image to judge.
As the series progressed, I grew up and went to college. I got my roommates into the show and had them bingeing the first two seasons on weekends. We had TVD watch parties. I went on to study writing as a minor and began to notice plotlines and character developments that I didn’t like. Here are the big things.
I don’t know how the books handled Bonnie’s storyline, but the TVD series took it’s one main African-American character, Bonnie Bennett, and consistently put her through the ringer. She sacrificed for everyone over and over again and lost everything. I can still remember how upset I was when after everything Bonnie and her grandmother, Sheila, did to open the tomb, Katherine wasn’t even there.
An interesting plot twist? Yes. Bonnie losing the only member of her family she was close with who could help with her magic? Not cool.
When others lost their parents, characters mourned and it was written in a way that made fans emotional. The characters barely blinked when Bonnie’s dad was murdered in front of a crowd. He wasn’t written in a way that made anyone, fans included, care about his death. Her mother, Abby, was forced to become a vampire to save Elena and the doppelganger didn’t seem to understand that Bonnie needed space from her.
I don’t think any other character has died more than Bonnie has. She’s seen helping and sacrificing for everyone, but I don’t think her relationships with the other characters are given enough depth overall to really support her sacrifices. Her romantic life was lacking too. Every love interest she had died except for Jeremy. With her two major relationships, Jeremy and Enzo, she wasn’t their first choice either. Bonnie Bennett deserved better. She deserved to be more than the magical sacrificial lamb. Kat Graham deserved more than what she was given by Julie Plec and The Vampire Diaries writers.
On the opposite end of the scale, Caroline Forbes became the girl who dated almost every male character in the series. Caroline’s mother was busy being Sheriff and Caroline needed some attention. That is clear. What I hate is that the writers paired Caroline with Matt, Tyler, Klaus, Jesse, Stefan, Alaric, and now Stefan again. Even Enzo showed interest in her at one point. Did Caroline ever really have time to get to know herself as a single woman, especially after becoming a vampire and going through a lot of changes? I like Caroline and her growth, but she deserved better than to be in and out of relationships. Instead of throwing Steroline tension in after Liz’s loss, maybe they should have let Caroline focus on mourning her mother.
The Vampire Diaries turned a character who shouldn’t be liked or trusted into a love interest. Ian Somerhalder is a humanitarian and gorgeous. His blue eyes are captivating. He’s easy to like. Damon Salvatore is not. Yes, he has charm, some great one liners, and saved the day more than once. I even softened a bit because of the Bamon friendship. But, in my eyes, I can’t see why L.J. thought he’d be a healthy option for a love triangle in the first place.
People are flawed. Characters on TVD are flawed. Yet, I can’t wrap my mind around the way some fans and the characters forgive Damon for every wrong doing. For example, he compelled and sexually abused Caroline when he first came to Mystic Falls, but now they’re besties and she approves of his relationship with her best friend. She even let him officiate her wedding last week. Their beginning was never really discussed. When Elena fell in love with him everything he did to her friends and family was wiped away apparently. I can’t give in to the idea that Damon is a changed man because of Elena Gilbert. Every time it’s mentioned or implied in the dialogue I wince.
Elena Gilbert’s character development was hard to swallow. You’re doing something wrong when people are relieved that a character has to be written out of the show, especially one of the main characters. Don’t get me wrong, I love Nina Dobrev. I wouldn’t mind being her best friend. I simply didn’t like the way Elena Gilbert was written as the show went on. For most of season one and season two, I liked her for the most part.
By the time she started getting lovey-dovey with Damon and became a vampire, I was about done with her. She became whiny, selfish, and a bit hypocritical. She talked more than once about how evil certain characters were for killing and being manipulative but added a few deaths to her list and did plenty of her own manipulating or backed plans that involved manipulating someone. What made it worse was that whenever another character criticized her they were told they were in the wrong and ended up apologizing.
In eight years, the show has made me cry, get angry, laugh, and chat with plenty of people in person and online about the events of the world L.J., and Julie by extension created. I just wish they could have done better. If I could, I would probably go back and tell my fifteen-year-old self not to give TVD the emotional energy or time that I did.
What are your thoughts as The Vampire Diaries comes to an end? What did you love and what did you hate?
Thanks for reading!
Kira McCall covers entertainment for MFST. You can follow her on Twitter at cocovanilla45 and kiramira_.https://www.myfantasysportstalk.com/falling-in-and-out-of-love-with-the-vampire-diaries/https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/071315-kat-graham-bonnie-bennett-750x522-1436820587.jpg?fit=750%2C522&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/071315-kat-graham-bonnie-bennett-750x522-1436820587.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1EntertainmentRecent PostsTV ShowsAbbu Bennett Wilson,Abby Bennett,Bonnie Bennett,Caroline Forbes,Damon Salvatore,Elena Gilbert,Enzo St. John,Ian Somerhalder,Jeremy Gilbert,Julie Plec,Kat Graham,Nina Dobrev,Stefan Salvatore,the vampire diaries,TVDIn 2009, the CW debuted a series called The Vampire Diaries based on the book series by L.J. Smith. I was fifteen and hooked from the beginning, still riding the vampire wave of Twilight. Now, the show is coming to an end after eight seasons this Friday, March 10th...Kira McCall firstname.lastname@example.orgEditorMyFantasySportsTalk