Saturday, September 12, 2009

Vampire Diaries Review

Pilot Episode Run Through
The first episode of Vampire Diaries started off promising. It opens on a dark highway where a traveling couple hits a person concealed by a mysterious fog. They stop and check on him only to be viciously murdered by their would-be hit and run victim, with fangs and all. But the excitement winds down from there. Following the intro, Elena (the female lead) leaves her home for school and has a strong fearful reaction to a near car incident as they drive to school, because she lost her parents in a car crash. Elena meets Sefan at school. She sees him again by the cemetery she visits to write her diary on her parents' grave after being frightened away by a suddenly emerging ominous fog, a crow, and an unseen man. The sound track is descent, featuring songs by the Silversun Pickups and the White Stripes within the first ten minutes. They chat, arrive at her house; she tells him to come in without really inviting him, but he's a vampire so he cannot enter. More than half way through the episode, the two hang out several more time, but finally meet at a party in the woods. The good music continues. Stefan's face distorts because he gets blood lusty. He leaves, but a girl gets attacked by a vampire while he's gone. It does not look good for Stefan. He takes off for his home. There he finds his vampire brother Damon, who is revealed to be the killer, and the fog and crow guy. He came for Elaina, who is a dead ringer for an old love, and to fulfill his promise to torment Stefan forever. They fight and Stefan loses because he is weak from no longer drinking human blood. Finally the episode ends with Elena writing about her day and then being visited by Stefan, and it ends with him entering the house.

Thoughts on Vampire Diaries
The entire episode, save for the final ten minutes, is all foreplay and no action. Not even foreplay, more like soft nuzzling. As I was watching the episode, I thought about the sound track and how it looked promising. There were some decent songs throughout, some MGMT, White Lies, and Silversun Pickups. The sound track to a TV show is always important because the right use of music can portray the emotion of a scene and generally make the show more enjoyable. You don't really want to hear footsteps and background all the time. The music here, however, is not used to improve the episode, but rather to hide the lag. The episode must have had around ten tracks. That is a lot for any show. The reason for this is obvious. Every scene has nothing happening, so they put a track in every scene to make it seem interesting. I guess all this just proves that the producers of the show knew there was not much substance the show. The two leads simply meat with each other throughout the episode to flirt. Nothing dramatic happens. By the end they just continue to see each other. There is definitely no witty dialogue to fill the void. Nothing happened that wasn't already seen in the trail for the show, and that's kind of sad. The mistake may have been that it seemed like Dawsons Creek. If you are going to have a show about vampires, then you might as well use them to create drama or action instead of have them linger in the background. Some Pilots are made to grab people's attention, but this definitely was not one of those. Maybe it is one of those shows that promises excitement in the future, but if it doesn't actually offer that then why is it even on television. Here is hoping it delivers on its promise because based on the pilot this is not looking very good.

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