Jump to content

Vampire Mythology: TVD vs. Other Vampire Tales


  • Please log in to reply

977 replies to this topic

#1

Trini Girl

Trini Girl

    Stalker

Posted Sep 8, 2009 @ 9:56 PM

Because you know That Other Story About A Teenage Girl In Love With A Vampire will come up eventually.
  • 0

#2

good spellar

good spellar

    Video Archivist

Posted Sep 11, 2009 @ 10:43 AM

Well personally, as a 27 year old female, I found Twilight to be boring, misogynistic and more than a little offensive. VD, based on the pilot, I just found to be a little boring. Its one saving grace so far is IS, who has oodles of charisma, something sorely lacking from the Twilight characters. I do think VD has more potential, merely because it's a TV show and they have a lot more scope to flesh out characters and change what doesn't work. And people who cry ripoff are conveniently forgetting that VD was around in the early nineties and Twilight wasn't written til the noughties. If any ripping off went on, it was the other way around.

Speaking of ripping off - what this show and those films and even True Blood have done is take the well trodden path that Buffy carved out. And none of them have done it as well as BtVS in my opinion. I guess it really was ahead of it's time. Not only did it kickstart the fad of super strong females and pop culture referencing teen-speak but it also gave rise to a whole new fad of vamp lovin.

For me it goes BtVS >>>>>> TB > VD >>>>> Twilight.
  • 0

#3

politikgirl

politikgirl

    Couch Potato

Posted Sep 11, 2009 @ 12:00 PM

I found Vampire Diaries just as bad as Twilight, and I hated Twilight. I find them both angsty in a bad way, the plotlines are contrived and silly and the actors pretty unspectacular. However, I found the production values higher on VD than Twilight (because Twilight looked like it was filmed in my parent's basement) but found the chemistry between the actors on Twilight better than VD, so they're pretty equal(ly bad) in my opinion.
  • 0

#4

Eponah

Eponah

    Fanatic

Posted Sep 11, 2009 @ 12:43 PM

Gotta agree that Buffy is the example to which all other vamp stories have to measure up and so far, its just "eh." I'll probably watch VD again next week, but unless there's something compelling in the story, Flash Forward will likely take its place on my DVR (while I watch Survivor) and I'll just pull out the Buffy DVDs when I want to watch a good vamp show. Do gotta love IS as a bad guy.
  • 0

#5

Roll the dice

Roll the dice

    Couch Potato

Posted Sep 11, 2009 @ 1:47 PM

Speaking of ripping off - what this show and those films and even True Blood have done is take the well trodden path that Buffy carved out. And none of them have done it as well as BtVS in my opinion. I guess it really was ahead of it's time. Not only did it kickstart the fad of super strong females and pop culture referencing teen-speak but it also gave rise to a whole new fad of vamp lovin.


I think it would be interesting to have a vampire show where the protagonist is actually a male evil vampire, it would be any interesting twist on the genre. I mean, Buffy, god love her, was a human in love with a vampire; same to Bella and Elena; and Sookie (I am assuming as I have never watched True Blood). And Angel was a good vampire when he had his own show.

I want the main character to be a vampire who doesn't really care about humans but just likes to reek destruction. Maybe it is just because I want IS to be the main character, evil as he may be, with everything else surrounding him. Characters that are evil seem like they are more fun to watch and more engaging because they are able to do things that we would never thing of.
  • 0

#6

bookwrm74

bookwrm74

    Stalker

Posted Sep 11, 2009 @ 2:16 PM

I want the main character to be a vampire who doesn't really care about humans but just likes to reek destruction. Maybe it is just because I want IS to be the main character, evil as he may be, with everything else surrounding him. Characters that are evil seem like they are more fun to watch and more engaging because they are able to do things that we would never thing of.


Amen! This trend of angst-ridden, brooding, schmoopy in-looooove-with-humans vampires can't disappear soon enough for me. I'm the first to admit that my beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer was among the first shows guilty of 'schmoop-ifying' its vampires, but at least 1) the characterizations on that show were still mostly compelling anyway and 2) back then, this hadn't been done and done and done so often that it made me want to bang my head against the nearest wall!

What I loved best about Buffy, though, was its sense of warmth and humor and joy and hope. It was...*gasp*...fun and entertaining! By contrast, Vampire Diaries and Twilight are both such self-serious, charmless, lifeless products to me. For me, there's nothing worse than shows that strive so very hard to be 'dark' and heavy and important yet end up pretentious bores instead.

However, I do totally agree that Twilight is outright offensive to women, while so far Vampire Diaries just seems more like something they should market as a sleep aid. Also, I will say that Vampire Diaries' Elena, while utterly meh and forgettable to me, didn't actively want to make me poke my eyes out the way Sookie from True Blood and Bella from Twilight did... damning with faint praise seems to be the best I can do with poor VD!

Edited by bookwrm74, Sep 11, 2009 @ 2:18 PM.

  • 0

#7

Bitterswete

Bitterswete

    Stalker

Posted Sep 11, 2009 @ 3:12 PM

I want the main character to be a vampire who doesn't really care about humans but just likes to reek destruction. Maybe it is just because I want IS to be the main character, evil as he may be, with everything else surrounding him. Characters that are evil seem like they are more fun to watch and more engaging because they are able to do things that we would never thing of.


A series called Blood Ties (also based on a series of novels) had a vampire antagonist who actually loved being a vampire. He loved all of the powers it gave him, and all the things he could do, and seemed to feel humans were kind of...limited compared to him. He wasn't evil, since he didn't kill. (He could feed on humans without "going all the way," then make them fuzzy about what happened.) Although he had killed in the past, he wasn't all that angst-ridden over it.

Henry was proof that a vampire could be non-evil but still fun. And after Angel (who I did love), and all the broody, angsty vamps that followed, he was a refreshing change. Too bad that show only lasted a season.

Edited by Bitterswete, Sep 11, 2009 @ 3:13 PM.

  • 0

#8

good spellar

good spellar

    Video Archivist

Posted Sep 11, 2009 @ 7:06 PM

The only thing about having a main character that is evil is that TV shows have to moralise. They have to have a base character that is at least aware of the horror they inflict. Lestat was a vampire that adored being what he was and relished in it to an extent and most of the time did incredibly cruel, malicious things to people and his fellow vampires. But he also had moments of doubt and reflection. The main character is supposed to be the audiences POV, or at least the audiences' gateway to the world. There can't be an outright evil main character with no cares or morals. Especially on American television. Literature is more open minded thank god but even then (as with Lestat) moralising creeps in at one point.

Yes, Buffy focused on fun and entertainment as much as being dark and angsty. It was a perfectly balanced show. And unlike these new vampire shows, it didn't always take itself so fucking seriously. It was self-aware. Something Twilight and VD could severely do with. True Blood is better at it but they also have an extremely unhealthy major ship that is celebrated on the show when it should be declared as what it is - a male-dominated abusive relationship. At least when Buffy got herself in those, the show went out of its way to show it for what it was - both BA and SB at times. Twilight and TB seem to think it's OK for a woman to give up everything that she is and has so long as there's a guy at the end of it, whilst he gives up nothing. Buffy was much more equal and it was fairer to both sexes IMO. Let's hope VD doesn't follow the new formula and sticks closer to the mother shows' ideas of love.
  • 0

#9

minneapple

minneapple

    Stalker

Posted Sep 11, 2009 @ 8:22 PM

I don't know if shows necessarily need to moralize, but in terms of television they do need a protagonist that the audience can cheer for, or identify with, or at the very least not want dead. A vampire who just wants to wreak havoc may sound like fun, but at some point your protagonist needs to grow, or develop, or something. Care for something. Find a shade of grey somewhere. And you have to do it fast or the audience won't care and suddenly your show is canceled before November sweeps rolls around.

As a twist on the genre, I wouldn't mind seeing a female vampire paired with a male human. Enough with the centuries-old guy/teenage girl bit.
  • 0

#10

liveinhead

liveinhead

    Channel Surfer

Posted Sep 11, 2009 @ 10:23 PM

minneapple if you want a awesome girl vampire and boy human story check out Let the Right One In a Swedish film. It's the anti-twilight and now the anti-vampire diaries movie. She does kill to live, but her brooding is a heck of a lot more realistic and easier to deal with. Here's the trailer.
  • 0

#11

Luaugirl

Luaugirl

    Video Archivist

Posted Sep 12, 2009 @ 12:11 AM

"Let The Right One In" looks interesting. Glad to hear the Buffy love. Sarah Michelle was excellent. So was all the character development including that of badvampboy Spike. She seemed more adult, mature and focused than the current crop of whiny weepers. It had a lot to do with her being the Slayer, of course. BTVS had so much wit and humor that is missing from the new shows. High school was lthe Hellmouth for many.

True Blood can be funny. I hadn't seen Bill and Sookie in the same light as "Good Spellar". It's true that the genre norm has hundreds year old dead guys going after teenage or slightly older girls. Ick. Sounds like Hugh Hefner.

The cute new dead boys playing good vamp/bad vamp with the unsuspecting townsfolk may work out on Vampire Diaries. Since it's on basic cable, it's a lot less graphic than True Blood.

Edited by Luaugirl, Sep 12, 2009 @ 12:19 AM.

  • 0

#12

bluwater

bluwater

    Fanatic

Posted Sep 12, 2009 @ 3:00 PM

I love Moonlight, which lasted only one season (16 episodes) on CBS in 2007-2008. You had a vampire (Mick St. John) who definitely hated what he was and wanted to be human again, but he wasn't annoying like Edward from Twilight. The show had quite a few vampires who liked being vamps. Josef, Mick's best friend, reveled in it.

True Blood definitely has the humour and gore. Although, to me, Sookie and Bill are boring together. Thank goodness for Eric.

I've not read the VD books, but I'm wondering if Stefan will become this protector of Elena from Damon. That's the outline a lot of the latest vampire books/movies/TV shows seem to be following.
  • 0

#13

Wolfie65

Wolfie65

    Couch Potato

Posted Sep 14, 2009 @ 9:22 AM

Interesting that someone would bring up a Swedish movie....
American TV shows (and movies) need to moralize, because American audiences tend to have a VERY hard time with ambiguity, gray areas and lead characters who aren't pure as the wind-driven snow (and HOT, of course....).
I'm not saying the lead Vampire should necessarily be evil.
A cat isn't 'evil' because it kills a mouse in order to eat.
It's just the way survival works.

As an aside, I can recommend a very good series of Werewolf movies from Canada, starting with Ginger Snaps.
A fresh and mostly un-moralizing take on that theme.
  • 0

#14

Bitterswete

Bitterswete

    Stalker

Posted Sep 14, 2009 @ 10:35 AM

American TV shows (and movies) need to moralize, because American audiences tend to have a VERY hard time with ambiguity, gray areas and lead characters who aren't pure as the wind-driven snow


I don't think you can generalize in that way. I know plenty of people (myself included) who love characters who are gray and don't always do the right think. In fact, the gray is what makes characters interesting to me.

For example, the Anne Rice novels have been popular for a long time. In those novels, the vamps do kill when they feed, but aren't really considered evil for it. And the vamp who has the least remorse about it is the most popular character in the series. (And the first movie based on the series.)

Heck, the antagonists and villains in most shows/movies/books often become the most popular characters. So, again, I don't think you can generalize.

I'm not saying the lead Vampire should necessarily be evil.
A cat isn't 'evil' because it kills a mouse in order to eat.
It's just the way survival works.


If a lion was out there killing people, the argument that they were just doing what lions do wouldn't stop me from wanting to see them taken down.

That doesn't mean I can't enjoy or sympathize with a vamp character that kills to feed. But I think it's okay for me not to think it's a good thing without being considered a stick in the mud.

As an aside, I can recommend a very good series of Werewolf movies from Canada, starting with Ginger Snaps.
A fresh and mostly un-moralizing take on that theme.


It depends on what you mean by moralizing. I've only seen the first GS. (I couldn't stick with the second for some reason.) But, from what I recall, the movie had a pretty strong, "Killing isn't right, no matter how much fun the antagonist might have doing it," vibe to it.

Edited by Bitterswete, Sep 14, 2009 @ 10:36 AM.

  • 0

#15

Roll the dice

Roll the dice

    Couch Potato

Posted Sep 14, 2009 @ 2:25 PM

I guess another thing that bugs me about many shows/movies in this genre is the formulatic-ness of it. Either the maleVampire or the femaleHuman is new to town and they instantly fall in love but this creates problems. The vampire at this point has already decided it will be a good, non human eating vampire. But why is it that way? Are all good humans once turned into vampires still good? What makes them choose good or evil?

It might also be interesting to have a show/movie where the male and female were both human and in love, none of this new in town stuff, until one of them was turned into a vampire. They could explore the struggle that would be unique. The vampire would struggle with the permanent changes to his/her life. How would his/her family deal with this, considering in most vampire shows, the initial family is long dead. I would have to imagine that those first few years of adjusting to be a vampire would be very difficult.

Edited by Roll the dice, Sep 14, 2009 @ 2:29 PM.

  • 0

#16

minneapple

minneapple

    Stalker

Posted Sep 14, 2009 @ 5:02 PM

I'm not saying the lead Vampire should necessarily be evil.
A cat isn't 'evil' because it kills a mouse in order to eat.
It's just the way survival works.


But it's fiction, not real life, so you can't just say "it's the way it works" without providing backstory and motivation and character consistency and all those fun things. Otherwise it's bad storytelling and a character who is more a plot device than anything else. I'm sure American audiences aren't the only ones who appreciate well-drawn characters and tightly written storylines.

The vampire at this point has already decided it will be a good, non human eating vampire. But why is it that way? Are all good humans once turned into vampires still good? What makes them choose good or evil?


The Vampire Diaries could do some interesting stuff with Damon and Stefan, since they came from the same circumstances but wound up wildly different. Why is Stefan "good" and Damon "evil"? Do they choose to live the way they do for a particular reason? Is it like on Buffy, where all vamps are evil except for Angel (and later Spike) because he had a soul? There's a lot of potential there, with their relationship and their past and what they were like as humans.
  • 0

#17

Writing Wrongs

Writing Wrongs

    Fanatic

Posted Sep 18, 2009 @ 8:00 AM

While watching VD last night, it hit me what the brothers remind me of: Lestat and Louis from Interview with the Vampire. Ian Somerhalder's acting is very Tom Cruise-like, to me.

I think most vampire shows are going to be compared to Buffy. It left such an impression on that genre, it's unavoidable. It had something extra than being just a teen show, where I feel like VD is too much in the usual WB/CW style of Dawson's Creek, Roswell, etc. Are the books that way?
  • 0

#18

bookwrm74

bookwrm74

    Stalker

Posted Sep 18, 2009 @ 10:10 AM

I think it's interesting that almost none of the post-Buffy vampire shows add much of the wit, campy humor and sly, snarky self-awareness that many feel was a major part of what made Buffy so successful. Is it that they feel Buffy sort of covered that self-aware humor angle as well as it can be covered, so now all that's left to do is impossibly self-serious, dreary and soggy-with-angst versions of vampire tales?!

That said, after watching parts of last night's episode, I will say that at least Elena doesn't actively annoy me nearly as much as True Blood's Sookie, and I actually find Damon both more entertaining AND better eye candy than TB's Bill or Eric. (Yeah, as you can tell, I'm not exactly a True Blood fan!)

Edited by bookwrm74, Sep 18, 2009 @ 10:11 AM.

  • 0

#19

thelephant

thelephant

    Fanatic

Posted Sep 18, 2009 @ 12:37 PM

I can take or leave True Blood on tv, but I read the first book and thought it was just awful. I think Urban Fantasy is generally really hit and miss, and I don't really know why some of it works for me and some of it doesn't.

I think it's interesting that almost none of the post-Buffy vampire shows add much of the wit, campy humor and sly, snarky self-awareness that many feel was a major part of what made Buffy so successful. Is it that they feel Buffy sort of covered that self-aware humor angle as well as it can be covered, so now all that's left to do is impossibly self-serious, dreary and soggy-with-angst versions of vampire tales?!


I think that's probably the hardest type of humour to write - it's funny because it's clever (so straightaway that limits the amount of people who can write it in the first place), and it doesn't stop being clever, no matter how many times you see / hear it. In comparison, slapstick or puns or jokes that take a long time to set up or only work because the characters are forced to act out of character are only funny once. The more you think about them, the more you realise how unfunny they actually are.

I have to say, I really don't see the point in self-hating, brooding vampires, and so far, Stefan isn't brooding too much in the way that Angel, for example, used to. Why live forever if you're that miserable? Anne Rice's vampires have an excuse, because they're quite hard to kill, but the average tv / novel vampire really isn't. And since the average tv programme / novel doesn't tend to go into the issue of the vampire afterlife or genuine contrition and atonement, what's there to fear?
  • 0

#20

Bitterswete

Bitterswete

    Stalker

Posted Sep 18, 2009 @ 1:57 PM

I have to say, I really don't see the point in self-hating, brooding vampires, and so far, Stefan isn't brooding too much in the way that Angel, for example, used to. Why live forever if you're that miserable?


Well, Angel had about 10,000 reasons to brood. First, he killed his own family. (Including his little sister, who thought he was an "angel" when he showed up at home after his funeral, which is where he got the name from.) Then he spent a hundred or so years raining terror down on countless people across several continents. Not to mention the various vamps he "mentored," (like Drusilla, Spike and Penn) all of whom tended to be more viscous and dangerous than the average vamp thanks to his "teachings." So not only did he have guilt over what he had done, but guilt over what they did, too. Or, as Spike put it:

Spike: I'll tell you why you can't stand the bloody sight of me...'Cause every time you look at me, you see all the dirty little things I've done, all the lives I've taken. Because of you!

So Angel definitely had plenty of reasons to brood.

But, as someone else mentioned, despite being broody a lot of the time, Angel actually had quite the sense of humor. He was always saying funny stuff. He just said it in a very dry, deadpan way.

As for why he kept on living if he was just going to brood, I think Angel felt that death would be too easy. He had to try to make up for his past, even though a part of him didn't think he really could.

Here's an episode featuring one of Angel's former "students," courtesy of Hulu.

Angel Episode
  • 0

#21

thelephant

thelephant

    Fanatic

Posted Sep 18, 2009 @ 2:23 PM

Yeah, I remember Angel. But in a way he proves my point; he was one of the few miserable, brooding vampires who was actively trying to make amends for centuries of evilness, where the whole point of his character was atonement.

Louis (Interview with a Vampire), on the other hand, merely sits at home reading books all day. Asher (Anita Blake) does nothing but whine about how his scars mean he'll never be loved. Bill (True Blood) ignores Jessica and tries to make artificial distinctions between himself and all the others.
  • 0

#22

QueenCharisma

QueenCharisma

    Fanatic

Posted Sep 21, 2009 @ 11:53 AM

thelephant, you've hit on my problem with the brooding, emo vampires of current lore so much. With the exception of Angel (who was fabulous and is one of my favorite vamps of all time), these dudes just sit around and mope about how much it sucks to be undead and do nothing about it. Ok, you don't like being a monster and killing people? Why not help people out then? Volunteer at soup kitchens, save puppies, something! Otherwise, you're wasting everyone's time. I haven't read the books this series is based off of, but if they could somehow have Stefan involved in the school he attends (for example) like maybe he tries out for the football team or runs for student council, then I could see myself really liking him because he's at least putting some effort into trying to humanize himself (something these emo vamps are always talking about wanting, but then thinking the only way to do that is to just bang some human female and that's enough). I only read the first book in the godawful Twilight series so I don't know if Edward Cullen eventually does this, but taking Twilight as is, Stefan getting involved with school and people outside of Elena would definitely set him apart from EC and maybe stop the comparisons between the two.
  • 0

#23

Nighteyes2

Nighteyes2

    Couch Potato

Posted Sep 22, 2009 @ 9:15 PM

QueenCharisma:

In the books, Stefan actually does get involved with the school, joins the football team (although Matt talks him into it after seeing how fast he moves), and actually becomes friends with Matt. He became a vampire to be with his "true love". . I think that he is sad at the circumstances around which he became a vampire and the losses that he has suffered, but he's not all "woe is me, I am evil" like Louis and Edward, So I've never put him the same camp as all the other emo vampires.

I read these books back when I was in Grade 9, and recently re-read them. The writing is meh, and Elena is quite a bitch, but at least she has a backbone, unlike Bella. At the time I initially read them, I remember thinking that they were pretty great (like I am sure most of the Twilight readers will feel if they reread the series in 15 yrs). And Elena DOES stuff, rather than waiting for Edward to make decisions for her. And Stefan and Damon are more enjoyable than any of the Cullens. And I like the TV series WAAAY more than Twilight or any of its ilk. It's still no Buffy, but I have come to accept that there will never be another Buffy (or Angel). TVD is a distant second (I've not seen True Blood, although I've read the books), but still good.
  • 1

#24

MeatierMeteor

MeatierMeteor

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Sep 23, 2009 @ 9:38 AM

Night Eyes, if you've read the True Blood books, you've GOT to watch the series. It's one of those extremely rare cases where the show is better than the books (which in my opinion, are pretty good and engaging stories with really, really shitty writing). It's darker than TVD, which makes sense because it's for adults and on HBO, but Kevin Williamson has said he's a big fan of it and I'm guessing it'll have some amount of influence on this show.
  • 0

#25

Xenite

Xenite

    Video Archivist

Posted Oct 2, 2009 @ 3:47 PM

Angel had a soul. Unlike other "angsty" Vampires who hated being a monster, Angel had the added responsibility of hating being a monster and having a soul that reminded him of his behavior. And while Angel (Whedon) never talked about Heaven and Hell, the whole "if you're good you'll regain your humanity" was somewhat of a heavenly reward.

I'm not familiar with all of the other Vampire stories, but is there a heavenly-like reward that would motivate them? Or is there a soul?
  • 0

#26

Bitterswete

Bitterswete

    Stalker

Posted Oct 2, 2009 @ 5:03 PM

And while Angel (Whedon) never talked about Heaven and Hell, the whole "if you're good you'll regain your humanity" was somewhat of a heavenly reward.


Actually, Angel started fighting evil before he knew about any possible "reward." He'd been fighting evil for quite a while when he found out about the "once you defeat countless beasties and save who-knows-how-many innocents, we'll reward you by turning you human again," thing. So it wasn't his reason for doing what he did. It was just sort of a nice little surprise bonus. And I always felt like, to Angel, it wasn't about the reward itself. It was that, if he actually ever did receive it, it would be proof that he'd been forgiven by someone "up there" for his past evilness.

And they actually did mention Heaven and Hell in the Whedonverse. Characters died and went to Heaven. Not just some kind of "higher plane," but literal Heaven, where everything was very heaven-like. (All peaceful and blissful.) And Angel and Spike both talked about Hell as an actual, physical place (complete with fire and brimstone) where they both figured they would end up.

Edited by Bitterswete, Oct 2, 2009 @ 5:08 PM.

  • 0

#27

Scrapper

Scrapper

    Fanatic

Posted Oct 3, 2009 @ 3:59 AM

Yep, both Buffy and Cordelia went to Heaven. Of course, poor Buffy got pulled out.

I agree about True Blood. The show rocks the books are adorable. Even with it's darker storylines. Which is guess is a little sick, but CH just doesn't pack an emotional punch for me. Either did Buffy, really. But that's another story.

My mother is a big Anne Rice fan. So, when I was young I knew all about her lore and found vamps to be very very boring and gross. I was in 7th grade when Buffy started and I started watching it. I loved it, because I like all other supes except Vamps (did enjoy Spike/Dru). Angel became ok when he got his own show. Finally, with the introduction of the new order of mass media supes i.e. True Blood I started to dig the vamps a bit. So, I went back and watched Interview with a Vampire, again. Still not down with the Rice. I don't even like her witches and they have the same witch concept as The Bartimaeus Trilogy which I love. O well.

Moral of the story. I'm digging TVDs. Stefan may be my fav. "angsty" vamp. He is being proactive without all the whining or overacting. He joined the football team, he's getting to know Elena (sorta), he's helping Germ, and trying to fit in with Elena's friend. That is what pretending to be a teen is all about. All he needs is some humor.
  • 0

#28

kalibean

kalibean

    Fanatic

Posted Oct 4, 2009 @ 12:31 PM

I read these books back when I was in Grade 9, and recently re-read them. The writing is meh, and Elena is quite a bitch, but at least she has a backbone, unlike Bella. At the time I initially read them, I remember thinking that they were pretty great (like I am sure most of the Twilight readers will feel if they reread the series in 15 yrs). And Elena DOES stuff, rather than waiting for Edward to make decisions for her.


Too funny - I could have written this post. I loved these books in high school, remembered them about a year ago, found them online (and the much better witch series she also wrote) and re-read them. I also bought the last sequel - they were TERRIBLE! Good, cheesy fun, at least for the first group from the 90's, but the last book she put out last year was horrific.

At any rate, I finally broke down and read the Twilight series over Christmas this past year, and the quality of writing is certainly better, in my opinion. The Bella/Edward dynamic is a little weird, but I enjoy the Cullen family and frankly am embarassed by how much I enjoyed those books in general. Twilight the movie was laughable, but I enjoy the camp value it has, and the soundtrack.

So far I've enjoyed the Vampire Diaries show, but I'm dissapointed they didn't include all of the female characters. I think Meredith (I think that's her name...the very grounded friend in the boks) would have been a good, grounded addition to the show. I'm curious to see how the rest of the books flesh out in the series, though please don't let them include that horrible sequel she released last year.
  • 0

#29

Nighteyes2

Nighteyes2

    Couch Potato

Posted Oct 4, 2009 @ 9:59 PM

kalibean:

Yeah, I think that the writing is different in TVD from Twilight. I wonder whether that's because back in the 90s, books for teens were written for teens. The idea that adults would read non-adult books voluntarily (ie for their own amusement as opposed to reading to their kids) seems to be relatively new, and something I attribute to the effect of the Harry Potter books. So yeah, rereading TVD now, I am struck by how...childish (ie aimed for a certain group as opposed to being written by a child) it is. Whereas Twilight, being in the post-Potter era, seems to be written for both young and older audiences, with more "sexual tension" (written with the most withering sarcasm I type), and less focussed on high school dynamics. I mean, a lot of TVD is about a popular girl getting her guy, but it still has a lot of the high school things (ie being a high school Queen, the competition with Caroline, etc), whereas Twilight is really just about Bella and Edward, with the fact that he's a vampire being almost incidental to the love story, like a supernatural Harlequin novel for teens and their moms.

I feel that the plot in TVD was a lot more complex with respect to its message about good and evil and choices and appearances being deceiving and judging others (read Damon). It's as though the plot is far better in TVD, but the execution of said plot falls below its potential. Am I making any sense? Which is weird, since some of LJ Smith's other novels are quite a bit better written, especially the Secret Circle and the Dark Powers series. I didn't like the Forbidden Game (I thought that Julian was a little stalkerish, and I couldn't see the romance in a guy who loves you so much that he would torture and scare your friends to force you into being with him).

I agree, I miss Meredith in the TV show - I felt like she was the calm, stabilizing influence in the group, between Bonnie's child-like innocence and boy-craziness and Elena's "high school queen/must win at all costs" attitude. That's another thing I liked about TVD over Twilight. Elena had friends, good friends that she relied on just as much if not more than Stefan. She was a much more rounded character than Bella. In Twilight, Bella has some friends, whom she abandons when she feels like Edward has left her. And once they are back together, we never hear about them again. It felt like the message was, "You have this great epic love. You don't need anyone or anthing else." I mean, Jacob was basically a crutch until Edward came back, and she had to choose between them (convenient that her next closest friend happened to be a race that were historical enemies of vampires, so that she couldn't have both Edward AND a friend). And in the last book, Bella has to leave Charlie. So in the end, the only people that she spends any time with are Edward and his family. Healthy. At least in TVD the point was made that Elena needs her friends in order to surpass the obstacles she encounters, and even just to spend time away from Stefan.

Don't get me wrong, I read the Twilight books at the recommendation of a woman from work, and liked them well enough the first time around, mainly because they were like cotton candy - fluffy, not too much effort, and it tastes good at the time (aawww, it's a book about this outcast girl who doesn't fit in anywhere, but who then finds her true love, but *gasp*, they are kept apart by his "condition" - pretty classic romance novel fare). It's not until later that you start to realize why it's not so good. And don't even get me started on why the last book sucked like the vortex into hell that Buffy kept trying to close.

WRT the new series in TVD: yeah, a bit of a disappointment. I read it because I loved Damon in the series, and felt that he got the short end of the stick (yes, I am a grown ass woman now, but I have this reader loyalty to my favourite authors, regardless of when they were my favourite authors), and was hoping to see him catch a break. It was odd - I felt like the decisions that had been made in the last book (book 4) of the original series were reversed/unmade, there was ground lost with respect to some character development. And it was weird - it totally went off in another direction that made no sense to me. Having said that, I'll still read the next book when it comes out (see aforementioned misplaced loyalty).

Edited by Nighteyes2, Oct 4, 2009 @ 10:12 PM.

  • 0

#30

kalibean

kalibean

    Fanatic

Posted Oct 7, 2009 @ 8:16 PM

Yeah, I think that the writing is different in TVD from Twilight. I wonder whether that's because back in the 90s, books for teens were written for teens. The idea that adults would read non-adult books voluntarily (ie for their own amusement as opposed to reading to their kids) seems to be relatively new, and something I attribute to the effect of the Harry Potter books.


Nighteyes2, that is such an excellent point. I didn't even consider the Harry Potter factor. HP was another series I had scoffed at until the third or fourth book had come out, but I desperately needed something to read on a long flight and it's what my mom had around. Needless to say, I was hooked, and I had the same thing happen with Twilight.

I remember just thinking VDS was the best. thing. evah! when I was in high school, but of course I did - I was in high school like they were and the books were written for that specific age group.

I also agree on The Secret Circle series being better written, and truthfully, I enjoyed those a bit more. Maybe if this remains a stable hit for the CW, they can also make that series into a book. "Charmed", but dark and twisty with extra pretty people.
  • 0