The CW scored a proverbial touchdown with their latest episode of “The Vampire Diaries.” Apparently the series is not only making a killing out of live viewership but also on digital recorders (DVRs) as well.
In a press released today from the network, it revealed, “The freshman hit THE VAMPIRE DIARIES”¦saw the largest primetime viewership increases (on a percentage basis) of any network in target demographics of women 18-34 (52 percent), adults 18-34 (53 percent) and total viewers (38 percent).”
This is a huge upswing in light of the recent cancellation of another pilot series, “The Beautiful Life” which detailed the inner workings of the modeling world. But what adds to the appeal of “The Vampire Diaries”?
Despite the popular topic of vampires as seen in the upcoming movie “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant” and spoofs from comedian Andy Samberg, the beautiful undead of “Diaries” has a lot more going for itself than a trend.
The awful truth is the fact the show had a lot to live up to in order to gain viewers, especially after the backlash of “Twilight” and “True Blood” comparisons.
Yet, a surprising thing has happened since the pilot of “Diaries,” and it might be the reason that the show is still “alive.”
The key to the series’ success has been its ability to build a good framework of storylines around the supernatural elements. Sure, it’s still a vampire love story, but it isn’t held down entirely by that. As viewers, we have been given insight to the town of Mystic Falls, and the close knit relationships between the locals. Then we have the more dramatic leading plot of Stefan and Damon’s conflict about the outcome concerning Catherine. And the continuity of the episodes has been very tight relying more on an overall arc rather than a stand alone episodes. So, yes, you have to watch the show to a degree to follow it, however, if you are a new fan, the episodes are entertaining enough to enjoy.
There is also a matter of the acting, which gets better and stronger with each episode. It’s refreshing to see the cast gain more confidence onscreen as they slide into their characters. Ian Somerhalder, whose performance in the latest episode “Friday Night Bites” did everything to solidify his dominance over the character of Damon Salvatore. There was a lot more subtlety in showing Damon’s decisive nature, and there was no remorse in his eyes as he tore at his latest victim in front of Stefan. Somerhalder hits his scenes spot on between being vicious, playful, and even sentimental. One of the highlights from last week was a scene between Damon and Elena where she apologizes about the deceased Catherine. They share a hypnotic, uncontrived, meaningful look.
It’s clear that the unspoken moments, where viewers can draw their own conclusion, will continue to draw in more viewers rather than some force-fed plot device. It’s all about suspense and how a show works the balance of plot and tone. What the producers of the series have done is take an objective look as to what works with the series. One of the best examples is in the musical soundtrack, something of an nuisance for viewers who have complained about its heavy-handed presence. The more recent episodes have shown a significant decline in lyrical songs, and more of a thematic instrumental tone.
Watching a show grow isn’t something that always happens with pilot series, but if done right, it’s a fun ride.
In tonight’s episode, “Family Ties”, the conflict between the Salvatore brothers continues as the Founder’s Dance takes center stage. So expect a lot of the same dark undertones with a bit of romance in-between.
“The Vampire Diaries” is easily one of the few new fall series’ that has