For the past six months, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ has been my drug of choice, with a weekly fix barely being enough to keep me going.
With the finale episode, ‘As I Lay Dying’, airing in the State yesterday, I have to wonder: what is it that makes TVD such a compelling program?
Well let’s start with the basics: characters. Each one remains true to who they are, there are no massively unexpected changes which make you question the skill of the writers. We know Damon has a softer side, just as we know Stefan has been struggling not to be a ruthless killer. Likewise, despite all the insanity, it’s remembered that Elena, Bonnie and Caroline are actually still young girls struggling to find their way in the world, let alone finding it with the added pressures of the supernatural.
Moving on: plot. There has never been a slow moment, and it’s clear that the writers aren’t just hashing this together as they go along. One event leads into another, some events have clearly been set for a shock ending miles in advance (fake curse, anyone?), whilst others are clearly the offspring of all the other shocking moments hearts have been racing to. There’s not been a stilted moment. Releasing Katherine led to discovering the curse, the curse naturally led to Elijah and the big bad Klaus, which has ultimately led to Klaus’ plans for species domination. It’s all been flawlessly sewn together, everything has clearly had a known destination from the start.
Speaking of Klaus, he’s a testament to the casting. Joseph Morgan is a brilliant kiss-him-or-kill-him character, fitting in perfectly with Daniel Gillies’ Elijah to blend their stories. Likewise, the original cast are brilliant at representing their characters. Elena struggles without becoming whiney or repetitive, Damon’s a jerk without making you want to switch off, Stefan’s a perfect mixture of good trying to overcome evil…The supporting cast have never let them down either, with my personal favourite being Candice Accola, a.k.a. Caroline, who epitomises the abnormality of the events in Mystic Falls. She’s been like a gauge to measure events by: moving from innocent human to confused victim of Katherine struggling to cope with her new life, she’s demonstrated the place of humans and human emotions within this supernatural drama. Talking of Katherine, Nina Dobrev cannot go unpraised for her doppleganger double-act. She switches between the two without compromising our belief that she’s Elena and Katherine, instead of being Elena as Katherine or vice versa. It was a massive risk having one person in two roles, but Nina Dobrev pulled it off to a fabulous effect.
I’m going to have to stop, because I could literally rave about this show for hours. It’s stunning, it’s effects and plotlines are meticulously thought-out to ensure viewers aren’t cheated or thrown in a direction that didn’t suit the story, and the acting is breathtaking. All that’s left to say is, farewell season two and all your troubles…now, roll on series three.