Monday, December 14, 2009

books vs. their on-screen counterparts: the vampire diaries

The Vampire Diaries
L.J Smith
Vol. I (television tie-in): The Awakening
Vol. II (television tie-in): The Struggle
Vol. III & IV (bind up): The Fury & The Dark Reuinion

Yes, I know. We're all sick of these vampire things that keep popping up everywhere. The story pretty much goes has the following components. The supernatural character is nine times out of ten a male who has issues with their tortured and damned existence. They move to somewhere more isolated, and hope that they can lead a normal life. They fall in love with a lovely girl and finally have a reason for existence, usually something sappy like "I was turned for the sole purpose of meeting her". They try to keep their relationship with said girl as separate as possible to their vampiric tendencies, but fail. The girl then usually ends up turned, or you are left without a doubt that they will be or tragically, dead.

Don't get me wrong, I do like them. I just don't like the fact that it's become so big that everyone's reading or watching them. Somehow, the artistic value of the story held within the pages of the books don't have the same spark or charm when everyone else is reading them. Maybe its just me?

So when The Vampire Diaries started up, claiming to be edgier, hotter and better than The Twilight Saga I had to wonder "is it really?" or was it merely just using this as a way to snag Twilight's audience? So I watched it, and I have to admit I liked it. It isn't perfect - it still pretty much follows the same concept as numerous other vampire tales, but it was edgy and not all sugar and spice. And being a somewhat good television show based on a book, the age old question came up: the books or the show/movie?

I placed the books on order a couple of months ago at Angus & Robertson, picked them up a month ago and finished the first four books in less than a week. I liked the television series much better, which is weird because I don't usually opt for the adaptations. It is probably at about this time that I'd like to warn people.

That's aimed at you Wendy - assuming that you want to read it for yourself and not read my opinions

The book whooshes by so fast! It's like one moment Stephan is new, and all of a sudden - he's been there for months? WTF? And their relationship is so… rushed. Well, I think so anyway, but the same can be said for numerous other vampire love stories.

I like the fact that they've changed Elena for the series. The Elena in the book is much more superficial, vapid, self-absorbed and controlling than the lovely, fragile one portrayed by Nina Dobrev. She seems much more real, and a lot easier to relate to.

Though the acting is alright, I don't like Stephan too much. In my opinion, Paul Wesley portrays his character way to much like how Rob Pattinson portrays Edward. There's this single, sultry smirk that seems so alike, and if I wasn't capped I would dig up photos for comparison. The way Stephan walks is eerily so much like Edward - he half struts and bounces everywhere. It's not very sexy. (Please note that I may be biased due to my dislike of Rob Pattinson's Edward Cullen)

The books, written in like the 90's don't seem to have too much of a pull on me because I can barely recall what it was like in the 90's. The television adaptation is current, and therefore more appealing to me. It's not as if I can't fathom a time where mobile phones didn't exist, but they do make things easier. Aspects of the book have been appropriated to better suit our times, which is fine by me =]

Now, the end of the fourth book The Dark Reunion leaves us with an evil cliffie and I have yet to read the following books in The Return arc of the series. But by the title, it is obvious that Elena, after being turned and dying - returns, fully human. I don't know where the story is expected to go after this event, but only time will tell.

So there we have it, a half-assed review of The Vampire Diaries - the books and the television series - that has been lying around in my draft posts for a couple of weeks. Don't believe that the adaptation is better? Read the books for yourself and come up with your own opinions =]

1 comment:

  1. Hee hee. I'll get back to you on my opinions once I've read it.
    I got the books now, so I'll read them after Deathly Hallows :)