Release date: August 22nd, 2011
Certificate (UK): 15
Running time: 15 hours approx.
Creators: Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec
Cast: Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Steven R. McQueen, Katerina Graham, Candice Accola, Zach Roerig, Sara Canning, Michael Trevino, Matthew Davis
Ever since Buffy The Vampire Slayer ended back in 2002, I’ve aimlessly flicked through television shows hoping that something would fill the void left in my life.
Where else but Sunnydale could a lonesome girl find a group of misfits who’d not only become her best pals and fight evil alongside her, but also display their own special powers and sometimes even switch alliances? Where else could two vampires, one boring but good, the other wicked and devilishly handsome, fight and swoon over her?
Funnily enough, not one, but two shows would come along almost at once. How typical! But while True Blood and its adventures in Bon Temps is great, it’s dialogue and images tend to be a little too blue and dark for a casual night’s entertainment. This is where The Vampire Diaries , based on the books by L. J. Smith, excels; it’s got just the right amount of teen angst and high school drama to balance the blood and romance that tends to flow with each episode.
Season 1 ended on a cliffhanger with evil vampire Katherine Pierce (Nina Dobrev) waltzing back into Mystic Falls and impersonating her Doppelgänger, Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), and that’s exactly where we pick it up again with Season 2.
As Katherine continues to toy with Elena, she also tries to win back the love of Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) who now detests her. Meanwhile, his brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder) is more torn than ever between his urge to turn off his human emotions and his growing love for Elena. Katherine wastes no time in taking advantage of the situation, enjoying the fact that two women who both look the same, will always love his brother and not him.
Everyone is left wondering though, what’s her real agenda? With Bonnie Bennett (Katerina Graham) developing her powers as a witch and Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola) adjusting to her new life as vampire, there isn’t much time for the girlie get-togethers with Elena we saw in Season 1. This season is more about the characters coming into their own, realising who and what they are and doing the best they can to keep those they care about as safe as possible. But safe from what?
Halfway through the season we see the focus shift from Katherine as the plot thickens. It turns out that the oldest vampire in the history of time, Klaus (Joseph Morgan), wants to use Elena to help him break the Sun and Moon curse which binds vampires to night and werewolves to the light of the full moon. As Klaus is both vampire and werewolf, breaking the curse will allow him to change at will.
That’s where I felt the impact of the series began to wane because there’s this incredible build-up to when we meet Klaus and when we do, it’s anti-climactic. He has neither charisma nor the level of menace that’s required for a villain and as a result comes off as nothing more than a spoilt boy not only annoys but takes screen time away from Katherine. Her part is rendered mute by his arrival and she goes from being someone who posed a serious threat to the Gilberts and their friends to just sitting on the sofa.
Thankfully, there’s always something else going on Mystic Falls. I was glad to see Bonnie taking a chance with Jeremy who up until now has been a hanger-on in everything that’s been going on. As she continues to draw on more powerful energies, we know it’s only a matter of time before she begins to suffer from burnout.
Elsewhere, there’s Caroline, who this season has become my favourite character. We see her grow from being self obsessed to a person that’s independent, practical, steps up to protect her friends and makes sure to let you know when she’s not happy with you. This is showcased beautifully when she helps Tyler through his transformation into a werewolf and when she finally gets to have a moment with her mother. No good deed goes unpunished though as Tyler turns his back on her when he realises werewolves and vampires aren’t supposed to be pals.
As all of these events come to a head-on, there’s more tragedy in store for Elena as she loses someone close to her. Season 2 is filled with twists, turns and blood and bones, and whether it’s a 60’s themed dance, a Gone With The Wind festival or just a good old fashioned ritual sacrifice, Mystic Falls is definitely not a town you’ll rest easy in, which is fine by me. You can sleep when you’re dead, right?
The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.
You can find his music on Soundcloud .