The drama was spilling over in abundance on this week’s episode of Vampire Diaries. In one corner you have Vicki, who is having hallucinations of creepy vampires in bathroom mirrors when she isn’t being glamoured by their “parlor tricks.” In another corner, you have Elena fretting about whether or not she’s ready to pursue a relationship with a brooding guy who has serious family issues and a broken heart from his previous girlfriend. In yet another corner, Aunt Jenna is struggling to maintain control of her teen charges before one of them ends up dropping out of school and going into rehab for an out of control drug habit. And finally, there’s a comet flying over Mystic Falls, which could either be simply a ball of snow and ice, or more forebodingly, a sign of bad things to come.
I enjoyed this second episode much more than the pilot. I was especially drawn to Elena and Jeremy’s guardian, Aunt Jenna. We saw a more realistic view of her struggle to establish authority over Jeremy, and her feelings of inadequacy. I always like to see some family drama unfold on these shows, and between Aunt Jenna’s run-ins with Jeremy, and Stefan’s icy confrontation with Damon after Elena’s impromptu house call, there was plenty to go around. I also like Elena’s ex-boyfriend Matt. I know he’s supposed to be the dull human boy to Stefan’s mysterious and sexy vampire, but I like his rugged charm and protective attitude toward Elena and his sister, Vicki. Speaking of Vicki, she is played by Kayla Ewell, who I spotted this week on an episode of Freaks and Geeks. It’s interesting to note that she plays a high school student on both shows, since Freaks and Geeks aired ten years ago! She was 14 then, and was adorable as a fresh-faced newcomer who wasn’t ashamed to hang out with the geeks. Now look at her. She’s 24, and is somewhat annoying as a feisty high schooler who is embarrassed to let anyone know that she had a fling with younger Jeremy.
As for the music in episode two, I was especially glad to hear “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles. Since my main association for this song is Kayla and Kupono’s emotionally charged contemporary dance about addiction on last season’s So You Think You Can Dance, it was strange to hear the song in the context of a budding relationship. Strangely, the song works well in both situations. The concept of something/someone bringing you down can be a negative, as in the affects of a drug addiction or an abusive relationship, but in Stefan and Elena’s case, the idea of them bringing each other down was a positive one, because they were grounding each other in reality, instead of getting caught up in the drama of “what ifs” and “what abouts.” Melodramatic? Maybe. But satisfying and romantic? Definitely. I thought it was a sweet way for this “epic” couple to start their relationship.
So, am I planning to watch episode three of this supernatural teen drama? Yes, I am. I like the direction the show is headed, including:
- Elena and Stefan’s moody relationship
- Damon’s mysterious evil plan for the town (“it’s time for a wake-up call”)
- The family dynamics in the Gilbert household, as well as the Salvatore home. (What’s the deal with the brothers’ guardian referring to them as “uncle”? Is he like their family protector?)
- The music – It really does enhance the viewing experience. I already mentioned the closing song, “Gravity,” but here’s a link to the rest of the songs from the episode.
- The Salvatore house – I loved that we got a long, lingering look at the old-fashioned and elaborate interior of Stefan and Damon’s family home. Vampire shows give us an opportunity to delve into the customs, fashions, and decorating trends of the past, and so I’m glad the props and set designers on this show have taken the time (and money) to do so. (True Blood has set the current standard in this area, but at least its teen counterpart is trying.)
What do you like or not like about this show?