The Vampire Diaries

I’m not really posting blogs very often, am I? Not cool on my part. I think that once summer starts, and I’m no longer teaching, I’m going to try to get in a rhythm of posting at least one or two blogs a week.

Anyway, I saw some teasers for The Vampire Diaries, a new show next fall on the CW, based on L.J. Smith’s book series from the early 90s of the same name. I’m actually kind of excited. Two things I think this series has going for it which mean that it might actually be good:

One is writer Kevin Williamson, who wrote both Scream and Dawson’s Creek. The other is Ian Somerhaulder, who is going to play Damon. Effing gorgeous. Also, his character is the kind of wicked sexy that you can’t get enough of. Think Spike meets evil Angel, with a little Logan thrown in for fun. (!!) (That’s Logan from Veronica Mars.)

I had my doubts about this show when I attempted to read the source material. I picked up the first book in the Vampire Diaries series, but never ended up finishing it. In a word, the book was bad. Not only did it suffer from the most purple prose I’ve run into in a long time, (Adverbs out the whazoo and over adjectived like crazy.) but it was full of really pretty, really snobby people who I couldn’t actually bring myself to care about.

The main character, Elena, is the most popular, most beautiful girl in the school who swears she’ll get any boy that she wants. She wants the new boy: Stefan–Italian, gorgeous, and brooding. (and a vampire. duh.) After a few missteps, she gets Stefan. However, there’s a twist here. Stefan has a really evil brother named Damon, who actually likes being a vampire. (Unlike Stefan, who drinks the blood of animals.) Oh, and did I mention the fact that the only reason Stefan is interested in Elena is because she looks exactly like the vampire chick who brought him over and who he and Damon fought over? This is the point where I stopped reading, I think.

The biggest problem for me with the book, despite the fact it was badly written, full of overly used cliches, and not the least bit romantic or creepy, was that I really didn’t like Elena.

It seems the CW has taken some steps to change this. First off, I notice that Elena isn’t blonde. She’s a brunette. (For some reason, we can identify better with brunettes as women. Why is that?) Secondly, she seems to have some depth. And she doesn’t seem snobby and spoiled. All good things.

Stefan himself is blah. The actor is attractive, but compared to Somerhaulder, he fades away into relative good-looking-ness.

As long as we can keep Kevin Williamson from having his teenage main characters tell their parents exactly what is wrong with them in long psychobabbly terms, I think the show will rock. Bring on the fall!

(Wait. No. I don’t mean that. I want this summer to last forever.)