Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review - The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 1 The Birthday

My history with The Vampire Diaries begins about two years ago with the premiere of the show. I watched it and gave it a negative review, which, to my recollection, was pretty harsh. (I don't want to dig up old reviews because I'm guessing they suck.) So the year went on and I began seeing people talk about the show positively, even raving about it. Delusional fangirls, I told myself, so I didn't really mind.

It wasn't until a year later when I honestly considered watching the show, having seen tweets from people I follow on Twitter, people I respect. From what I read, the plot was insane and the twists kept coming. But I wondered, how much could the show have improved since the awful pilot?

Well, I caught up over the summer and was very impressed by the progression of the show. The first five episodes are bad, littered with dead-end plots and bad dialogue, but from that point on the show takes off and doesn't look back for a second. There is never an episode where the writers put their foot on the breaks, and that mindset worked wonders. The plot moves forward rapidly, always bringing something new to the table, and all the characters slowly but surely gain extra dimensions. As bad as it begun, The Vampire Diaries really became something else by the end of the first season and improved on that in the second.

Now in the third season, there are no signs of stopping. The second season finale disrupted the status quo, sending Stefan into Klaus's grasp, and the third season immediately hits this plot. In ripper mode, Stefan is scary as hell, dismembering people's bodies and the like. This dark edge is something the writers have developed and now we get to see it in action, and it's a sight to see. Meanwhile, the other, human side of him is battling back and Stefan even manages to call Elena. We don't know exactly what Stefan is thinking, whether he is fooling Klaus, or killing because he likes it. While we'll eventually get to see the old Stefan back in Mystic Falls where he belongs, the journey likely will be long and hard with plenty of thorny issues to come.

The other plots didn't exactly have the brutality, but nothing stagnated. Andie, the most useless character on the show, is killed off, Caroline and Tyler do the deed, and Jeremy continues to see the ghosts of Vicki and Anna. The episode ends with Carol Lockwood vervaining Caroline, which obviously is not good for all the characters and the secrets they hold.

Score: 8.9/10
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