Welcome to Day One of the Speculative TV Week. I was so excited when we first started to discuss this topic especially when I called dibs on “Vampire Diaries”. I have been watching the show for the past two seasons (and yes I know it is a teen paranormal drama, and no I am no longer a teen), but the book series by L.J. Smith was what first drew me to vampires and paranormal beings back in 1991 when I decided that I was tired of Sweet Valley High and craved something darker. Here is the brief series blurb:
“The series follows the life of Elena Gilbert a 17-year-old girl, who falls for a dark 156-year-old vampire named Stefan Salvatore. Their relationship becomes increasingly complicated as Stefan's vicious and malevolent elder brother Damon returns with a plan to wreak havoc on the town and also to plan a revenge against his younger brother. Both brothers begin to show affection towards Elena, mainly because of her resemblance to their past love Katherine Pierce. It is revealed that Elena is a descendant of Katherine, who eventually returns with plans against the trio."
"The series is set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, a town charged with supernatural history since its settlement of migrants from New England in the late 17th century. Other story lines revolve around the other inhabitants of the town, most notably Elena's younger brother Jeremy Gilbert, Elena's best friend Bonnie Bennett , Elena's close friend, Caroline Forbes, Elena's childhood friend, Tyler Lockwood and Elena's childhood friend and ex-boyfriend, Matt Donovan. The town's politics are orchestrated by descendants of the original founding families, all comprising a "Founders' Council". Some of the founding families of Mystic Falls include the Salvatores, the Gilberts, the Fells, the Forbes and the Lockwoods. They guard the town mainly from vampires although they seem to be oblivious on other supernatural threats like from Werewolves, Witches and also Ghosts.”
The Season 2 finale set up Stefan to become the bad guy as he was forced to gorge himself with human blood as a trade for an antidote to save Damon from death after he was bitten by a werewolf. The blood triggered the predator that Stefan had worked so hard to overcome and returned him to his vicious and evil side.
Six episodes into Season 3, Stefan is still a monster, but Elena refuses to give up on him even after an ancient vampire Klaus removed his humanity. With Stefan the bad guy, his big brother steps in to protect Elena and their relationship sizzles. I especially love the role reversal between the two brothers and even though Elena is fighting for her love for Stefan, it’s love blooming with Damon. I’m not psychic but I can sense some serious drama once Stefan’s humanity is returned. Perhaps the Season 3 finale? :)
I am loving the television series and can’t wait for each new episode. The reader/writer in me is curious about how closely the t.v. series is based on the original books. It’s been twenty years since I read L.J Smith‘s books, but I picked them up the other week (an early birthday present to myself) and am anxiously awaiting cracking them open. The initial series featured “The Awakening”, “The Struggle”, The “Fury” and the “Dark Reunion”. Three years ago, Smith returned to the series, writing three more, “The Return: Nightfall, The Return: Shadow Souls, and The Return: Midnight.” I’m interested to see the similarities and differences between the book series and the television series.
Thanks for reading! And don't forget to check out Melanie's blog on "Once Upon a Time".