Most of us pre-Twilight YA vampire fans were in love with L.J. Smith's vampires before we even knew who the heck Stephanie Meyer was. The Vampire Diaries are written better than the Twilight series and will appeal to a larger audience. I am not sure the romantic pull in the novels is as great as the Twilight series and therefore may not infect teen girls with “Sparkle Fever” as Twilight did.
With the emergence of vampire fandom with shows like Moonlight, Blood Ties, and True Blood, I think this series will be given more than a fair chance at winning over teenage hearts all over the world.
The books themselves are well written with intricate plot twists and a yummy lead man who has to fight his very own vampire brother (instead of a hottie werewolf) for the love of the lead girl. This lead man is a more sympathetic character who does not attempt to control the girl as Twilight’s hero does. The stories are similar, but by no means the same. Vampire Diaries has cool horror elements like haunted woods and ghost-filled crypts.
The real question is: Can The CW accomplish what the Disney-like production of Twilight did not, which is produce a show for all of us real YA horror fans?
Per Wikipedia, the show is scheduled to premiere on The CW on Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 8 p.m., filling the network's previous Smallville slot, and on CTV at 7 p.m. The show will premiere in early 2010 on ITV2 in the UK. It will be paired with Supernatural as part of a horror-themed night. In Italy, it will premiere on Mediaset Premium in early 2010.
It does make me a little nervous when they start taking a short book series and try to make it into several seasons of television. Are we looking at the production value of Sweet Valley High and the Clueless TV series? Or is this going to be up to caliber? In my opinion, the biggest mistake film and TV producers make is talking down to their fans or "dumbing-down" excellent literature to fit into what they think YA fans want to see. Not all teens want to watch TV filtered through High School Musical lenses! I for one hope The CW know that.
Here is a little info from Wikipedia about the changes to the plot:
- CHANGES FROM THE BOOK SERIES
The television series has changed many things in adapting the novels to screen. Some minor changes include characters' last names being changed and their relationships to each other somewhat altered. Some major changes include renaming the town the story is set in to Mystic Falls from Fell's Church, as producers were unable to get legal clearance for the name. Also, Jeremy Gilbert, Elena's younger brother, is not a character in the novels (Elena instead has a little sister named Margaret). Similarly, the character of Jenna Moyer, Elena's aunt, was originally named Judith Gilbert in the novels.
Both Damon's and Stefan's backstories have also been changed. Instead of hailing from Renaissance Italy, Stefan and Damon appear to be from Civil War-era Mystic Falls. Another addition is Zach, Stefan and Damon's human relative, as this character never appeared in the novels. Also, in the novels, Elena is described as a blonde, blue-eyed, "ice princess", whereas in the show she is a brown-eyed brunette. In the books, Caroline is also depicted as an "Egyptian Princess", where in the show she has blonde hair and blue eyes. Also, in this version of the story Elena's friend Bonnie is descended from the witches of Salem. Elena's other best friend Meredith from the novel is not in the TV series. However, it has been hinted that she will eventually appear.
- Get your copy of the book from amazon here: The Vampire Diaries