Vampire Diaries Marathon: “Friday Night Bites” & “Family Ties”

So this whole marathon, two episodes a night plus blog posts thing has turned out to be a little much for the holiday season! Last night I was out at a choral concert of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (which included this cool solo thing where the soprano sang something or other about Christmas, in German, and then one chorister was on the balcony echoing back words to her. Very cool.

Anyway! On to The Vampire Diaries!

“Friday Night Bites”: Good lord, Damon Salvatore. Watching him manipulate Caroline and try to subtly (well, sorta subtly) chip away at Elena’s relationship with Stefan, watching him go from kinda sweet to murderous to kinda sweet again — Damon Salvatore makes for good TV. The moment at the end worked so well for me — sometimes the writing-in-my-diary narration cheeses me out a little, but hearing Stefan write about how his brother has become the monster Damon had only pretended to be, how he has entirely lost his humanity while Damon stands watching Elena sleeping, tenderly brushing her hair off her face… So creepy, so sweet. Stefan was right the first time: Damon still mourns Katherine, and that keeps him on this side of a terrible monster with no chance at redemption. Either that or he was just planning how he’d kill her. Errr, I vote for option 1.

Rewatching these episodes it’s also cool to see how they dole out the information on how vampires work in this universe. Healing powers? Check. Disabled by vervain? Check. And as we find out about the vamps, Bonnie finds out about her witchy-witchy ways. I wish I had the power to just *know* where all the things are hiding in my kitchen.

Even though I knew it was coming, I still felt a little ripped-off that the hot & heavy make-out session between Elena and Stefan was just a dream . . . but I love the twist of Stefan turning into Damon, so we’ll call it even. The other moment that gets me: when Elena and Damon are talking in her kitchen, and she says to him, I’m sorry about Katherine. You lost her too. ::heart breaks::
Shirtless vampire? Double check.

“Family Ties”: A Taylor Swift AND a Twilight reference in the same episode?? The whole mind-frak Elena has to navigate, with both Salvatores acting alternately charming and baffling, in this episode is perfect. I liked seeing Stefan outsmart his brother, finally getting a chance to one-up him and lock him in that vervain grow-op.

Other fave moments: Bonnie lighting all the candles in the dining room; the reveal of the Founders Council at the end; and the backstory (well, some of it) of what happened to Katherine back in 1865. Fittingly for the “family ties” episode, we got to see more of “Uncle” Zack and meet some parents: Sheriff Forbes and the Mayor and Mrs. Lockwood. Boo on all three of them. Well, half a boo on Sheriff Forbes, and two and a half boos for the Lockwoods. That mom is an evil, evil person. And I love that Vicky made one more “bad decision” and went back to Jeremy. He got the girl and the pocketwatch.
Shirtless vampire? mais oui! both S. and D.

next up on the Slow-Poke’s Marathon: 3.05 “You’re Undead to Me” and 3.06 “Lost Girls”

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Vampire Diaries Marathon: “Pilot” & “The Night of the Comet”

I love a TV marathon! Last night the CW aired the first 2 of 10 Vampire Diaries episodes: “Pilot” and “The Night of the Comet.” (yup, working to reduce the 24-hour delay between the eps airing and my post…)

Let me just say off the top that, much like Being Erica‘s success being so reliant on the awesomeness and watchability of Erin Karpluk in the lead role, The Vampire Diaries works because Nina Dobrev is just the perfect Elena. She’s moody but not too mopey, she’s coy and playful without being overdone, she’s tough…yet vulnerable. (And it doesn’t always work. Remember how awkward the first season of 90210 was?) Also: hot shirtless vampires makes for good television.

“Pilot”: When I first watched this episode, it made me want to re-watch the Scream trilogy and Dawson’s Creek simultaneously. It’s sad and funny and effing scary as all get out. And just this side of corny — the vampire tricks that Damon busts out play a little bit cheesy (Fog, I am looking at you) but the self-awareness, in acknowledging the horror-movie tradition of it all, makes it all A-OK. The effect that totally works for me is the vamp face — super creepy with those veins and blood-thirsty eyes. The Stefan/Elena scenes and the Stefan/Damon scenes are genius, but what stood out on the rewatch was that one conversation between Bonnie and Caroline at the Grill after the party, where Caroline is comparing herself to the always-perfect Elena and Bonnie says it’s not a competition. The look on Caroline’s face and her “ya, it is” with the Bat for Lashes song in the background was just perfect. Didn’t take long to feel like you know the bestie characters. Shirtless vampire? Check: Stefan.

“The Night of the Comet”: I love how Stefan and Damon may not get along that well, but they do love to wear matchy-matchy outfits. Sometimes it’s hard to think straight when both are on-screen in their leather jackets, getting their furrowed brows on. The stuff with Vicky in the hospital dreaming of being attacked by Damon freaked me the frak out. That poor girl is much abused. (Did Stefan really need to throw her to the ground when he was resisting his need to feed?) Loved the contrast between Elena and Stefan’s perfect first-kiss moment and Caroline and Damon getting hot and heavy . . . and bitey. Shirtless vampire? Check: Stefan and a teeny bit of Damon.

This trailer for the new episodes in January makes me very happy! “Why do I look like her, Stefan?” (That’s for me to know and you to dot-dot-dot)