Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The Vampire Diaries, ITV2

Here's a review of The Vampire Diaries wot I writted for Orange (in a state of exhausted delirium after getting home from tonight's sensational shenanigans at Selhurst Park).

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley in The Vampire Diaries (c) ITV

Vampires! Aren't they great?! They're so sexy, aren't they? And doomed and romantic and passionate! And it's like a really good metaphor for, er, something…

If you've not already had the life sucked out of you by Twilight and True Blood (and even our very own Being Human), here's another tale of awkward cross-species teenage romance, doorstep-bothering and neck-nibbling.

In the small town of Mystic Falls, high-school hottie Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) was still grieving the death of her parents in a car crash. However, the new school year was made considerably more interesting by the arrival of the pale and interesting Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) – a diary-keeping vampire who's trying to keep off the red stuff.

Elena's boy-hungry mates were keen to get their claws into the new boy in town, but instead Stefan showed a great deal of interest in Elena. Later we found out why: she's the spitting image of a girl he loved – and lost – in 1864!

Meanwhile, a shadowy figure started to rip lumps out of the locals, and it looked like Stefan had given in to temptation after all – until it turned out that his not-so-nice brother Damon had also rolled into Mystic Falls. Damon's not as bothered about who he sinks his teeth into, and it looks like Elena could soon be at the very pointy end of a love triangle.

Naturally, as its set in an American high school, it's all cheekbones and lipgloss, plus the limited range of reactions and facial expressions you can see every week on shows like 90210. And there are long, meaningful stares between Elena and Stefan. A LOT of long, meaningful stares.

The series was co-created by Kevin Williamson, who was behind the Scream films and Dawson's Creek, so you know what to expect. However, even with blood-thirsty hunks on the loose it still doesn't feel that dangerous: it doesn't have quite as much bite as Gossip Girl, for instance. Still, vampire fans who haven't had their fill of high-school shenanigans will probably lap it up.

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