To me, The Vampire Diaries is much more than just a TV show. I started watching this epic series a few years ago, and I have been hooked ever since. Don’t judge a book by its cover – TVD is not Twilight. It does not revolve only around vampirism and other mystical/mythical entities OR a sappy, unconvincing romantic relationship, but it emphasizes on the complexities of human emotion and character development. Its clever plot twists and unpredicatable storyline also make this show remarkable.
Despite the popular saying that the show is no longer entertaining after Nina Dobrev’s departure from the cast in Season 6, I beg to differ. There was finally a break in Season 7 and 8 from Delena (Damon and Elena’s relationship) and TVD went back to the mysterious, tense series that it should be. The absence of Delena gave room for developing other characters and their relationships (notably Steroline – Stefan and Caroline). The show also kind of went back on track, giving the relentless romance a temporary recess. (Don’t get me wrong, I ship Delena, but I think Seasons 5 and 6 were more like The Delena Diaries.)
If you ask me to list out the factors that make TVD so amazing: (excluding plot events because I don’t want to give spoilers)
- The cast
- The characters
- The mystical creatures
- The relationships
- The soundtrack
- The finale
1. The cast
I legit think that the cast of TVD were born to play their respective roles. From Nina Dobrev (Elena Gilbert, Katherine Pierce) to Matt Davis (Alaric Saltzman), all the actors/actresses nailed the portrayal of the characters. Every episode reflects talented people who really feel their characters. Their compelling performance is the essence of the show. (Not to mention they are all gorgeous).
2. The characters
I would use one word to describe the characters in the show: intriguing.
Most of the characters have a enigmatic past, hidden powers or a dark side. On the other hand, some characters appear to be predictable and boring early on, but prove to be progressive as they develop positively throughout the series.
Katherine Pierce, Damon Salvatore and Caroline Forbes would be my favourite characters on TVD. (Along with Malachai Parker and Bonnie Bennett.)
Katherine Pierce/Katerina Petrova (Nina Dobrev) is the ultimate female villain. Yet, like some villains, she is a victim too. Katherine is manipulative, deceptive and selfish, but she does have a capacity to love. She is an indispensible character on the show, since her actions drive the plot.
The series also highlights the psychological development of Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), shaping him from the obsessive lover, troublesome brother to the selfless, driven individual. Damon has proven to be savage time and time again, yet he redeems himself and changes for the better. (He is also my favorite TV anti-hero because his sarcasm is on point.)
Caroline Forbes‘ (Candice King) character development is the most progressive. She transforms from an insecure, petty and jealous girl to a strong, courageous and altruistic woman. (It is ironic how vampirism caused her 180 degrees inprovement whereas it corrupts other characters.) Caroline has indeed made mistakes and wrong decisions throughout the series, but she learns from them. Watching this character mature is inspiring, and her reaching the final moral destination makes one proud. As Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan) rightly describes, Caroline is “strong and full of light”.
3. The mystical creatures
TVD is abundant with mythical creatures, including vampires, witches, werewolves, doppelgangers, hybrids, immortals, siphoners, heretics and even sirens. Each specie has its own powers and backstory. The show’s in-depth exploration of folklore makes it even more diversified and entertaining.
4. The relationships
The relationships in TVD are complex and compelling. The dynamics of a romantic relationship are emphasized in Forwood (Caroline and Tyler Lockwood’s relationship); the unbreakable bond of brotherhood is shown through Defan (Damon and Stefan Salvatore); the fierce love in a parent-child relationship is reflected in Caroliz (Caroline and Elizabeth Forbes). The changes and the endings of relationships in the show are usually what fling open the viewers’ tear ducts. Witnessing the pains and joys of the characters is an emotional rollercoaster ride.
5. The soundtrack
Music plays a subtle yet major role in the series. I personally think that Julie Plec has selected the best soundtrack that can ever be chosen for each and every episode. Some of my top picks are Cut – Plumb, Hunger – Ross Copperman, Don’t Deserve You – Plumb. The songs help build the fitting atmosphere for many scenes, reinforcing the emotions expressed by the characters.
6. The finale
I initially doubted the series finale, thinking how on earth can closure be achieved within 45 minutes when the previous episode has so many loose ends? I was wrong. The finale is epic. It has both the fast-paced plot of Season 2 and the heartwrenching nostalgia of Season 1. The multiple references to the beginning and the original cast members are very heartwarming, too. The finale has both action and emotion, I would not have hoped for TVD to end any other way.
It truly has been one hell of a ride.