In less than a month, The CW will premiere it’s new fall show, The Vampire Diaries which is based on the novels by L.J. Smith. As an avid lover of books, vampires, and TV shows about vampires, this sounds like my type of thing! So, as soon as I realized that the show was based on a book series, took it upon myself to read the books and start imagining what the show might be like.
As I mentioned in my review over at withagoodbook.com, I am not a fan of The Vampire Diaries novels. (Or at least the two that I read.) But despite that fact, I can still see the potential for a good TV show in there. Provided they make a few changes of course. Considering my initial reaction to the books was “I feel like I’m reading Gossip Girl meets Twilight minus the sparkles”, it almost begs to be made into a TV series.
But the very first thing that must happen – or one would hope – is that the television writers will make the characters likable. Because I tell you, I would not want to watch the main character of those books every week! Granted, I love the casting of the two male leads, and was enjoying picturing them in my mind while reading the books. I can’t imagine a shallower, more self-centered bunch than Elena and her friends. In light of the fact that Kevin Williamson, the man who gave us the original group of over-articulate and deeply-emotional high-schoolers on Dawson’s Creek is in charge of this show, I fully expect immense improvement over the characters in the books. That aside, I’m pretty bummed that they seem to have taken Meredith (one of Elena’s best friends) out of the show, since she was my favorite character in the books. It’s also interesting that they’ve changed Elena’s 4 yr old sister into a 15 yr old brother, but I can see how this will allow for more storylines than a 4 yr old would so it’s an understandable change.
I’m hoping they adapt the series in a similar fashion to what True Blood did – using the first book as the foundation for the first season. It was a very short book, but it also skips time pretty quickly so I’d like to see the gaps filled in with character development stories, since there wasn’t a lot (or any) of that in the books. Plus, I think if they were to use both books and had the first season ending where the second book left off, the series would be “jumping the shark” to use a widely known term. I personally wouldn’t want to see that ending come about so fast.
Of course I fully realize that anything based on books that bad, has the potential to be just as awful. Personally, I’d love another good Vamp show to sink my teeth into on a weekly basis, but I’m also aware of how hard it seems to be to make a really good teen drama that also appeals to the older generation. Anyway, I’m looking forward to checking out The Vampire Diaries to see if it lives up to the possibilities.
Here’s a few quotes from Kevin Williamson (via Michael Ausiello) that give me hope:
Diaries is “not just a high school show. It’s a small town show. Once you get past the vampire premise, we get to telling the story about this town.”
“The pilot is tough because there are a lot of similarities to Twilight,” he concedes. “There was no way around it. But we’re switching things around as we get [deeper] into it. We’re not a movie with a beginning, middle and end. We’re a TV series that evolves.”
Here’s hoping that he’s telling the truth and we’ll get a layered show about a town dealing with dark changes, rather than just another teen girl/vamp love triangle.
The Vampire Diaries premieres Thursday, September 10 @ 8pm, on The CW. Are you looking forward to the show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!