Friday, October 1, 2010

The Vampire Diaries "Memory Lane" Review

The month of October has arrived, meaning Halloween looms. Halloween is the greatest holiday of all the holidays. In a few weeks, various current television shows will have their Halloween episodes. As we wait for those, I'm going to write about various Halloween episodes from various shows over the years. The Halloween spirit should begin TODAY for everyone. The weather finally makes one feel like it's actually autumn and October. The low tonight will be 50 degrees. I'm not sure when I'll begin writing about old Halloween episodes. But it will be soon. I may even write about a few horror movies in celebration of All Hallows Eve month.

One TV show that will have a Halloween episode (I think) is The Vampire Diaries. Last night, the fourth episode of the second season aired, titled "Memory Lane." The season's Big Bad, Katherine, was spotlighted. She left Mystic Falls because she was running from something or someone. Katherine refused to tell Stefan why she returned, continually insisting that he is the reason she came back. She loves him. This show really is Dawson's Creek with vampires.

"Memory Lane" had to accomplish two things. Get the audience to actually invest in the idea of Katherine and Stefan togher, and make the werewolves a threat in the show again. Last year, the Founders council served as the big bad. They were a group of men responsible for the end of vampires in Mystic Falls; however, the show reveals how mis-informed the characters were last season. The Lockwoods, specifically George Lockwood, were the family behind the Founder's council. In this vampire story, the werewolves are much more dangerous. These are not Joss Whedon's werewolves, which is a shame because his werewolves were awesome. I digress. The biggest revelation came when we found out Katherine worked with George to kill the vampires in the church. Katherine didn't give Stefan a reason because it's only the fourth episode.

The audience should be invested in the Katherine/Stefan relationship now. Stefan dreamt about her. The dreams reminded me of early season 2 ANGEL when Angel dreamt about Darla. TVD could bring Stefan to dark places if his mind continues to focus on Katherine; however, he doesn't trust the girl, especially after what she told him, making him feel like he died for nothing the night he was killed saving her; meanwhile, Katherine used Caroline to put doubts into Elena's mind about her future with Stefan. Again, not new territory for a vampire show. Elena and Stefan have a public break-up, then meet up 15 minutes later because they faked the break-up to fool Katherine and Caroline.

The emphasis on relationships is my biggest problem with the show. The show is predicated on relationships, which makes me think I should stop watching the show because it's not going to change. The vampires are old and continually behave like teenagers. I don't care about any of the relationships or potential relationships. The first season wasn't built around relationships like season two has been constructed. Every character will wind up dating each other, like in Dawson's Creek. The core identity of these characters are dependent upon another character entirely and their relationships. I don't know if LJ Smith is to blame or Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec. Probably all three writers are to blame. Damon and Stefan's entire vampire existence is tied to Katherine. Stefan came back home because he wanted to know Elena. There's barely any inner conflict or struggle within a character. I need more from a character besides what we've been given.

In the B story, Damon made an enemy of Mason Lockwood. In the C story, more nonsense about becoming a werewolf. Katherine doesn't seem like too great of a big bad. Characters have repeatedly said that she's a master manipulator. I haven't seen it. You want a master manipulator, Ben Linus is exactly that.

Next week's episode looks promising so, hopefully, I return with nice things to say about the show.


The Sixth Sense--M. Night Shyamalan


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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.