* Yeah, I know, it's based on a book series. Still, it's lame.
That potential lie in the relationships present aside from the obvious burgeoning teen true love. Yeah, that one. Well, Stefan and Elena are sweet and all. That first meet-cute was kinda awkwardly adorable—Elena coming out of the boy's bathroom (of course, LOL!) to come face to face with the new, mysterious hot guy before starting the side-to-side dance of who's going first.
Then there was the whole not-creepy-at-all! cemetery meet-cute x2. And it was in this scene where I found something to potentially really like in this couple. Elena assuming that Stefan was basically stalking her—no, I mean that wasn't the good. Rather, that as soon as he mentioned his own family was buried there as to why he was visiting, Elena's reaction was good.
She immediately apologized (rather adorably so), showed empathy and was just a lovely person about it. I really liked that. However, *sigh* this Stefan dude… *double sigh* No matter how adorable they are, I'm sorry, but I just can't get on board with this couple yet when clearly Stefan is into her at least in part because of some Katherine chick from 1864 (!) who looks EXACTLY like Elena. (Dead ringer, indeed!)
I mean, come on! And the cemetery was creepy? Here's Stefan pulling out a daguerreotype of this Elena look-alike and staring all moony-eyed. How can I possibly root for Elena—who I already really like—and this guy when he's so not being straight with her?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, he's keeping the whole vampire thing under wraps, but this just seems like a whole other rotten bowl of fish. I don't know. I don't know. It's just the first episode; there could be an explanation. Maybe it wasn't moony-eyed. Just because his brother implied something there doesn't make it so. Obviously, he's not the most reliable of sources. So, yeah, I don't know.
*Triple sigh* They are cute, and I did like their final scene too when he brought her diary back and she opened up to him. Like I said, I like Elena already. It's clear this girl has been through a lot in the last year, and has closed herself off to life, to just living… but Stefan has sparked something in her and that's really sweet. So, yeah, we'll see.
Ah, but what about the ex? Oh, his poor puppy-dog eyes! When Elena gave her little wave to Matt at the lockers and he just looked at her as if his heart was in a million, hundred thousand pieces it was very sad. And while Elena does seem over him, it also seems like she broke up with him because of her parents' death and the grief related to that. So maybe things aren't quite finished there? Obviously, he isn't over her so there could be a triangle in the works. Hmm.…
Or rather a quadrangle… see Caroline. I know I wasn't the only one who caught when Stefan told Caroline that “you and me, it's never gonna happen,” right? And we all know that in writer-speak that's code for eventually it's TOTES gonna happen. And there is no way the show was going to spend all of that time on Caroline sussing out that Stefan information, flirting with Stefan, etc. unless, yeah, it is going to lead somewhere… someday. Stefan and Caroline will be a thing down the road, yes/yes? Take it to the bank.
Speaking of Caroline… man, I love her. She's easily my favorite character after this one episode. That final scene between her and Bonnie was just fabulous (and beautifully acted by Candice Accola—an actress I'm not familiar with at all). The conversation between the two about it not being a competition was just sublime, especially how Caroline tried to explain it to Bonnie. Trying to explain her frustration, how Elena is always the one, while she never is even though she tries so hard, it just broke my heart. It was such a real, genuine moment, and that something that anyone (uhm, everyone?) who has ever had a moment of feeling less than can relate.
And that scene there, highlighting a relationship that was not romantic was part of the potential I was talking about above. Normally in a show like this, I'd expect that Caroline would be the “bad girl,” Elena's bitter rival. Especially since Caroline was first introduced as rather bitchy and shallow. Instead it's obvious in this moment that even though, yes, she is jealous of Elena, but she still is Elena's friend. And it's the just the way things are—and how Caroline always seems to find herself falling behind—that frustrates her the most. But the friendship, that is clearly still there… and clearly there between Caroline and Bonnie. And that was also a bit unexpected when you consider that at the top of the episode Bonnie was first seen in the reassuring best friend role to Elena. So to see her in that role as well with Caroline showed a depth of friendship between the three girls that spanned years.
And it wasn't just between the girls; we also saw the friendship between Matt and his jock-buddy Tyler, and even Bonnie and Matt. Plus, with the interaction between the whole lot of them—including Matt's sister, Vicki and Elena's brother, Jeremy—it realistically built this background of these group of teenagers who have grown up together, some closer than others, but all still a fairly tight-knit group. It was really well done.
And it wasn't just the friendships showcased, we also saw familial bonds on display as well. There was the relationship between “Uncle” Stefan and Zach, Elena and Jeremy, and also the siblings along with their aunt Jenna, Matt and Vicki, not to mention the simmering tension between Stefan and his brother, Damon. So despite the teen romantic drama, The Vampire Diaries still managed to throw in a LOT of family and friendship into the mix. I really appreciate that.
They did that all alongside the teenage romantic stuffies which is impressive. There was the Stefan/Elena stuff, and the potential romantic quadrangle of them and Matt and Caroline—with a dose of Damon worming his way in to spoil things with Caroline. Not to mention young Jeremy who is desperately in love with the older, wilder Vicki who seems oblivious to just how crappily Tyler Lockwood treats her. Dude, he nearly raped her in the woods. No means no, dude. What an asshole.
*sigh* I feel like I should feel more for Vicki than I do. When she told Jeremy that he's worse than Tyler (who almost freaking raped her!) because Jeremy wants to talk to her, get to know her, see into her soul, it was heartbreaking because she clearly thinks so little of herself to think that way. Still, yeah, I just—ugh, I'm sorry, I just don't particularly like the actress (Kayla Ewell); I found her quite unlikable. Sorry, but, yeah. I mean, truthfully, I wouldn't have minded all that much if she had died. Alas, she did not. Ah well, I figured someone had to kick the vampire plot into high gear.
So the wicked brother of Mystic Falls could get things rolling, am I right? Look at Damon Salvatore… popping up all over place. Attacking innocent couples by pretending to be dead in the road, standing all fog-laden and commandeering a crow (?) in the cemetery while spying on Elena, getting his flirty-eye on with Caroline… oh, yes, Damon Salvatore was a busy boy. And then there was his reunion with his brother, Stefan. Now that is not a good relationship, folks. Picking fights, threatening the girl his baby brother has a crush on, making insinuations left and right, stealing his jewelry, making fun of him. Yeah, basically, he was pretty awesome! Who knew Ian Somerhalder had it in him? Yeah, I remember him as Boone from Lost. I liked him as Boone from Lost; but let's get real; this guy, Damon Salvatore? Would have torn Boone to shreds in like five seconds flat because Boone was a spoiled, whiny loser. So, yeah, kudos to Somerhalder—who's still pretty hot by the way, but his hair's a lot darker.
Alrighty then—here's some random thoughts…
- I really liked how they handled the sibling relationship between Elena and Jeremy. I have a brother myself and have experienced the loss of a parent and it's a difficult thing; you can get lost in grief. So seeing how Elena cut Jeremy slack for as long as she could, but then stood firm was realistic. I also liked how she tried to be a hard-ass at school, but then finally just let her heart lead the way and that was the best way to get to him. Their scene at the bonfire after the police had arrived was quite touching.
- On that note, It's a very believable touch that even though their parents died about four months ago, it still matters so deeply to these two. It's still affecting them. (It just seems like most shows wouldn't have people, especially teens, care so much.)
- And on that that note… my goodness, that teacher Tanner is SUCH a dick! Calling out Elena and that he's been lenient due to the death of her parents. Ass!
- Hmm, so vampires can fly in this show's mythology? OK, then.
- I mentioned above that I remember Ian Somerhalder from Lost. I also know a few other actors from soap operas. I vaguely recall Zach Roerig (Matt)—and I mean vaguely--from his days on As The World Turns. But I really remember Paul Wesley (Stefan) from when he was baby Paul Wasilewski on Guiding Light! He played Max when he was in his early teens on that show so when I saw him I was all… ooh! it's Paul Wasilewski, unaware that he'd changed his name and was now Paul Wesley. Ooh!
- The one thing that I didn't like was how they were trying a bit too hard to do the whole teenage slang/talk like teenagers.
So, overall, yeah, it was pretty good. Not great, but it was pretty good. I'm definitely up for watching more.