Thursday, November 08, 2012

Vampire Diaries – season 3 – review

Directors: various

First aired: 2011-1012

Contains spoilers

When I reviewed the First Season of the Vampire Diaries I was disappointed, at least for the first four episodes, but felt it pulled itself together and offered a good showing eventually. Not as good as some series but still worthwhile if a little teen.

Come the second season a lot of the angst was lost and the show, overall, improved (though the score remained the same).

Season 3 and I expected it to build in the general direction of the first two seasons but, instead, I felt that the show stagnated.

Stefan - bad and bitey
At the end of Season 2 we had met the original vampires (or at least some of them) and chief bad guy Klaus (Joseph Morgan) managed to become a vampire/werewolf hybrid. He achieved this by sacrificing a vampire, a werewolf and the doppelganger, main character Elena (Nina Dobrev). Some jiggery pokery allowed Elena to be saved. Klaus buggered off, taking good boy vampire Stefan (Paul Wesley) with him, exposing him to his blood addiction and making him bad. That left Elena with ‘bad’ vampire Damon (Ian Somerhalder), Stefan’s brother, whilst her brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen), having died and been resurrected, started seeing dead people.

dying hybrid
The start of this season sees Elena holding out for Stefan’s return as Damon and semi-retired vampire hunter and school teacher Alaric (Matthew Davis) actually physically search for him, whilst Klaus hunts down werewolves. His plan is to turn them into a hybrid army but this plan goes awry as they quickly die during the turning process having bled from the eyes, shivered a lot and then gone violently mad first.

It is quickly ascertained that this is probably because Elena is still alive, and its back to the town of Mystic Falls for Klaus, Stefan and Klaus’ sister Rebekah (Claire Holt). This, of course, puts Elena under a death sentence until Klaus just as quickly discovers that the irony is, had she died, there would be no hybrids as her blood is the key to turning them – so a reprieve and herein lies the problem with the season.

Ian Somerhalder as Damon
It felt jerky as allegiances changed through threat, counter-threat and convenient lore/character twist. Essentially it grew boring as the viewer began wishing that someone would kill them all already. Couple with this the blossoming forbidden romance between Elena and Damon – which effectively neutered the Damon character – and the fact that Stefan was surprisingly fun-free as a baddy and managed to become more, rather than less, angst ridden (undoing the angst removal from the previous season) and the season just dragged on.

captured original
Was it all bad? No, it had its moments but it needed a meatier storyline, something that could stretch out naturally rather than be forced into shape by contrivance after episodic contrivance. It was as though the writers managed to paint themselves into a corner and could see no way out. The trouble is, without spoiling the ending, I don’t see how they are likely to do anything but the same with season 4.

For this season 5 out of 10, with a belief that if the series continues on its path it is going to drop below average before very long, as it is teetering now.

The imdb page is here.


Kuudere-Kun said...

I like Season 3 the best so far, but I'm kinda disappointing with how Seson4 is developing, I expected a "Cure" storyline eventually, but not so quickly after Elena turned.

Given what happens in the books (Have you reviewed those) it loosely follow, it won't surprise if Elena is cured (But with a Twist to her new Humanity) but I hope she stays a Vampire for at least all of Season 4.

Anna is my 2nd favorite Vampire ever, after Carmilla.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

To be fair I've not only not reviewed them but haven't actually read them so I am unaware of how close they are (or not) to the original stories.

I'm glad you enjoyed season 3, as I said in the review it lost me a little.

Kuudere-Kun said...

I highly recommend the books, their actually surprisingly "Traditional" for a teen Vampire Romance. And in many ways the exact opposite of the show.