The series also had to deal with a start somewhere between a supernatural drama set in high school, a soap opera-style sentimental triangle, and cringe moments that seriously risked alienating the audience from the story of Elena Gilbert and the tormented Salvatore brothers. Not even scenes capable of carving out an indelible place in the memory of the spectators like that “Hello Brother” that immediately made the “bad vampire” of the situation the favorite in the race to win the heart of the protagonist (and of the fans), or the Somerhalder’s high-alcohol ballet, seemed able to lift the series from mediocre performances, an inconsistent plot and features all too designed with a teenage target in mind. Nevertheless the Vampire Diaries managed to give life to two spinoffs and survive eight seasons, even surpassing the end of the very popular love story between Somerhalder and Dobrev between denials, confirmations thanks to Coachella sightings and broken hearts (those of the fans).
The Vampire Diaries has been able to surprise and mature
One of the winning elements, since the first season, has been to not hesitate to take surprising choices, over the top and unsettling like the fate reserved for Vicki (Kayla Ewell), the sister of Matt (Zach Roerig), transformed into a vampire and killed within a few episodes. A courage, unfortunately, destined to progressively decrease over the course of the seasons in which the characters seemed destined to be immortal, exploiting supernatural expedients even when it seemed impossible even in the field of the most extreme irrationality.
The first half of the series also managed to deliver very emotional moments between heartbreaking farewells, such as that of Rose (Lauren Cohan), dances and secrets from the past. Episode after episode, the actors managed to identify themselves more and more in their characters, bringing out the traumas, the suffering, the depth of love they were able to feel and also the lighter and more fun side.
Nina Dobrev, thanks to the double role of Elena and Katherinehas matured as an actress, a situation that has been exploited well by the screenwriters who have been able to leave behind the story of the pure-hearted teenager fought over by two brothers to make her a young woman who must find her place in the world and understand what kind of existence she wants to live, how to keep her humanity and overcome the grief and inner wounds that the events set in Mystic Falls have caused her.
Paul Wesley was able to have fun, and above all entertain the public, stepping out of the role of hero and positive example on several occasions thanks to his version of the Ripper, but not even his interpretation was able to make the relationship between Stefan and Caroline (Candice Accola) truly credible. , one of the most unlikely couples of the eight seasons despite the evolution of Elena’s friend from a slightly ditzy girl to a positive element capable of bringing out hidden sides even in a villain apparently explained as Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and narrative pillar in the construction of spinoffs.
Ian Somerhalder, of the three protagonists, is perhaps the one who convinced the most right from the start, but the actor had the merit of supporting the most exciting scenes entrusted to him in an excellent way and of managing the conflict between exteriority and interiority that made the humanity of the vampire evident from the first seasons.
The arrival of the Mikaelsons has left its mark on the world of The Vampire Diaries
The authors then had the merit of introducing characters capable of keeping the attention high and making the narrative more intriguing, as happened with the entry into the scene of the doppelganger Katherine and the “original” vampire family led by Elijah (Daniel Gilles ), the ruthless and charming Klaus (Joseph Morgan), and the beautiful Rebekah Mikaelson (Claire Holt). Their arrival in Mystic Falls held innumerable surprises, also giving depth to characters such as Caroline (Candice Accola), who emerged from the shadow of Elena’s story, surreally comical moments (how can we forget the moonstone hidden among the bars of soap?), and laying the groundwork for the subsequent ramifications of the show which also allowed Alaric Saltzman (Matt Davis) to be brought back to the scene, whose story goes from being a vampire hunter seeking revenge to the principal of a school for young people linked to the supernatural world , passing through an in-between phase in which he took on the role of a father figure to the young Gilberts.
Among many loves, friendship wins in The Vampire Dairies
One of the most successful elements to the authors of the Vampire Diaries it was the representation of friendship, a bond declined in a thousand shades and which has taken on a different meaning for each of the protagonists in the course of the history of the characters. Starting from the elaboration of the concept of Elena’s loss of innocence, orphaned and whose life takes a turn after meeting the Salvatore brothers, the series initially began to outline the relationships between the protagonist and her companions in a conventional way from school, then building step by step unexpected, fun and exciting alliances that had nothing to do with love.
Damon, for example, over the seasons has completely left behind the image of a heartless villain to become the presence in the narrative with the most significant friendships, not only rooted in his supernatural past: from Alaric who went from his potential killer to best friend (impossible to forget the scene in which Damon addresses the friend he believes definitively dead at the opening of the fourth season) to the bond with Sheriff Forbes (Marguerite MacIntyre) to whom he was close in the last minutes of his life, up to Bonnie (Kat Graham) with whom he was imprisoned for a long time in a time prison and without forgetting Enzo (Michael Malarkey), a character who brought out further secrets of the past and gained prominence in recent seasons, despite its story being one of the elements handled more erratically by the writers. But neither can we forget the presence of Lexie (Arielle Kebbel), essential to Stefan’s story, and Matt (Zach Roerig), one of the pillars of the series whose loyalty and fidelity to friends have remained a constant over time , keeping them in touch with their own humanity.
An inevitable decline for a guilty pleasure that has left its mark
However, eight seasons turned out to be perhaps too many to be able to hold firmly on the reins of a narrative and the choice (more than justified) to dedicate a spinoff series to The Originals it took away a lot of strength from the tale that started dragging turning almost every character into a creature. The initial discovery that Bonnie (Kat Graham) was a witch had been portrayed to appear truly “magical” and almost poetic, but in the long run the story lost its humanity, as easily as vampires used the possibility over and over again. to suppress it so as not to have to face one’s emotions, and not even the introduction of the idea that one could go back, to that life as human beings so fragile and yet much desired, thanks to the Cure it has not managed to restore the same nuances they had helped popularize the series.
Furthermore, the transition from adolescence to adulthood was not built in the best way, becoming only a transitional phase that hardly changed the dynamics of the characters, too busy surviving or getting out of parallel dimensions while the the Salvatore brothers bounced between being ruthless bloodthirsty vampires to boyfriends, or wannabes, with hearts of gold. Among the main problems of the series there was also the somewhat questionable way in which Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino) was portrayed, whose violent and sometimes abusive behavior was partly justified by his werewolf nature, resulting however a character who put the authors in difficulty, perhaps uncertain about how to outline the path of redemption between bullying, lack of free will and potentially deadly desires for revenge. Of all the inhabitants of Mystic Falls, Tyler is perhaps the one who, for various reasons, has failed to acquire the depth necessary to get him out of stereotypes and become essential for the narrative.
Regardless of the declining plot level, it’s still worth (re)seeing though the Vampire Diaries to appreciate the way, leaving behind the confrontation with Twilight the series has been able to demonstrate its personality and become a guilty pleasure that has almost never wasted the time of its fans.