Alright, I was really hesitant to watch this show for the obvious reasons, there is a large amount of vampire stuff around, and it's on The CW. That doesn't exactly scream, "It's gonna be good!" I thought the same thing about 'Supernatural' and eventually started watching that show and fell in love with it. I don't think that is going to happen with this show and here is why:
While 'Supernatural' is also on The CW, it has charm and wit that goes along with some really creepy and messed up stuff. Plus Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are adorable and have chemistry (not sexual, just regular chemistry). Chemistry is essential in a cast, without it you just have a bunch of people spouting lines as characters that you don't really care about. I don't find chemistry among anyone in the cast of 'The Vampire Diaries', let alone the two "main" leads. I just watched it for an hour and without going to IMDB I can't tell you what their names (or any characters name, for that matter) are. They were called Elena and Stefen, if you care. This is bad, this is something I should know. Within 3 seconds of 'True Blood' I knew everyone drinking in Merlotte's by name.
Music. Oh the overuse of music in this show. It's one of the things that kept nagging at me the entire episode. I know the target demo is those that watch 'The Hills' (is that still on?), but they didn't need to make the scripted drama like an episode of 'The Hills' complete with "current" songs in every scene; sometimes more than once a scene including Placebo's remake of 'Running Up That Hill' which is a great remake, but it's already being used on the 'Daybreakers' trailer, which is a vampire movie. It was annoying. You see, in 'Supernatural' the music makes sense, it's used for dramatic effect or humor. On 'True Blood' the music is also used this way, mostly in the background on a radio or because someone is dancing or it's playing on the jukebox at Merlotte's. And most importantly on 'True Blood' is the end titles, which always have an interesting song choice (each episode is named by a song that is played at some point in the episode, but NOT loudly covering up the scene). It's the work of a great director and music supervisor. Without that you get what I watched tonight, a mish-mash of whatever someone thought "the kids" would want to hear and then run out and buy.
Unless you've never read anything I've ever posted on this blog, I absolutely LOVE True Blood. I love every little "Sooookeh" Bill makes, every stupid thing Sookie does, every dumb line Jason speaks, every left eyebrow raise and Swedish accented word (this goes for every day Skarsgård really) Eric makes, every lovely move Lafayette makes...I even (though I loathed him) liked the uselessness that was Eggs. I love the show. I love the books. Yet, I can take or leave Twilight and now 'Vampire Diaries'. Why is this? Is it because I am clearly not the target demo? I'm too old? I don't think so, you see, I love to watch 'Attack of the Show' and I KNOW I am not the target demo. What I think is the case here is that 'Twilight' and 'Vampire Diaries' are too "safe". In fact, they are almost the same damn thing. And it would seem, at first glance, that so is 'True Blood', but that isn't the case. When I watch 'True Blood' I know I'm gonna get at least one of the following: nudity, swearing, blood, something offensive to someone, and Lafayette or Eric. And that's great! I want that, that is why I am watching and paying for HBO. I am an adult damn it, I want an adult show to watch. A show that requires me to pay attention and catch the nuances that fill an Alan Ball show. I know there is camp, and smut, and cheese smothered ALL over 'True Blood', but I crave it. I don't want to watch a movie/show where vampires "shimmer" and "glimmer" in the sun; I want those bastards to burn if they hit the sun's rays. I don't want a show where they have to wear little rings to keep from burning; I want 'Anubis Air' to be their mode of travelling by the light of day. I want the typical "vampire-comes-to-town-meets-the-girl story with a twist, and that's what 'True Blood' gives me.
Now I know I might seem a little harsh on 'Vampire Diaries' and maybe even 'Twilight', but truth be told I'd rather watch either of these two items over the abysmal 90210/Melrose Place/Gossip Girl/Whatever-the-hell-that-Mischa-Barton-Show-Is. Those suck ass on a level that cannot be met even by the WORST Sci-Fi Channel Original Movie. I even enjoyed 'Twilight', even with Kristin Stewart's non-existant expressions and emotions and the glimmering. And since, at least by first episode impressions, 'Vampire Diaries' (VD?) is the same thing I don't know why it was needed other than to fill this desire to make vampire-related everything. That said, the acting isn't bad (I did mention 90210/Gossip Girl, right?) and I can't lie and say that Ian Somerhalder isn't lovely to look at in any situation (although he needs a different hairstyle on this show). However, I did prefer him as Boone on LOST and think there was SO much more to his characters' storyline than was covered. Anyway...almost everyone was good at the acting, barring a few people who were good enough not to lump them in with the above mentioned crap-shows on The CW.
So what's my final verdict? If you are over the age of, say, 25 go watch True Blood and just soak it all in. As a treat, here are some scenes from 'True Blood'.
In these scene's you get several of the things I love about TB: Blood, Lafayette, Eric, swearing, the eye-brow raise and a little cheese sprinkled with a cheeky song choice for the end: (Possible SPOILERS for TB.)
You are welcome and thanks for noticing how my rant on 'Vampire Diaries' turned into a praise for 'True Blood'.