You know these TV shows you have a very steadfast opinion about not wanting to watch them? That don’t appeal to you, and you are sure are not your thing… even though you have never seen them, or dove deeper into what they are about in general?
This is me, admitting to be being horribly wrong.
For years I have occasionally heard about a show called THE VAMPIRE DIARIES. I remember there was such a big hype that even I, who had no interest whatsoever in it and and didn’t and doesn’t have any friends or social media acquaintances who watched it, read something about it every now and then, or saw a picture. I didn’t pay it any attention, mind you, because from what I had seen and heard, I gathered it was just some teenie vampire soap.
So not my kind of program.
It went past me, therefore, and I never thought it would be of any importance to me, ever. Well, to be honest I didn’t think much about it, since it didn’t interest me. I may have sought something to serve my thirst for a good vampire program after MOONLIGHT ended, but I soon decided that neither TVD nor TRUE BLOOD was going to be it.
This year at Purgatory Convention, the organizers had a certain David Alpay as MoC. I had no idea who that guy was, but I fell in love with him at first sight (not love love… you know what I mean). Such a great and kind and funny and adorable human being. Naturally I wanted to know what he was like as an actor, and checked out his Wikipedia and IMDB sites. Unfortunately, except for a minor, nameless role in ROYAL PAINS, he had done nothing I have ever seen. I found a Hallmark Xmas movie on Youtube and watched it this September – twice in as many days – but that was about it.
Long story short, I knew if I wanted to see more of him, I had to choose something from this list of TV shows I had never seen and – to be honest – never wanted to see. None of them. Alas, if you want one thing, you have to like the other, as they say. So my choice became TVD – after all was it available on Amazon Prime, and since I had only recently gotten myself a one-year Prime membership, I thought I might as well also make use of it for something other than just quick and free deliveries. I’m not big on streaming, I don’t have Netflix (only had it for one free trial month, but I rather stick to shows I know and are on “normal” telly) or anything, and I hadn’t yet made much use of Prime Video.
Anyways, the day came to change that. On Tuesday, October 15, 2019, I started watching THE VAMPIRE DIARIES.
I had considered just skipping the first three seasons and only watch the episodes with David, but since I had tried that one before with TORCHWOOD and DOCTOR WHO, and it went hilariously sideways (the plan certainly hadn’t been to get so hooked on DW that today it’s one of my all-time-favorites…), I just told myself that I would get through TVD.
Maybe it had been some deeply rooted instinct that already knew.
My first impression and reaction was by far not positive. It all seemed sorta gloomy and it had way too much US small-town teenie “charm” – without the charm, however. You know, parties, alcohol, rebellious and/or hormone-driven teenagers, high school loves, even the cliched blonde.
The scene at the cemetery had me mumble at my TV “Hope he doesn’t sparkle” (I hadn’t seen Twilight by then yet). I was no impressed. Maybe a little amused. Mostly because those first couple of episodes seemed to confirm what I had presumed about the show.
But then something happened… and I can’t even say when it did, or what it was (no, it wasn’t Ian/Damon, I didn’t like him initially, neither brother actually, though of course I kinda rooted for Stefan in the beginning), but by the following Sunday I had seen 70-something episodes already, and ordered the complete DVD boxset. Which has just now been upgraded to a Blu-ray boxset.
I love it. I love how they approached the whole mythology around vampires, and werewolves and witches, how they created their own story and history behind it, how cleverly it is done. I love how they worked around known issues regarding vampires (sunlight, being turned, garlic and the other stuff that is usually repelling etc.), and the idea of how it all came to be with the original family, all the talking about balance of nature and so on. It is so well done and inspired. I love how they steer clear of any cliched theme, even if they seem to be heading straight for it; or how they later turn into an entirely logical thing. How this “love at first sight” thing between Elena and Stefan is explained, where it in the beginning seems so yawn-worthy, or how the characters evolve because of what they go through and who they know.
And there is this other thing. This one that is always of so much importance to me. This one thing TVD just serves.
I have had many shows in the past that touched me, kept me glued to the screen, gave me sleepless nights because I was thinking so much about them. I have laughed, I have cried, I have been scared and angry and gone through all kinds of emotions because of things happening on my favorite TV shows.
But I don’t think I have ever been this kind of a mess.
So yeah, I’m a shipper, and relationships, especially romances, are very important to me when I watch a TV series. There are exceptions to the rule, as always, but in general I need something to ship.
TVD is literally serving it on a silver platter. Or more, a golden one. With diamonds. That is to say, for all the TV couples I love and cherish and that are still in my heart, there has, to me, never been a love story as epic as that of Elena and Damon.
I am aware of all the controversy and I get it; I really do. If I find the time I will go into that in later posts. For now I just want to make clear that this ship has put me through hell, and I don’t think – don’t remember either – I have ever cried so much over a TV show and couple. By season three or so I was almost every second episode in tears, whether out of happiness or despair. Their love is so incredible, the way it is written as well as how it is played by Nina and Ian. It’s more than obvious that those two have been together, or were at the time, because their chemistry is something you couldn’t cut through with a chainsaw, as much as you tried. But then, who wants that.
So here I am, gushing over a TV show I never wanted to watch, being an emotional mess over a ship I never knew existed or would ever be of any importance to me, and admitting: I was wrong.
Thank you, David Alpay. And, I suppose, Entertainment Events for inviting him to PurCon 😉