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Vampire Diaries. Season 2.
Steven R McQueen
This is my first review on this series. I currently am a holder of a Netflix account so am always watching different series and programs. This was one that I continuously saw popping up, and seeing it feature many evenings on ITV2, I thought I would give it a watch. I have just finished the second series and am now totally hooked so I thought it about time that I review it.
About The Series.
For those who are unaware of this program it features 3 predominant main characters. Stephan, Damon and Elena. Stephan and Damon are both vampires, and share a common interest in there obvious love for Elena. They live in a town called Mystic Falls, which we learned from the first series, is riddled with vampires and other mystical beings. The series shows their constant battle to protect the doppelganger.
As previously mentioned this current season has 22 episodes, with each episode lasting at least 40 minutes you can imagine that quite a lot happens in one season. This season sees the return of the woman that turned Stephan and Damon into vampires, this same woman also held the love of the two brothers. Her name is Katherine Pearce, played by the same actress that plays Elena Nina Dobrev. They are both played by the same actress for one reason that we find out during the series, Elena is a doppelganger of Katherine, for those unaware of the term this basically means a physical double of another person.
We are also introduced into the world of werewolves too, when Elena's childhood friend Tyler's family the Lockwood's secret is out. We are introduced to Mason Lockwood Tyler's cousin who has returned looking for something that later proves vital to Klaus.
Klaus causes quite a stir in this season. Klaus is what is known as a hybrid. This is because he is half werewolf and half vampire. Klaus needs three things. The blood of a vampire, the moonstone (Mason Lockwood's wanted item) and the blood of a doppelganger. Klaus is an original along with his brother Elijah, they are a lot stronger, faster and half more powers than your average vampire.
Much more exciting things happen in this series but far too many in the 22 episodes than I could possible write in this one review. Many people that Elena loves and cares about are affected in this series, and you can't help but feel sadness and pity for her. After losing her parents then to have one of the most powerful vampires on her tail wanting her blood would be hard for anyone, especially a 17 year old girl.
My favourite character throughout this series has to be Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder). His acting is great and he is that one character which everyone hates but you can't help but love him at the same time. He is always in competition with his brother for the love of a lady and I feel myself wanting Damon to get the girl this time. Stephan had the love of Katherine and now of Elena, when is it going to be Damon's turn?
I have found this series very entertaining, we see the introduction of werewolves, witches and a hybrid! Each episode is packed full of drama, there is always something happening with one of the cast members, and I could literally not tear myself away from it. If you start this series be prepared to have a lot of your free time taken over, because you find yourself just needing to find out what happens next!
One thing that I did find myself thinking with this series is the apparent comparison with the well known film twilight. The one girl with two love interests, very similar to Bella, Edward and Jacob. Then of course the vampire and werewolf theme runs through both film/program. Also I found the original vampires like Klaus and Elijah to be quite like the Volturi, in the respect that they had more power than the rest of the vampires.
The comparisons are quite apparent throughout the series, but I found this to be a lot more current. So I found it to be very easy viewing. I can't fault the acting or the overall story, all the characters have a story and apart from the 3 main characters which we obviously see and learn more of, I feel we get to know every other cast member equally. This season is very gripping and is jam packed with drama and exciting events.
The first thing I will say about this series is that you rally should make sure you have seen all of series 1 before starting series 2 as there is a lot going on and you might get a bit lost if you don't have the back story from series one.
Series 2 is available on Ebay for around £10-15 and you can pick up season 1 for around £5-10 depending on where you look. There are 22 x 40 minute episode in each series so you get a lot of watching time for your money. I watched all of series 2 in less than a week which considering I don't watch TV is the biggest hint as to how much like this series, nothing usually keeps my attention for more than a few episodes and I have no watched two whole series of this and have stated the third (I think I am an addict).
Much more goes on in this series and that is saying something because series one wasn't exactly devoid of action.
In the last episode of series one Kathrine returns which is the big cliff hanger ending so that is developed in this series with Katherine and Elena being Identical (Elena is Kathryn's doppelganger) she pretends to be Elena in a dew scenes, fooling everyone for a sort while including Stefan & Damon but it doesn't take them too long to realize she is back.
You get to see both Steffan and Damon struggle with their feelings for Kathryn even though they both hate her now they did both love her at one point and Damon has been holding on the fact that they were in love for 140 years and always thought they would be together again so it is really difficult to say the least for him. There is a really heartbreaking scene where he s considering giving her another chance and they discuss the past, this was a huge tear jerker moment which Ian Somerhalder plays really well and with such intensity as does Nina Dobrev.
It is really interesting watching Nina Dobrev playing both Kathryn and Elena as they are obviously are identical but they are polar opposites when it comes to personality. Kathryn is ruthless and selfish and has no consideration for other peoples lives or feelings whereas Elana is really sweet and caring and will do anything to protect the people she loves. She does a great job of distinguishing between the characters as there are times when you can tell which one she is paying without her even speaking just by the look on her face which shows some very skillful acting.
There is a lot of great character development in this series and you get to see a lot more of the other characters become more important such as Carloine who's who's whole role completely changes in this series. As do the roles of Alaric and Jeremy. T
The fact that Damon is in love with Elena becomes more obvious and undeniable n this series as it is clear he would rather die tan let anything happen to her, and at some points he seems more determined to keep her save than Stefan does. He is trying so hard to be a better person and not to tell Elena how he feels for her sake, there s another heartbreaking scene not long after the one with Kathryn where Damon almost spills how he feels about Elena. I can't really give much detail as it would spoil what happens but it is horrible to watch and a huge part of me was thinking just chose Damon.
This series also introduces Werewolves, which was hinted at the end of series one as you know there is something supernatural going on with the Lockwoods as both Tyler and his Dad react to the Gilbert device which was only meant to effect Vampires.
The Werewolves in Vampire Diaries are much scarier than in some other films like Twilight as there transformation is brutally painfully and drawn out, and when they are changed they are totally inhumane and become killers . they have no control over there actions. It is a curse as it meant to be.
The main threat in this series comes from the arrival of 'The Original' Vampires Klause and Eleija who are much older stronger and scarier than anything that has been in the series so far and you probably predicted they are after the doppelganger. I am not going to say much about this as it is the main plot line in the series and I don't want to spoil it but there are some fantastic moments along the way and a lot of edge of your seat episodes.
Overall this series was even better than the fist one and I would recommend it to anyone who likes paranormal romance and action, but not for anyone who has anything important coming up as it takes over your life.
This series is rated 15 and I think that is an appropriate rating for it.
This review is also on my Ciao account under shellyjaneo
I have to point out here that have you not already seen The Vampire Diaries there are going to be a few minor spoilers in this review so you may not wish to read on.
For those that know a little bit about me you will already know that I am a huge fan of The Vampire Diaries and although I watched the second season on ITV 2 I was very excited to receive the DVD box set for Christmas this year. The DVD set comes in a cardboard slip case which features a picture of the main three actors in the series as well as the title with a "love sucks" comment underneath it. You are advised that the series is suitable for viewers aged 15 and over which I think is probably about right in all honesty due to the fact that it does contain blood, violence and such like. Inside the cardboard sleeve there is a DVD case which looks just the same as the cardboard slip but which houses the five DVD discs as well. There are 22 episodes in season two, each of which lasts around forty minutes so it will take some time to watch the episodes unless like me you just nail it and watch a few episodes a night! I do think it is important to have watched series one before this one to get a feel of the characters and the direction in which the story is going.
In the last series of the Vampire Diaries whilst Elena Gilbert, Stefan Salvatore and Damon Salvatore had their issues it was mainly about Elena discovering her boyfriend Stefan was a vampire and the issues that went along side dealing with that and covering it up as well. In series two though things get a whole lot more interesting as we learn more about the fact that Elena is the Petrova doppelganger and essential to a spell which will break the day and night curse for one of the original and most powerful vampires Klaus and we are also introduced to werewolves so there is a lot more action in this series I think. Of course because of the introduction of werewolves people are going to make even more links between The Vampire Diaries and Twilight and I am a huge fan of the Twilight Saga but for me The Vampire Diaries is a more grown up Twilight as it deals with things in a more real way in my opinion. For example when we see a werewolf transform in The Vampire Diaries it is painful as every bone in their body breaks and adjusts to the wolf form but in Twilight they just jump in the air, lose their shirts and transform easily!
In series two we see the return of Katherine who is the vampire who changed Stefan and Damon in to vampires. She declares her love for Stefan which no one really believes because she has proven herself to be more than untrustworthy but for Damon it is a difficult admission as he has spent more than a hundred years thinking that he loved Katherine and once she was found they would be together. As Katherine and Elena look identical they are obviously both played by Nina Dobrev and I think she does a wonderful job of distinguishing the pair and playing them in really different ways. Katherine is sexy, manipulative and strong where as Elena is a little scared at times and more down to earth. It is odd to see that Katherine and Elena can look so different from one another just by the way in which Nina Dobrev plays them which I think is quite clever.
A story which I have really enjoyed watching in this series is the development of Damon as a character. In series ones we see Damon be completely bad as he has switched off his human side to avoid feeling any hurt or regret for his actions but we also see a softer more caring side of him. In series two we really see Damon develop as he begins to fall for his brother's girl once more and feels a real need to protect Elena. Throughout the series it is clear that Damon loves Elena but he tries to hide this really well and we see him battle with his own feelings and his natural desire to feed on human blood as well. I think Ian Somerhalder plays the role of Damon perfectly because he is sexy and broody yet you see him be so intense as he tries to protect Elena from the various threats which occur throughout the series. He manages to portray the fact that he would rather die than let Elena die so very well and he makes it all seem believeable....I know that I would LOVE a Damon in my life.
It is also interested to watch the relationship between Damon and Stefan in this series because as much as Damon tries to hide the fact he loves Elena Stefan is aware of this fact and that must be really hard to take so we do see some fights between the brothers. Paul Wesley who plays Stefan does an excellent job of portraying the caring, more sensible vampire but I like how in this series we see him battle a few of his own demons and sometimes see glimpses of the old Stefan who we have been told was a very prolific killer who took joy in taking human life. I really enjoyed seeing Paul Wesley act out lots of different sides of Stefan and in particular seeing him deal with the return of Katherine who at one stage meant so much to him.
Another nice feature of series two is the way in which we see characters which were around in series one but not really main players come to have a more active role in the series. As such we have a good group of what I would call main characters and I think that really enhances the series because it isn't totally focussed on the journey of Elena and the two Salvatore brothers. In series two we see Elena's Brother Jeremy, played by Steven McQueen really come in to his own because for starters he has a new hair cut and suddenly appears older and hotter! As he learns about the supernatural dealings in Mystic Falls and those which surround his sister he opts to work with the others against them. We see Jeremy as he begins a relationship with Elena' witch best friend Bonnie too which I think is lovely to see being played out on the screen. In series one Bonnie, played by Kat Graham, is just discovering her witchcraft but in series two we see how powerful she can actually be as she takes on the original vampires almost single handed. Bonnie is a character which I haven't really been able to warm to properly but I think this is a lot to do with the fact that she has her guard up a lot in the series and we don't often see a softer side.
A huge event in series two is the transformation of Caroline who is one of Elena's best friends, played by Candice Accola, from human to Vampire. I think that this is done in a good way really and I think Caroline is the perfect choice to become a vampire because of her stressy nature which becomes heightened as a vampire. The transformation is played really well with Caroline craving blood and I think it is acted well too but then it all seems to go a little bit wrong with Caroline following Stefan's lead and feeding on animal and blood bank blood which all seems a little too easy considering it took Stefan many many years to adapt to this change. This said I do like Caroline as a vampire and I also enjoyed seeing her relationship develop with Tyler a new werewolf whilst her relationship with her boyfriend Matt was put in serious jeopardy.
The introduction of the original vampires Klaus and Elijah in this series is excellent I think as it brings a whole new element of fear for the people of Mystic Falls where before their only main issue was the odd rogue vampire. As the original family there are special rules which accompany them such as the fact they cannot be killed by a stake and how they can control the minds of vampires as well as humans. We see in Elijah a somewhat honourable man who just wants to seek revenge on his estranged brother Klaus but yet you learn not really to trust him completely and I think this is because he is played so well by Daniel Gillies who portrays Elijah in a creepy way a lot of the time and you know you shouldn't cross him. Klaus is played by Joseph Morgan and he is a really excellent actor. He portrays Klaus for the short time we see him in such a sinister way yet this is done by being softly spoken and is ultimately just about his general presence. Having seen some of series three I think Klaus's character is wonderfully clever but series two just gives us a little taster of how things are likely to be in series three. Joseph Morgan does an excellent job of making you dislike his character in this series.
The whole series two of The Vampire Diaries is filled with action as we see witch craft, rituals and general fight scenes as well. Typically again with links to Twilight we see the rivalry between werewolves and vampires but like I said earlier this seems somewhat more grown up and you know that if they got a chance they would tear each other apart. The action scenes are mostly well done and believable and they keep your attention well. Being a girl though I also really enjoy seeing the relationships develop in the story as well and there is plenty to keep me going in this series. In series one I was very much all about Stefan but in series two I found myself wishing that it didn't have to be so complicated for Damon and at points even wishing Elena would appreciate his feelings a little bit more. Through this series I have laughed and even cried at one episode and I just love it! It is not a "kids" programme and it really keeps my interest well so much so that I struggle to wait a week to watch the next episode as for me it just gets better and better. In series two I also think that the story is linked together really well and so we see things which link lesser characters to the main ones but this is done in a clever way which whilst interesting isn't overly complex and so you do not lose interest at all and if anything you are left asking more questions and wanting to go on and watch the next episode.
There are various bonus features on the DVD which include looking at how Nina Dobrev copes with playing two characters, a section which looks at the werewolves as they are a new addition to the show, a look at the love stories in the show, deleted scenes and gag reels. I really enjoyed watching the deleted scenes because it is interesting to see what might have made it in to the show but my favourite section was the gag reels because it shows a different fun side to the cast as they make mistakes whilst filming because they show is pretty serious for the most part so it is nice to see them messing around and having a laugh!
Season two of The Vampire Diaries costs £25.99 to buy online from either play or amazon but the two series box set costs £33.99 should you be interested in watching the series and you have not seen any of it.
Thank you for reading my review!
So Season 1 ended with Damon kissing (what he thought to be) Elena on the porch after confessing that she had changed him into a better person. Katherine then gets invited into the house by Aunt Jenna who obviously think its Elena! Katherine finds John in the kitchen and stabs him just as the real Elena enters the house! What a start! With that introduction to the Series you know its going to be a good one! If you love Series One, you'll not be disspointed!!
So to break down Series 2 it focuses on the fact that Elena is Katherine doppelganger. The Doppelganger is the key to breaking a curse known as the 'Sun and Moon'. The whole Series is based around this. Elena is the key!
'The Sun & Moon Curse' and 'The Orginals'?
The curse restricts Vampires and Werewolves. Vampires cannot go out into the Sun, while the Werewolves (who are brought into the story via Tyler Lockwoods character) can only turn on a full moon. If this curse is broken by either side their part of the curse breaks. This results in all Vampires and Werewolves hunting Elena down with Stefan, Damon and Bonnie protecting her as best they can. Little do we know that the 'Sum & Moon Curse' is all a fake and was created by the 'Original Vampire family'! At this point we know very little about this family other than they made up the curse as it hides a real curse put on Klaus who is the most feared of the 'Originals'. Although I would love to tell you all about this family I feel it would be too confusing and the writers cleverly feed you snippets of information through countless episodes so you can follow it easiler.
In other areas of the story we watch as Damon comes to care for Elena more deeply and they form a strong bond. Particularly when Stefan surcumbs to human blood and Elena and Damon work together to save him. We see how Damon has changed since Series 1 but yearns for the love and trust of Elena. He goes to extreame measure to protect her where Klaus finally appears to break the curse but is then bitten by a werewolf. At this point we now know that a werewolf bite to a Vampire is fatal and even though Damon knows he is dying he still fights to protect Elena and saves her at Klaus ritual to break the curse.
But this is not to be the end for Damon, Stefan finds out a cure and the cure is Klaus blood. He offers himself as a 'slave' for some blood to save his dying brother and Klaus accepts, and then reawakens Stefan dark side and rekindles his lust for human blood!
Stefan the Ripper is back!!!