THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: Friday Night Bites - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


September 25, 2009 by  

You know, I’m kind of loving this show. I feel a little bad about it because I’m definitely not a teenager anymore, but then I also have no shame so I don’t feel THAT bad. I’ve been excited for it to come back on all week—it’s basically the fall equivalent of summer beach reading, and who doesn’t love that?

I continue to love Stefan, but once again, Damon (and more to the point, Ian Somerhalder) stole the show. And while I thank the editors for the shirtless Damon sleeping shot, it was more the subtleties of the character that drew me in this week. There has been some discussion over the past few weeks about the dialogue being uneven and sometimes a little cheesy.  There are many who find  it all a bit on the hammy side, which I can see, but I feel like this week eased those concerns for me, at least when it comes to Damon.

I had been hearing a bit about how the Stefan, Elena, Damon connection was going to form into a love triangle of sorts, but I wasn’t seeing how it was going to come together.  I just wasn’t feeling it between Elena and Damon in either direction.  I thought maybe we’d see Damon tricking Elena into a false romance for his own evil entertainment, but then again I really didn’t the show was going to go there.  But with no real connection between Elena and Damon, what was going to be the catalyst to draw these two together.

But then this week happened.  The turning point came when Elena shared her condolences for Damon with regards to the loss of Katherine.  Not one to usually receive human sympathy, Damon looked genuinely shocked. And it was SUCH a great moment of acting—I REALLY bought it. That look, coupled with Stefan’s accusation that Damon was torturing Stefan because big brother too loved Katherine really gave us some important insight into Damon. But none more so than the sweet (or was it evil) way Damon stroked a sleeping Elena’s cheek. But if Damon’s really feeling for something for Elena, it’s not going to be easy to win her over.  Although, that slap in the parking lot was pretty major – the thin line between love and hate?

Damon is nothing if not emotional. Damon killing the history teacher in such a vicious, arbitrary way was a defense mechanism to prove to Stefan (but more to himself) that he wasn’t susceptible to human emotions.  But we all knew what was going on beneath the surface and I for one am glad that we’re FINALLY starting to get to see some cracks in the Damon façade.

Speaking of him killing the teacher, though—seriously, what now? He was only one of two adults on the whole show (if Aunt Jenna counts as an adult), and now he’s dead. It’s so weird—no one has parents and their school only has one teacher (and one football coach? Really?) and kids drink out in the open at pep rallies. I mean, maybe I’m just getting old but aren’t you at least supposed to go have a party in the middle of a field where your parents can’t find you, or get drunk in someone’s basement or something? Have sex in the backseat of a car, as opposed to in your own room with SCREAMING involved, Carolyn? I mean, help me out here, teenagers! Am I really that behind the times?

And there’s also some weird “rape” themes with this show that I’m not especially a fan of, although I suppose it does give it that darker edge that I think they’re going for. The whole Damon and Carolyn interaction, where he’s basically compelling her so he can do whatever he wants to her, is gross. Stefan said so, but I think maybe not strongly enough. That is seriously messed up. And Vickie still liking Tyler after that whole episode in the woods … I mean, WTF? I know that she’s switching over to Team Jeremy but you have got to get real. And why wasn’t Matt more upset with Tyler about that? If someone claims that your friend tried to rape your sister, would you just let that one drop? COME ON! I don’t know if the show thinks that because this crap is being pulled by the so-called “bad guys” that it’s clear that it’s completely unacceptable, but I think they could be a little harsher on this point, actually. Especially since both of the ones doing the raping or quasi-raping or attempted raping (however you want to call it) are super hot. It could potentially be easy to glorify it, however unintentionally.

Oh, and on the topic of weird sex, how crazy was that dream Elena had? I was watching this like, whoa, that is hot kissing, and then I’m like, ARE WE GETTING TEENAGE VAMPIRE SEX ALREADY??? But then Stefan turned into Damon. Whoa!  That paired with Elena’s scream was a really cool moment.  I had NO idea what was happening, whether Damon had compelled her into thinking he was Stefan or what, but then she woke up and we saw the crow and it all made sense. But it was pretty intense there for a second.

Interestingly, almost all of the other characters continued to grow on me. I would’ve thought there’d be one I’d have started hating by now, but not so. The one that I’m iffiest on is Bonnie, and it’s at least partially because her lower jaw seems to do something weird, or maybe she just has some kind of underbite, but it distracts me and I’m kind of bored with just seeing her make a freaked out face. I don’t really have anything AGAINST her, I just want her to be more interesting.

Carolyn continues to be more and more awesome, though. I love her as a frienemy and a kind of closeted Mean Girl. She and Damon are a glorious pairing and I loved the insight she provided into pre-orphan Elena. And again, I think the show is doing a decent job of showing-not-telling on a lot of these backstories.

I’m late to the party, but I am jumping on the Matt train. He’s just too cute, and too nice, and well … let’s face it, I was also on Team Jacob so it makes sense (but to be clear, I don’t want Elena to choose him over Stefan, at least not at this point).  I kind of want him and Stefan to be friends, although … AWKWARD! But his little chat with Jeremy about Vickie making him work for it was the sweetest thing ever (even though Jeremy ruined it by being a turd), and he just seemed a little less “hurt puppy” this week, which I liked. We need to get Matt moving on with his life and with a fun girl!

Speaking of Jeremy, I finally saw the Jeremy hotness that everyone has been going on about for the first time this week. And with Vickie coming around, I think we might get to see some Happy Jeremy in the near future.

And finally, the vamp himself, Stefan. Was anyone else totally turned on by him remembering the dates? I can’t help it, I like ‘em smart! I thought the “we’re a work in progress” line was a little much (it made me barf and it totally had a cheddar aftertaste), but the forehead bump was cute enough that I forgive it. And her watching him play football … it’s such a high school cliché but who even cares? If I had a boyfriend that played football in high school, I would’ve been totally into it too. And did you guys see the cute little looks across the bonfire? LOVED that. I know everyone doesn’t agree, but I do get the chemistry between those two, big time.

I like that they’re having Stefan actually participate in high school instead of just being crazy obsessed with one girl (Edward), and that he does actually like football instead of sitting around playing classics on his piano (Edward).

The cut hand was a nice touch. We learned a little bit more about TVD’s vampires.  Stefan can injure himself but he heals super fast (same with the broken finger), and it planted some seeds for Elena. When is she going to find out that he’s a vampire?!?! Every single episode makes me more tempted to read the books.

I liked how he was the only one writing in the journal this week. I really don’t mind the diary entries (since it does make sense, given that it’s … The Vampire DIARIES), but cutting back and forth between them writing the exact same things was a little much, so this was a nice toning down without losing the entire concept.

It was sweet to see how much Stefan wants to protect Elena from Damon.  But he knows the power of his brother.  Knowing he can’t be around all the time, he gave her that charmed necklace which gave him a way  to protect her without smothering her.   I know the necklace made her immune to Damon’s compulsion, but I wonder if it also weakened him a bit since he seemed to feel it when she slapped him. That would be cool.

So I was pondering before I started writing this whether it was a bad thing that I’m always comparing this show to something else. But just keepin’ it real, if you’re going to do a show about vampires in the middle of a huge vampire trend and on top of that bring in the Dawson’s Creek dude? You’re kind of asking for comparisons to be made. I’m just sayin’.

Anyway, Billy and I were discussing this show after it aired, and I asked him what he thought. Being a boy (and not as into vampires as I am right now), he’s a little less emotionally involved than I am, and he said, “Yeah, it was pretty good but it’s just one of those shows where I know how it’s going to go for the next seven seasons, you know?” And I DO know … or at least FEEL like I know, which is sort of the same thing at this point. And while I was rolling that around in my head, he went on to say, “More than anything, I feel like it’s Smallville.”

WHAT! Wow. That is SCARY accurate. It’s even in Smallville’s old time slot, which is blowing my mind right now too. Think about it—a good guy (Stefan/Clark) and a bad guy (Damon/Lex), who have brother or pseudo-brother relationships, battling it out for the cute brunette (Elena/Lana). We have the lovelorn friend (Matt/Chloe), a potential power-weakening element (necklace/Kryptonite), AND the hiding of super powers, all while taking place in a high school. Crazy! On the other hand, this show definitely feels darker, and it isn’t following a monster-of-the-week format like Smallville did, especially in its earlier seasons. Elena is fine with me, unlike that stupid Lana. And Stefan isn’t whiney like Clark. So I guess what I’m getting at is that yes, there are definite structural similarities, but while I love Smallville (I do! I swear! I just yell at it a lot, which is kind of my M.O.), I think this is a better-done show.

Please tell me you are all loving THE VAMPIRE DIARIES as much as I am?

SB has many interests, including photography, her pets, entertainment, traveling and writing. She does have a day job, but that mostly amounts to her being a sarcastic young woman with a lot of time on her hands, which is why she appreciates the opportunity to recap.


11 Responses to “THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: Friday Night Bites”

  1. spacyz on September 25th, 2009 6:27 pm

    Thanks for the great review. I loved this episode. I enjoyed the pilot but wasn’t really excited by last week’s episode. This one totally brought me into the show and confirmed it on my must watch list. Between this and Supernatural afterwards, I love Thursday nights. I have to have two DVRs going though to record all of the other shows that I miss. Why does everything have to be on Thursdays?

    I was with you about Damon and not knowing how this was going to turn into a love triangle, but at least we saw glimpses of it this week. It is still difficult to understand how he is going to appeal to Elena at all if she finds out what he has done so far while in town.

  2. Hilary on September 25th, 2009 8:06 pm

    Let me say, that your reviews plus the show are making me want to read the books to. I actually tried to read the first one a couple years ago and couldn’t get into it very much, so the first two have been sitting on my shelf for a couple years. Now I’m thinking of actually TRYING this time. Well, when I go back home in a couple months (stupid college).

    Stefan, seriously, I think he’s great. I really do. Elena is also awesome. And you are right to be iffy with Bonnie. From what I remember of the books, she broke up with Elena to form her own popular clique thing. I have to hate her on principle.

  3. Kelly on September 25th, 2009 9:10 pm

    I think it says a lot for this show that it has held onto one of the two Thursday at 8 pm slots on my DVR (considering I watch the shows on all 5 networks during that time slot). This ep for me was the best of the bunch so far — much more even in style, tone, and dialogue. And thankfully this ep had me coming around a little on the Damon front. I still don’t love him, but I can see definite glimmers of hope there. I’m definitely becoming more intrigued about his and Stefan’s backstory. How did Damon and Stefan become vampires? What prompted Stefan to go all Cullen while Damon tries to deny any inner humanity? Was Katherine in their lives before they were vampires? How exactly does vampirism spread in this mythology? What exactly about Elena so calls to Stefan and Damon? What (or who) was responsible for Katherine’s death? I’m an impatient person, so I’ve been tempted to go read all the books to learn these things, but I think I’m going to stick it out and just let the show reveal the answers. I think they’ve done a great job with the exposition; it hasn’t been at all clunky and the writers are slowly doling out tidbits of info, such as how vampires can be injured but heal quickly.

    I was glad to see that Stefan and Elena weren’t hopping into bed immediately, like the previews made it look. I was thinking how abrupt it was to go from one sweet kiss in the last episode into full-on bed wrestling (sans shirts), when it was revealed to be a dream. That crow is definitely creepy!

    I wasn’t at all sad to see horrible Mr. Tanner get offed, but seriously, no adults at all now? I also take issue with the bonfire happening before the big game. No way would it have been that dark before a high school football game so early in the fall, especially when football players take forever to get ready and warm up before a game. But I suppose I can let one little blatant inaccuracy slide. 🙂

    What I can’t let go is everyone’s reaction to Tyler-the-wannabe-date-rapist. I’m assuming that Vicky remembers what happened in the woods prior to when Damon attacked her? I get the girl has low self-esteem and receives all her affirmation from guys, but I just wanted to shake some sense into her. Also, I can’t remember if Matt is aware of what happened between Tyler and Vicky. If he is, then how in the world can he still be friends with Tyler, considering how protective he is of his sister? At least he got off his duff this week and said something to Tyler. I so want Matt to be more than just Elena’s sad ex-boyfriend and Vicky’s protective brother.

    I also think that SOMEBODY (besides Stefan) would notice that suddenly Caroline is rocking scarves 24/7. Her polka dot scarf didn’t at all go with her outfit at cheerleading practice — that alone should have tipped someone off. 🙂

    My single favorite moment of the episode came at the end, when Stefan and Elena were talking about the attack on Mr. Tanner. It was incredibly sweet to me that instead of kissing they just shared an extended hug. I guess I’m just a giant softie.

    I’m very, very intrigued by this show. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen with Elena, Stefan, and Damon. It can’t be long before Elena figures out what’s up. She’s a perceptive girl (as evidenced by her reaction to Stefan’s hand), and she also seems to see right through Damon. I know it was the herb in the necklace that allowed her to resist his compulsion, but she still picked up on how everything Damon said had a double meaning. THAT couldn’t have been all the necklace. I’m so excited for the next ep!

  4. Kelly on September 25th, 2009 9:12 pm

    Wow, I just realized that my comments are always novels. 🙂

  5. Kimber on September 25th, 2009 9:18 pm

    Ok, it’s official. The Vampire Diaries has secured a nice, cushy spot in my weekly watching. I wasn’t overly convinced two weeks ago, and last week only made me a smidgen more sure. But now … oh, yeah. Doesn’t hurt that I slept through last night’s episode (blame the head-cold, not my disinterest!), and actually was UPSET about it all day today! Luckily MuchMusic, our Canadian music channel, is airing TVD on Fridays, so I caught it tonight and was relieved.

    You made some great points, including the rape(s). The Carolyn/Damon thing is a bit creepy, but she seemed to willingly give into the sex at first, right? I assumed the sex was continuing to be consensual, just that Damon was using his mindwiggy to compel her to wear scarves, and fashionable neck wraps, and just never be able to take them off. The bit from the woods with Tyler and Vicki is a bit sick, though. I guess it could be seen as a flaw on her part, or perhaps falling into the pattern of an abused girlfriend (emotionally) who goes back to her abuser because she can’t leave.

    I’m still enjoying Damon and his badassness, but my crush is growing on Matt, too. Such a sweetie. You’ll be proud, I totally IMDB’d the actor, Matt Roerig (as I’ve been doing a lot lately!), and I’ve only got 5 years on him! That doesn’t make me a cougar yet, right??

  6. Kimber on September 25th, 2009 9:20 pm

    Oh, and a “P.S.” … I’m blaming the Vampire Diaries for the fact that this week I visited my local library, took out Twilight, read it in one night, and am planning on watching the movie tomorrow. Damn you, TVD!

  7. Jane on September 25th, 2009 11:11 pm

    I was iffy about this show, but this episode showed that vampires are capable of looking broody without the brooding all the time and doesn’t have to act like they are trapped in the time they were “youths” and Elena is actually kinda sharp in seeing through Damon’s verbal manipulations as such which the same it also seems to connect her to Damon somehow. I was thinking Smallville as soon as Stefen caught the football. I think the characters in this show are more 3 dimensional than Smallville even though its just been three episodes and Smallville has been on for years.

    Best episode so far and it would be great if they kept improving.

  8. Alison on September 27th, 2009 9:27 pm

    I’m really liking this show. It’s a billion times better than Twilight, I think. So, I’m 16 and I wanted to address the whole drinking and sex thing. In my school, if kids had alcohol out in the open like that, they would be suspended, or worse, in a heartbeat. They would definitely have a party at a house when parents aren’t home or like you said somewhere empty like a field. Also, even though I have no experience haha, I’m pretty sure nobody actually has sex in their rooms lol, I mean usually actual parents would be home haha. Overall, I don’t find that many flaws in it and I’m really enjoying it. I’m excited for next week!

  9. Em on September 27th, 2009 10:14 pm

    I am definitely enjoying the show much more than I should for an almost 30 year old. 🙂
    I love all of your recaps SB, they are my favorites. It’s like you’re reading my mind. And I love that you put so much of your own opinion into them and don’t just tell us what happened in the episode and leave it at that. Thanks!

  10. MissEm on September 28th, 2009 1:09 am

    Thanks for a great review! We are still waiting for the premiere of this in Australia but it starts tonight on Ch 99 and I can’t wait!!!!

  11. camgirl on September 28th, 2009 3:30 am

    I too am enjoying this series- I know that people like to make Twilight comparisons, and i’ll say that it’s more interesting for me to watch (as a 30-something) than Twilight, which was campy funny to me, in its earnestness.

    I was picking up on this show and Melrose place for my cw additions. i feel like i’ll stick to following Vampire Diaries, and i may be dropping Melrose if my tv schedule starts feeling too heavy, which it is now that all the premieres have begun.

    I utterly adore Elena the actress- she attractive and vulnerable. she totally looks like and sounds like she could be Sloan’s little sister from Entourage (Emanuelle C).
    Stefan is a good actor, but it’s unconvincing that he’s a high-schooler, even tho he’s an ageless vampire. He and Damon definitely appear to be mid to late 20’s.