I figure if you've made it past the headline of this piece you are either a supporter of the vampire entertainment movement or a secret lover of things that bite in the night. Regardless of which side of the bloodline you fall on (OK, I'll quit using the puns!), I'm sure you can agree that not every vampire experience is created equal.
I've seen both Twilight films and, at the risk of losing several friends, I'll admit I wasn't enamored with either of them. There are only so many forbidden romance clichés I can take in an hour and a half time period. However, thanks to my appreciation of True Blood, by the time The Vampire Diaries rolled around last September I wasn't completely turned off by the genre. Plus it starred Ian Somerhalder, alum of my favorite TV show of all time, so why not give it a shot?
Unlike my history with Twilight and True Blood, I chose not to read the books on which the show was based. I wanted an untainted introduction. By doing so I was immediately intrigued by the story of Elena Gilbert, the vampire brothers who would both come to love her and the suspenseful bowl of fun called season one. On top of that you sprinkle an array of great side characters and now you have the ultimate Thursday night TV sundae! Why am I suddenly hungry? I digress...
Having just watched the season finale I can think back and conclude there was never a point this season where I didn't like the show. It succeeded where other shows failed by not being campy and instead created believable story arcs. Somerhalder's fantastic portrayal of Damon Salvatore, an inhumane and narcissistic smart ass, allowed the show to poke fun at itself and at vampire clichés. Stefan Salvatore had his moments of brooding, sure, but thanks to Paul Wesley's fine acting, those moments were never as gag-provoking as one crazy haired vampire's attempt at emotion. (If I didn't already, I think I just lost all the Twilight fans.) And Nina Dobrev's portrayal of Elena was never weepy or panic stricken. We felt her pain but never forgot her strength.
Besides the spot-on casting for the show, the writing was surprisingly solid. Each storyline held its weight evenly and found its organic tie into last night's finale. For a while I wondered, what was the point of turning Vicki into a vampire only to have her killed an episode later? But last night proved it was all part of the larger storyline for Elena's little brother, Jeremy. (And what a plot point that will become!) Which leads me to my overall opinion of the finale: the plot twists and cliffhangers were grade A television!
SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't seen the finale yet, go click on some other story!
I can't decide which twist I enjoyed more: Damon connecting to the soul and heart he once had as a human or Katherine pulling a fast one as Elena? And I know I'm not the only woman who lost their breath when Elena/Katherine and Damon kissed. Side note: If we have 3D TVs, why can't we have sensory TVs that allow you the ability to connect with a character's experience? Maybe this would only appeal only to females. Anyway!
My girl friend Beth and I had been engaged in a rapid fire textversation throughout the episode. When the clock struck 859pm and the credits rolled, we had only one text to share: "No more until September? Noooo!" But rest assured, Vampire Diaries fans! Summer will fly by at the speed of a vampire and our fun will return again.
Follow Lauren J. Rivera on Twitter: www.twitter.com/laurenjrivera