Binge Guide

Weekly Binge: The Vampire Diaries

We give you what you need to know to dive into the popular shows everyone's talking about.

by | December 19, 2013 | Comments

Welcome to the Weekly Binge, where we’ll be taking a closer look at the shows that are worth your time. This week, we move a little north of Treme‘s New Orleans to the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia for the supernatural drama The Vampire Diaries.

 

The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries

What’s the premise? A teenage girl gets entangled in a supernatural love triangle with two brothers who happen to be vampires.

What’s it like? Kevin Williamson, creator of Dawson’s Creek, and Julie Plec adapted The Vampire Diaries from the book series of the same name, mixing supernatural elements with the drama and teen angst of Creek. Think of it as a much better written Twilight — in all facets — but with the thrills and WTFs of True Blood, albeit a PG-13 version.

Where can I see it? Season six begins Thursday, October 2 at 8pm. New episodes are avilable the next day on cwtv.com, iTunes, Vudu and Amazon, all of which also have past seasons. Seasons one through four are also available for Netflix subscribers.

How long will it take? With five seasons accumulating 111 episodes at around 42-44 minutes a pop, it would take a good few weeks if you’re trying to cram it in — which you will, because it’s addictive! More realistically, it will probably take a few months to get through if you exert some self control and only watch a couple a day.

What do the critics think? All five seasons are Fresh on the Tomatometer, and most of the critics agree that The Vampire Diaries provides better-than-average shockers and twists. Hal Boedeker of the Orlando Sentinel says, “The Vampire Diaries offered the most memorable cliffhanger of any series last season. The season premiere builds thrillingly on that shocker,” while Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly claims, “The second-season premiere of The Vampire Diaries proves once again why this series is one of prime time’s more cleverly constructed, well-acted nighttime soap operas.”

Why should I watch this? Forget everything you know about recent vampire franchises because they simply don’t compare to this one. You can tell the writers are truly passionate for good storytelling, as they’ve gone above and beyond to make this CW’s top show since its series premiere. Even if the CW isn’t your thing, look beyond the network’s stereotypes and give this show a shot. It may offer some familiar supernatural entities — witches and werewolves make appearances, too — but there are also doppelgangers, which weren’t in Twilight and were never seen in True Blood, making this a cut above the rest. To be completely honest, the first three episodes are a bit slow — you know, they gotta do all the set up and whatnot — but if you stick around until the end of episode three, you won’t be sorry! The twists will leave you thirsty for more.

What’s my next step? The show is based on the book series of the same name written by L.J. Smith, first published in 1991; the three original novels came out between 1991 and 1992. Smith then took a long hiatus until February 2009 when she started the next trilogy — The Return trilogy — for the series. Since then, two more trilogies have been written; while the third was penned by a ghost writer, the current and fourth trilogy is written by Aubrey Clark, and the most recent book came out May 6, 2014. In other words, there’s plenty of source material for you sink your teeth into. If you’re into supernatural teen thrillers, you may also like The Lost Boys, The Craft and, of course, The Twilight Saga films, while films like Interview with the Vampire and Bram Stoker’s Dracula may provide the necessary fix for more adult-themed bloodsucker fare. As for TV shows, there’s True Blood as mentioned above, as well as Supernatural or the television teen classic, Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. And lastly, you may also want to check out the Vampire Diaries spinoff series that debuted last season, The Originals.

What do you like about The Vampire Diaries? How would you explain it to a newbie? Get in on the conversation here.


Tag Cloud

dramedy Fantasy YA transformers Awards USA Freeform TruTV GIFs MSNBC Netflix TBS GoT Red Carpet period drama medical drama Biopics aliens ITV ABC CMT binge American Society of Cinematographers Spike Best and Worst Bravo Syfy Countdown Fox News boxoffice adventure DC Universe Food Network Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TCA See It Skip It First Look Reality Competition Reality TIFF Superheroes cats serial killer Star Wars Opinion Esquire supernatural FOX political drama IFC Showtime HBO cinemax USA Network Spring TV Warner Bros. 2016 Pop Crackle The Arrangement Marvel sports Nominations 2015 Schedule SundanceTV Mary Tyler Moore CBS TNT discovery golden globes Infographic Action Sneak Peek X-Men crime Marathons Comedy Central Polls and Games VH1 Universal TCM Tomatazos zombie Fall TV Musical war Super Bowl Paramount LGBTQ Country Rocky OWN Musicals Trailer Ellie Kemper APB Lionsgate CBS All Access talk show politics Cosplay TV Sundance Now Extras TV Land DC Comics Animation Set visit crime thriller History Winners Holidays Cartoon Network SDCC Music Amazon diversity Horror Disney BBC America Video Games FX Acorn TV WGN Box Office Oscars Hulu dc ratings Drama ABC Family BBC Logo President Martial Arts Nat Geo 2017 Grammys science fiction docudrama Teen PBS Rock justice league Trivia psycho harry potter Mystery spy thriller MTV NBC Comedy Calendar NYCC Britbox 21st Century Fox Valentine's Day Christmas Disney Channel cops FXX Ghostbusters A&E what to watch singing competition crime drama Western Election Certified Fresh Writers Guild of America E! Tumblr Premiere Dates 45 Nickelodeon Kids & Family Sci-Fi E3 vampires Emmys BET Pixar Mindy Kaling Paramount Network Summer Comic Book VICE technology romance ESPN based on movie Sundance Adult Swim Photos social media travel Masterpiece Star Trek GLAAD Rom-Com Character Guide Starz biography DirecTV Watching Series Podcast Winter TV dceu TCA 2017 CNN Lifetime Creative Arts Emmys RT History composers TLC Dark Horse Comics Toys 007 The CW Interview historical drama comiccon thriller sitcom El Rey police drama 24 frames Year in Review Thanksgiving Pirates PaleyFest AMC cooking