On The Vampire Diaries

You're My Obsession

By Vera Nazarian

I admit, I am obsessed with The Vampire Diaries, the sensational new teen vampire prime-time drama that’s a cross between Dawson’s Creek and Twilight, with a dash of Buffy and All My Children, and a sprinkling of Smallville. My obsession didn’t kick in right away. As with any self-respecting object of fascination, it started out shallow, took appetizing some time to engage, but steadily grew on me until, next thing I knew, I was swimming with vampires, without a safety cage and up to my chin.

At first it seemed like fluff. Ridiculously pretty boys and glamour girls (some of them undead) monologuing, having crushes; typical family drama. But by the end of its first season The Vampire Diaries had grown mysterious, dark, and deep, way past its light and superficial “perfect teens with fangs and emo” first impression, and acquired layers, history,a hectic intense tone, and emotional complexity. And that makes the series compulsively watchable not only in the gripping soap opera sense, but also as a good character drama–the best kind of obsession, the kind from which we actually come away with new knowledge about ourselves.

Vampires are especially good subjects for obsession because the strangely compelling stories we tell about them all end up being about obsession. The Vampire Diaries is a prime example.

Think about some of the most prominent details of the story: There’s Damon Salvatore, obsessed with Katherine Pierce  …

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