I was completely hooked on this series from episode 3 when my daughter begged me to watch it with her as it was apparently "scary" ! It is one of the best shows to come out of the USA - right up alongside Lost, 24 and ER in my opinion. Yes the whole vampire "thing" is everywhere these days, but what I love about The Vampire Diaries is the story of the founding families of Mystic Falls and how the history of vampires and witches is told in flashbacks to the Civil War era. In a very clever way the writers have managed to create characters whom you immediately form opinions about in the first couple of episodes, but by the end of the series you see them in a completely different light. There are some extremely clever and witty lines, banter and humour mixed alongside fear, tragedy and some truly "jump out of your seats" moments. Cannot fault a single member of this excellent cast, but high praise indeed must go to Ian Somerhalder who plays Damon. His portrayal of this maniacal, yet loveable psychopath is acting gold.