Stars: Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder
Writer: Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec, Based on the book by L.J. Smith
Director: Joshua Butler
Network: THE CW, airs Thursday nights
Original Telecast: February 3rd, 2010

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is a show that has really grown into one of my weekly must-watch shows. I was never a devotee of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER or CHARMED or even ANGEL during their initial run. I didn’t really discover those series’ until much later on DVD. Having said that, I started with episode one of DIARIES, simply because it came on when I needed a genre show to watch since TRUE BLOOD was on hiatus. I admit I wasn’t instantly sucked into the show, I had to warm up to it, but the series has definitely found its pacing and its overreaching arcs and everything runs like a well-oiled machine as it hits the mid-way point of Season Two.

In “Daddy Issues” Elena’s biological dad Jonathan Gilbert shows back up in town, just in time to keep her out of trouble as Stefan and Damon come head to head with not just one or two werewolves, but a whole pack of them. As usual everyone’s motives come into question. So many of the characters seem to not only be lying to each other, but maybe even to themselves and what they really want deep down inside. Stefan and Elena are probably a couple of the only characters that only have one driving force, and that is to be with each other.

Tyler the newly born werewolf is a hot mess of emotions and thoughts as he finds out that Caroline (Miss Mystic Falls now vampire) lied to him about her knowledge and involvement into his uncle’s death. This confrontation, and Stefan trying to be Nixon in China acting as peace keeper, is what starts the whole showdown between vamps and wolves. Caroline gets taken hostage and the wolves want Tyler in exchange for her. Of course, the wolves aren’t playing on the up and up and they set a trap to kill the Salvatore brothers and Caroline once they are all in the woods. Some timely intervention from a witch (not Bonnie) and the day is saved for now.

I hate the wolves. There is absolutely no love for that breed on this show. I was kind of concerned when they were introducing werewolves last season that we would have a TWILIGHT situation on our hands, but the wolves on this series are so unsympathetic that you want them to die. They are ruthless, conniving, and they ride around in a Winnebago of doom. I’m hoping Elijah can just do away with them in the near future since they are probably going to get in the way of his plans for Elena, everyone else, and the moonstone.

Speaking of plans, what was up with Jonathan Gilbert slumming it in the tomb with Catherine at the end of the episode? Proof positive that Elena can’t trust him, but maybe he’s actually up to good this time around? Again, another character that I kind of despise. He plays at being a repentant bad guy, but I think he’s just going to leave everyone screwed, blued, and tattooed to get what he wants.

Sure VAMPIRE DIARIES isn’t as heavy serious drama as a lot of shows out there, but that’s part of its massive appeal to me. I like the characters, the storylines are interesting and getting more and more convoluted the further we go, and of course the entire cast is filled with pretty people. Face it – can you really turn down a Thursday night with a bunch of sexy people in your living room entertaining you with their drama? Didn’t think so.

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