|| Print ||
|Written by April Yorke|
|Wednesday, 30 June 2010 00:00|
With The Vampire Diaries' first season recently ending, True Blood back on the air, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse opening today, the vampire weary among us may be wondering how to tell these hot properties apart and which, if any, is worth their time. Look no further for your guide to vampires, the girls who love them, and the werewolves who get between them. Also, a maenad.
Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), age 25, telepath. Having her life, especially her love life, hampered by her ability to read minds means making time with a vampire is a relief. She can't hear a thing vampires are thinking. Her parents died in an accident when she was young, leaving her and her dimwit older brother in their grandmother's care. Now she's a waitress when she isn't running afoul of vampires and werewolves all over Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.
Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), age 17, high school student. Bella is average in her own estimation but revealed to be intelligent, crafty, incredibly stubborn, and loyal to the point of lacking in any sort of self-preservation instinct. She's massively klutzy and something of a trouble magnet. Also, she's immune to any kind of mental power used against her.
The Vampire Diaries
Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), age 17, high school student. Elena's got that beautiful victim of tragedy thing going for her when the show opens: about six months prior, she survived the car accident that killed her parents. She's also smart, loyal, and resourceful but not above being silly and having fun with her girlfriends.
We'd bite: Elena. When she found out her vampire boyfriend was, in fact, her vampire boyfriend, she balked and called things off. Sure, they got back together, but she still doesn't take his or anyone's crap. She even pumped him full of vervain (a vampire sedative) when it was necessary. That's our kind of girl.
Her Vampire Boyfriend
Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), turned against his will at age 30 in 1865. Bill's trying to mainstream after years of living in secret, returning to his long-abandoned ancestral home. He's got a curious mix of old fashioned manners and bloodthirsty-ness, particularly directed toward any creature who tries to hurt Sookie (pronounced Sook-EH, at least by Bill). Though he seemed loathe to get involved with other vampires in Seasons One and Two, it's become clear this season that Bill is far more entrenched in vampire politics than we realized.
Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), turned to save him from certain death at age 17 in 1918. How much you like Edward depends on your read of the material: he's either the perfect vampire boyfriend (loving, chivalrous, doesn't eat people) or an abusive jerk (selfish, controlling drama queen). It should be said that he loosens up over the course of the series and particularly in Eclipse, eventually learning the value of compromise and trusting Bella's ability to judge dangerous situations for herself. He's also a telepath, but he can't read Bella's mind, which he finds refreshing and frustrating in turn.
The Vampire Diaries
Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), turned semi-against his will and semi-consciously at age 17 in 1865. Stefan can be loving, kind, and witty, but he's also got sangfroid in spades. He handily dispatches threats and wields a flame thrower with aplomb. Even after a complete season, he can still be mysterious: he always seems to be in the know before the other characters on the show, and he's very judicious about which information he reveals and to whom.
We'd date: Though Bill is suddenly hot this season, we're sticking with Stefan. Did we mention the flame thrower?
Her Bad Boy Vampire Boyfriend
Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård), turned at age unknown circa 1000 CE. Eric started the show as a sexy, scary, menacing cult leader vampire sheriff, but he's been consistently revealed to be much more: his interactions with his gal Friday are priceless, and our glimpse into his tender relationship with his Maker last season was heartbreaking. Eric's a shrewd businessman and a powerful enforcer who is capable of real gentleness. Though there might be something not altogether right about his interest in Sookie, you can certainly see why she'd be drawn to him.
Not so much here. Bella's only got eyes for Edward, and no other vampire dares make a move on her.
The Vampire Diaries
Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), turned semi-against his will but mostly consciously at age 20 in 1865. Though it seemed at first that Damon's interest in Elena was driven entirely by her resemblance to his maker, Katherine, and though he lives to make his brother Stefan suffer, Damon's developing feelings for Elena are genuine. He started out the season a remorseless, single-minded killer, but he's starting to see the value of humanity and this altruism thing. He's got a long way to go, but his sadness and burgeoning desire to change are compelling.
We'd get bitten by: Eric. Somerhalder is a dreamboat, and his portrayal of Damon is borderline mind-blowing in its complexity. But there's just no getting around Eric's all-out badassery or the fact that he's essentially walking sex. Also, he can fly. Just think about that for two minutes.
We've only been introduced to werewolves this season, and they're mostly a pack of scary, drugged-up bikers. Alcide (Joe Manganiello) has recently appeared in Sookie's life, sent by Eric to protect her while she searches for a kidnapped Bill, and there's not much to him so far besides sex appeal and a possible plot about an ex-girlfriend. He certainly seems nice enough.
Werewolves exist in direct response to vampires (aside from other vampires, only these wolves have the ability to kill vampires, thus protecting humans), so it makes sense that the main competition for Bella's heart is her Native American friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), the second in command of a werewolf pack from the reservation outside of town. Jacob's a mostly sweet guy who tries his best to bring Bella through the worst time in her life, but he can also be petty and demanding. As a werewolf, he struggles to control his temper, potentially putting Bella or anyone nearby in danger.
The Vampire Diaries
Though it hasn't been officially, 100% revealed, it's clear that Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino), like his father before him, is a werewolf. He has anger he can't control, particularly under the full moon, and he rebounds quickly from injuries. He's no threat to Elena and Stefan, though. He barely even socializes with them.
We'd cuddle up to: Alcide, at least until he proves sappy or something. Lautner just looks so young, and we barely know Tyler, aside from the fact that he's kind of a dick.
The Femme Fatale
Pam (Kristin Bauer), turned for who knows what reason at age unknown more than 100 years ago. Though she's finally been made a series regular, we don't know much about Pam's history, other than that she works for Eric, her Maker, and she used to be a prostitute (we're guessing in her human days). We do know that she shows up at Fangtasia, the vampire bar she co-owns with Eric, in endlessly fabulous dominatrix gear and favours a tailored UES look outside the club, accessorized with sunglasses despite the fact that sunlight is fatal to vampires. She also has a deliciously dry wit and suffers no fools.
Rosalie Hale (Nikki Reed), turned to save her from certain death at age 18 in 1933. Rosalie was the most beautiful girl around when she was human, and, since becoming a vampire makes you beautiful, she's the most beautiful vampire anyone's ever seen in the series. She can be cold and downright nasty, particularly to Bella, but she's got her reasons. Vampirism isn't a life she'd choose for herself. Though she's an animal blood drinker like the rest of her coven, she comes with a body count.
The Vampire Diaries
Katherine Pierce (Nina Dobrev), turned for reasons unknown at age unknown in year unknown. We started out the season thinking Katherine was locked in a secret tomb, but it turned out she escaped. She's sexy and spontaneous, but she's also capricious and cruel. Her greed cost both Salvatore brothers their lives and has eternally pitted them against each other. Now that she's back and looks identical to Elena, who knows what havoc she'll wreak.
We'd get bitten by: Pam. Rosalie and Katherine are scary, but Pam's the complete package: scary, sexy, and dangerous. We're down with her lesbian weirdness any night of the week.
Other Supernatural Beasties
If you are into things that go bump in the night, you've hit the motherlode. There's a family of shape shifters, and a maenad terrorized the town throughout Season Two. We know there's a fairy godmother in the wings, so who knows what else they'll throw at us?
Werewolves and sparkle motion vampires who can read your mind and see your future aren't enough for you?
The Vampire Diaries
So far, just witches. Scary powerful witches who can make vampires immune to sunlight and humans immune to vampire violence. They can start fires and inflict pain with the power of their minds, to say nothing of what they can pull with a grimoire in hand.
We'd ally with: Witches. True Blood's resident shape-shifter Sam is cool and his power useful, but there's no telling what the witches are capable of.
Bon Temps, La. This small town has exactly one place to drink, though the menu sounds delicious when the place isn't overrun with vampires or orgy-having zombies. Otherwise, there's not much to see here besides the good looking men of the road crew.
Forks, Wash. Though it boasts some sort of diner, there's nothing to this sleepy Pacific Northwest town but rain, rain, and more rain. From movies to books to prom dresses, the teens of Forks must head out of town for divertissement.
The Vampire Diaries
Mystical Falls, Va. Aside from the Grill, there isn't a whole lot going on here either. Well, there must be some sort of Danier outlet store to explain the abundance of leather jackets, but that's it.
We'd move to: Bon Temps. So you might get turned into a zombie and have your heart carved out by a maenad to offer as a sacrifice to Dionysus. Small price to pay to hang out at Merlotte's with the hottest, dumbest guys in the world, all waiting to get twisted up in knots over someone like you.
What You Should Be Watching
Final tally puts True Blood slightly ahead of The Vampire Diaries with Twilight trailing behind with absolutely no points. Even so, don't count it out yet.
True Blood is a crazy, sexy, scary prime-time soap opera with questionable accents and even more questionable allegiance to clothes, which many can find off-putting. You should take that 14A warning HBO Canada flashes at the beginning of every episode seriously. If you have a high tolerance for things going bananas, it's definitely the show for you. (Sundays at 9 p.m.)
The Vampire Diaries is like True Blood's kid sister: less skin and gore but still plenty of soap. It may surprise you to learn that the show is deftly acted, and its breakneck pace hooks viewers before they even realize what they're in for. It's still new but growing into itself rather nicely. If you can hang in there through a handful of episodes, you'll be addicted in no time. (CW, Thursdays at 8 p.m.)
Twilight presents the biggest challenge with movie-length adaptations of 600-page novels. The TV shows have more time to develop arcs and characters by comparison. Still, smart casting and even smarter choices by screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg have helped streamline and elevate Stephenie Meyer's tween girl fantasies. Summit's decision to have a different director helm each of the adaptations means that even if you don't like one, there's a chance you'll like the next instalment. Besides, your living room just can't provide the same contact high as hundreds of teen girls squeeing all over the place. (Opens everywhere Wednesday, June 30)
Tags: alexander skarsgard, anna paquin, badassery, books, cinema, eclipse, hotties, ian somerhalder, joe manganiello, kristen bauer, kristen stewart, michael trevino, nikki reed, nina dobrev, paul wesley, robert pattinson, runaway, stephen moyer, stephenie meyer, taylor lautner, true blood, tv, twilight, vampire diaries, vampires, werewolves