The Vampire Diaries premiered in the US this week and the reviews suggest it’s pretty to look at, slight, but enough to warrant another look.
Unwilling to wait until “Twilight” turns ashen before tapping into the teen vampire bank, CW pops out this slick but slight variation on bloodsucker lore with its own (hopefully) swoon-inducing leads. Producer Kevin Williamson doesn’t stray far from his roots in concocting what amounts to “Dawson’s Teeth,” but the show hits all the requisite notes — and gets a major infusion of adrenaline when “Lost” alum Ian Somerhalder finally arrives as the “bad” vampire. Of course, this small-town drama could easily run dry (heh heh) pretty quickly, but the premiere sinks its fangs in deep enough to warrant a second look.
NY Times said:
At first look “The Vampire Diaries” has the feel of something more permissive and less morally rigid than the “Twilight” franchise, which certain sophisticated 14-year-olds I’ve known will disparage as they march back to their rooms to read the Brontës or “The Bell Jar.” But the show subtly delivers its own lessons: that indiscriminate sex is emotionally destructive, that developing mechanisms of resistance builds character. As Elena tells her substance-abusing brother, “I’m going to be there to ruin your buzz every time.”
Chicago Tribune said:
Sure, given the name, I suppose an actual diary was bound to make an appearance, but it’s hard to take seriously a fictional world in which a teen girl writes melodramatic jottings in her journal. Maybe I’m just old and that’s all the rage among the kids these days. Even so, there are bigger problems here. I expected more sparky wordplay from a Williamson show, but the “Vampire Diaries” pilot is pretty limp and lifeless in that department. The attractive cast is… attractive. Let’s be kind and say that they are not all blessed with the same level of competence in the acting department.
NY Daily News said:
In overall tone, “Diaries” tilts more toward menace than humor – which could create either fascinating romantic tension or the bad feeling that someone’s neck is always about to get tapped like a maple tree in syrup season. By staking turf between “True Blood” and “Twilight,” “Vampire Diaries” hopes it has found the promised land. The danger is it could also be no man’s land.
The series airs on GO! next month.
Meanwhile Glee‘s second episode took strong ratings this week. As with Australia, the US had its sneak peek months ago with the pilot. As a result there aren’t too many reviews this week although Variety did take another look saying:
Talk about one-hit wonders. The promise and energy associated with the debut of “Glee” last spring largely evaporates in previewing two additional hours, where the musical numbers — generally less infectious and buoyant than the first time out — can’t compensate for overly broad characterizations and absurdly soapy situations. A few genuinely human moments emerge, but the series too often undermines the likability quotient of its cast, leaving the audience relatively little to latch onto. Put simply, “Glee” strikes too many sour notes for a series with precious little margin for error.