A sexy blonde, a boring vamp and his bad-ass brother MADE this initial teen series until it was plundered by an acid trip that ended in dullsville.
I The Awakening, II The Struggle and III The Fury
The original vampires in this series were pretty badass. They were actually human during the Renaissance, making them several hundred years older than the boys on your television. "Powers" were obtained by drinking human blood and the real Damon could actually shape-shift, control minds and do pretty much anything else someone with that many mad skills would want to do. Stefan however, chooses to piss and moan about the misfortune of immortality, mind control and kicking ass. He moved to Fell's Church to start a new life as a "normal" high school student and only uses what limited "Powers" he has (because he only gently feeds on itty bitty bunny rabbits) when he thinks it is absolutely necessary. Because, ya know, if you have eternity yawning before you of course you'd want to spend it in fucking high school.
Elena was a gorgeous blonde with healthy sexual appetite. When Stefan initially gives her the brush off seemingly for Caroline, she gets her psycho-bitch on and declares "I'm going to have him. I don't know how yet, but I am," before taking a freakin' blood vow with her two best friends Meredith and Bonnie to do "Whatever Elena asks in relation to Stefan". This is all before she even knows he is a vampire.
Damon and Stefan battle for the love of Elena, an all too familiar tale for the brothers as the same triangle with the mysterious Katherine is what lead their vampire status in the first place. A vampiric transformation, werewolves, hunters, lingering deaths and a hidden Big Bad rounded out the story.
IV: Dark Reunion
Things do start getting a little trippy here, but nothing like the crystal meth meltdown that awaits us in The Return. Mix up a bigger Bid Bad with a quart of melancholy then chuck in a few ghostly returns, including two entire un-dead Union and Confederate Army regiments and you have a fairly edible dessert to finish off the series.
Or so we thought...
We are fairly certain that there are copious amounts of LSD associated with this book, and not the Mickey Mouse street tabs from days of yore, we are talking straight from the lab pure madness. This is the gist of it:
ACT ONE: ELENA: Hm...how odd that I can see some sort of strange bug-like parasite growing inside Damon's body.
ACT TWO: ELENA: Damon is acting so strangely. I wonder what could be going on?
ACT THREE: ELENA: That parasite is relevant! I guess I didn't need 586 fucking pages after all.
Even if you forget about the fact that the voice of most of the characters is completely different and that the actual plot is meandering and pointless, you still have an insane amount of crap to contend with. Lame plot devices like keys that open doors into whatever you see in your minds eye and wings that sprout from nowhere. Terrible dialogue and preachy overreacting to normal statements that inspire group hugs reminiscent of every Full House episode EVER. Add in archaic statements about needing a husband when pregnant, weird incestuous demon twins and not to mention that Elena has evolved into some weird naked hippie who makes out with all her friends--okay so that's the one bright spot--but you see what we mean. If not, go ahead and read it but don't say we didn't fucking warn you.
Elena is a self-assured, fully capable gorgeous blonde with a hot ass. This girl knows what she wants and finds a way to get it, no matter what hits the fucking fan.
The real Mary Jane in the series. Stefan never evolves past being the neoclassical "Woe is me, I'm so tortured" Angel/Edward/Bill type of vampire. Even when the series takes an acid trip through hell in 'The Return' and takes root in the heart of the beast we know as 'theCW" he stays pretty much the same. Whiny, useless and completely self-righteous. We can never understand why Elena wants to spend eternity sopping up his tears when she could rule the night with Damon.
Stefan's standard pose.
Damon is as awesome as it gets in this series. The perfect combination of power, ruthlessness and mischievousness, he was neither an out of control killing machine, nor a whining, pitiful excuse for a creature of the night. He fed plenty, used his powers freely and killed only when necessary.
Don't mess with Texas--or Damon.
We understand that a lot must change from book to script. It is inevitable that certain themes may be outdated, names may be copyrighted and that some shit just sucks so much ass in the first place that you leave it out all together. That's all cool.
However; when you fuck with something so much that it alters everything that made the original story appealing or well, original, then you may as well have not bothered at all.
For the record:
Who knows where the show is going to lead us next? They have already completely fucked over the plot, made Damon irredeemable and somehow manage to make vampires less exciting than the Cullens. We guess with all things considered, who cares?
If only the show itself was half as hot as this promo shot.