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

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