Friday, December 14, 2012

'The Vampire Diaries' S4: There's work to be done here.

I’m going to spend most of this talking about where the Vampire Diaries has gone wrong this season, but first I want to talk about what was arguably the best moment that has happened this season.  

Ever since mid-way in season two everyone was shitting their pants about Klaus and how everyone needed to be afraid.  So when he finally shows up and hangs around in season three I was honestly disappointed with how little he did to inspire such terror.  There’s even a great moment at the end of the episode with Stefan and Caroline reflecting that they’ve all done bad things and in the end Klaus isn’t that different from any of them.  

It’ll be great to see if they agree after what happened meanwhile.  Watching Klaus murder what I believe were the last of his hybrids, the one crutch that I’d always hated seeing him hide behind was a freeing moment.  When you stacked on screen murders  against the Salvatores they always stood far above any of the Originals so to see that death orgy that unfolded with him slicing them to pieces was magnificent.  

Even better was the scene at the very end of the episode where Klaus drowns Tyler’s mother.  Such a moment of pure spite from a man who could have drained her, snapped her neck, or ripped her head off. No, this was much more personal to Klaus and he wanted his hands to get properly dirty.  This is the Klaus that quite frankly needed to be around in season three.  Had Klaus actually murdered more important people in season three, instead of having his strange story arc of hey let’s make Elena even more of a special snowflake by having her be the one who can help make his hybrids, then I think the show may not be in the state that it is now.

Let’s pretend that The Vampire Diaries is a candy-coated chocolate.  In seasons one and two it was surrounded by a candy shell of mythology and intrigue and if you took your time to savor that you were rewarded with the smooth chocolate of the romance angle waiting on the inside.  The moment season three began someone left that candy out in the sun and it’s melted. The shell has broken and the chocolate treat from the inside has now spilled out everywhere, it’s even on the new pair of pants you just bought. In short, it’s a mess. The show has now become
all about the romance, so much so that everyone needs to have a love interest or they won’t get any service on the show.  

What’s worse is that the romance has evolved beyond just a love triangle to the point that it’s an extremely unhealthy co-dependent relationship.  Both the brothers believe they know what’s best for Elena and both act on extremely selfish impulses when they try to show it.  Her opinion, sire bond or not, is disregarded by both men.  We’re getting into that weird place where no one wants to hurt anyone and in the end we’re all suffering having to watch the triangle never really find an end.  Again, in the first two seasons the triangle was never really as large of a deal as both Salvatores were far more able to let Elena be a big girl and make her own choices.

Aside from the romance we’re also saddled with this weird mythology B story.  Believe me it’s definitely the B story here as the Hunter Legacy and Silas would have been far better suited in season three instead of the pure fanservice that was the ghost storyline, (let’s not get started on how the show doesn’t know when it should and shouldn’t kill off certain characters),or the endless soirees that the Originals threw.  Instead in season four it just seems like the writers have run out of ideas and they’re only really putting in anything to do with the mythology of the series so that the fans who aren’t in it for the romance will have something to talk about and be happy with.  Honestly it’s a big load of neither.

Not to mention what mythology they have has become so badly handled that they’ve started to retcon in instances such as the super rare sire bond happening to Damon more than once.  That in itself could be overlooked, but the fact that there are suddenly new rules regarding what a sire bond is and how you can’t break it when you’re a vampire is a bit too much to swallow.  It’s also an annoying move to continue to make nothing Elena’s fault by saying she’s bonded to Damon in the first place.  On Tyler’s side of things we had a whole fight for alphadom and TVD has never brought that up before at all so it really feels like a grab at their (far superior) competition over on Teen Wolf.

In no way am I saying that The Vampire Diaries is unfixable, on the contrary these are all problems that can be addressed.  The team behind TVD just needs to take that all-important first step: admitting there’s a problem.  Once they do that, then the healing of this once-beloved show can begin.

No comments:

Post a Comment