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4.8 out of 5 stars222
4.8 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 7 June 2011
When I reviewed the first season of this show, I commented that its strength was keeping up the pace while still always serving the longer plot arc. I never felt like an episode was filler, everything always seemed to be moving somewhere and the number of twists and turns kept the ride interestng.

I'm pleased to say Season 2 keeps that up, and it also does a great deal to expand upon on and develop the core characters. I don't want to spoil anything for anybody who hasn't seen it, but Caroline and Tyler in particular have some excellent writing and progression this year. There are some absolutely brilliant new players in town, one of whom (Elijah) has become a great favourite of mine. The core chemistry between the three leads continues to sizzle, and Nina Dobrev in particular does an excellent job inhabiting two entirely different characters. It can be hard to keep up the tension in a triangle without having people get exasperated and "will you pick one and stick to it" but the writers do a good job of keeping things at a simmer without overdoing it. They also take care not to let the Salvatore brothers settle into two dimensional "good guy, bad guy" stereotypes - Damon may be dangerous but he never feels irredeemable, and Stefan may be a nice guy but there are always glimpses of the darker side within. That's important not just to keep the triangle plausible but to stop the whole thing being cliched and dull.

The stakes are raised and the show broadens its mythology, the performances and writing are consistently good... the show is keeping up the good work and hitting new strides without becoming convoluted or taking itself too seriously. Every time I thought someone or something had been too quiet, the next episode all was being revealed and the ongoing mystery kept me sucked in (pun intended). It's still a glossy teen drama, but it's far more than the fluff that such shows get stereotyped as. This is a really enjoyable bit of fantasy.
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on 9 January 2011
A number of reviewers say that this show grows on you episode by episode, and I agree. It seems that the writers and actors have now really found their pace here in season 2.

This is a season of many developments in the town of Mystic Falls after the major drama that ended season 1.
Poor baby vampire Anna, plus Mayor Lockwood, are dead but everyone else is pretty much still around.

Vampire Diaries has so much more to offer than the Twilight series - people who can act for starters (and do not merely look really hot), plus a great script.

As I understand it, 'The Vampire Diaries' is supposedly aimed at teenage girls. Well I am neither, yet this series (I think at least) is one of the best shows on TV right now.

The performances are first rate, and constantly go off in directions that are full of surprises, not to mention fun.
The founding families of Mystic Falls are mostly all back, including the Salvatores, the Gilberts, the Fells, the Forbes and the Lockwoods. As ever, they guard the town mainly from vampires, but also creatures such as werewolves and witches, some of whom are themselves members of the Founders' Council.

I would hate to give too much away, but there are several key developments in Season2:

1. a key character is 'turned' and becomes a vampire
2. werewolves start to make an appearance, courtesy of the Lockwood family. They are able to kill a vampire with one bite at full moon
3. Elena Gilbert's (Nina Dobrev), doppelganger, Katherine, wreaks all kinds of havoc
4. more witches come to town...not a good thing
5. Damon (the excellent Ian Somerhalder)gets a love interest
6. an all round bad-ass vampire appears, Elijah (Daniel Gillies), with a curious agenda.

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on 19 April 2016
Series one was a bit too much like a teen romance with a few vampires thrown in for good measure, but with the arrival of The Originals (the best spin-off series I have seen since Better Call Saul) it has become a much darker and more interesting piece of work with the characters written with a bit more depth and the storylines really embracing the darker side rather than the ‘in love with a the guy from the other side’ underlying theme that made Series 1 entertaining but not so complex. This series begins to play with the idea of who is really goo and who is bad and can you really judge people an put them in one category than another. The themes of family and loyalty tart to emerge with real bite and you can see that they are playing with social and moral ideas more than just the romance. It help that the men get more attractive the more evil they have within them. My only problem is that characters are constantly drinking, even the teenagers, and I id fin I suddenly felt like a Scotch even though I rarely rink when watching TV so that is a bit of an issue you might want to consider if you have younger children watching. I m a classic Vampire fan and hated Twilight, but this is by far a more intelligent series and beyond the blood there are great themes of loyalty, identity and family bonds
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on 5 December 2010
For those of you who are familiar with 'The Vampire Diaries' you probably don't need to be reminded that it's a million miles away from 'Twilight' and that it's not just for teenagers. 'The Vampire Diaries' supernatural elements mixed with high school, romance, at least one shocking incident per episode and twists and turns in the plot to leave you on the edge of your seat, have all combined to create one of the most addictive shows on television. The show possesses a unique ability through the story-telling to continually challenge the viewer's perceptions of who a character is. So no-one is quite who they appear to be. Stefan has been shown to have a dark side, while everyone's favourite bad boy Damon stuns you by doing something surprisingly selfless and enemy could become an ally, and a friend could become an enemy.

This season, a lot of the questions that cropped up in the First Season are explained, particularly about why Elena looks exactly like Katherine. We find out a lot more about Katherine, going back to before she became a vampire in 1400s Bulgaria. Her return to Mystic Falls turns everything upside-down, and Stefan and Damon have to put their differences aside to protect the town and the people they love. Stefan has to face his inner demons, Damon has to come to terms with his destructive tendencies and his love for Elena, and Elena has to come to terms with the fact that her feelings for Damon might run deeper than friendship and that being connected to Katherine could mean losing everyone she loves.
Perhaps one of the slight weaknesses of Season One was trying to integrate characters who weren't involved in the supernatual aspects (like Caroline and Tyler) into the main story. The good news is, by creating the werewolf story, the curse and Katherine's determination to wreak havoc, Caroline, Jeremy, Tyler and Bonnie have a much bigger part to play in Season 2. Tyler in particular, has a big story and has really evolved since last season. We see more interactions with characters who before, didn't share a lot of screen time together and that helps to keep things fresh and interesting. We also see the development of two more love triangles possibly developing, in the shape of Matt/Caroline/Tyler and Jeremy/Bonnie and new guy Luka. There are new characters to meet - Tyler's Uncle Mason, and some new vampires including ancient 'Original' vampires Elijah and Klaus who are so deadly and powerful, they make Katherine and Damon look positively angelic in comparison. As more of the mythology is revealed, it becomes rather convoluted and dare I say it, cloudy at times. For example, I'm not sure if the writers have made it clear why Klaus wants to break the curse by sacrificing Elena, other than not wanting the werewolves to be the ones to do it. Also, as Katherine is herself a doppelganger, (she becomes a vampire to escape), then it must mean there was another one before her. Who was the first, and how many doppelgangers have there been? The more answers that are revealed, the more questions you find yourself asking.

I have to commend Nina's performances as Elena and Katherine. Playing two different characters (sometimes in different eras) could have been a handful for any actress, but she manages to juggle both effortlessly. She is completely convincing and brilliant as the manipulative seductress Katherine, and empathetic playing high school student Elena. I've read at least one review on Amazon from someone who discredits Nina's acting, but after watching her play two complex roles, I think any doubters will change their minds. I have one slight concern about Elena's character though. At the beginning of the season, say around episodes 4 and 5, I felt Elena was in danger of fading into a rather colourless character. I'm not sure if that's because she was being over-shadowed by powerful female figures like Caroline (who became doubly entertaining and really came into her own after she became a vampire), or due to a flaw in the writing, but I felt she was losing some of her independence and spark. Fortunately this problem (if it is a problem, it's just my opinion), is rectified fairly quickly.

As for the love triangle, the writers pull a jaw-dropping twist in the first episode and another at the end of episode 8. Dramatic twists aside however, the progression of the triangle between Stefan, Elena and Damon feels VERY slow at times; there are long lapses when nothing much seems to be happening between the three of them at all, often for 4 episodes at a time. Just when you think the triangle is finally showing signs of springing into action at the end of 2x10, with Stefan trapped in the tomb with Katherine, and Damon promising to protect Elena, the next episode totally veers off course and ultimately, nothing happens. I found this completely aggravating, not to mention, pointless. It seemed very strange for the writers to hint that things were being kicked up a notch, and then not do anything with the situation they'd created. I know that the triangle has got to last the length of the series, so it's undoubtedly a good sign that the writers are so painstakingly slow in its development. It certainly keeps you watching but you can't help wondering when, and how, this much discussed love triangle is really going to take off and start hotting up, particularly when Stefan and Elena, although cute, are far from satisfactory in the couples department. Maybe it's because they got together in about 10 episodes last season, more likely it's because they lack depth, but I feel like there's something missing in their scenes together. I can't help feeling that Elena and Damon have a dynamic that is more intense, exciting and intriguing. Weirdly enough, in spite of all the things he does, Damon can sometimes come across as being more human than the human characters on the show; probably because of the spectrum of emotions he goes through: vulnerable, heart-broken and desperate in his dealings with Elena and Katherine in 'The Return'; psychotic and menacing when torturing Mason. This season, we get much closer to Damon than we ever have before, including discovering a secret of his which is made all the more heart-rending and shocking because it's not what you would imagine it to be. Ian Somerhalder is fabulous as Damon and is nothing less than extraordinary, especially in 'The Return', 'The Descent' and the bathtub scene in 2x13. But I also have to single out Michael Trevino (Tyler) and the terrific Candice Accola (Caroline).

While the writers try to balance all the aspects of the show, this season has posed quite a challenge to them with the many different stories they are trying to tell. My overall feeling is that while it has made for gripping viewing, they have neglected the development of the love triangle, which is arguably the most important part of the show. It made me wonder if perhaps the writers were trying to do a bit too much. Case in point: 'The Dinner Party' episode. How did the dagger that was used to kill Elijah in the Salvatore mansion end up in the lakehouse?? If Season 2 has a weakness, it might be that it is overly ambitious, to the detriment of some of the story-telling. However, with the exception of the love triangle and some of the weaker moments, Season 2 is just as good as the first. There's a lot more action, a lot more plot twists which will leave you reeling, and a lot more of Damon. If you loved 'Twilight' but are disappointed with the films, then watch this. If you hated 'Twilight' and love vampires, then watch this. And if you loved the First Season, then this is a must-buy.
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on 21 January 2011
To start I would like to say that I loved Twilight and was hesitant to watch this when it first appeared on our screens. Certainly the first few episodes weren't exactly captivating but there was something in the dynamic between the characters that kept me watching. If I'm honest, Stefan and Elena's relationship doesn't really do anything for me. It seems merely a hinge for the rest of the show to hang from. Elena and Damon's chemistry however is sizzling! Let's face it, it's all we really tune in for.

The 'will they, won't they' suspense is excellent, if a little dragged out at times but I would also like to say that the 'secondary' characters are actually well fleshed out and the acting is quite good. This show really rely's on these other story lines heavily between bouts of the Elena love triangle and they do the job quite well.

Caroline especially has really developed into someone worth watching in her own right by the second series and is no longer simply a supporting character for the main action. The sucess of this show is largely due to the fact that it is based on the books, which became a cult hit first. I think it is this that kept me watching in the beginning but I must say that the show has not been disappointing in the slightest. (Which can sometimes happen after falling in love with the written version first.) I would actually recommend you to read the books first. The show is much better. So my point summing up is that you can like Twilight AND The Vampire Diaries. I actually don't associate them with each other at all. If you like a bit of fantasy romance, give it a go. I highly doubt you'll be dissapointed.
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on 28 April 2016
A great second season of this awesome vampire diaries! Gets better with every season. With bonus features and deleted scenes, this is a great season
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on 15 August 2011
In all honesty, I have read all of the books to date and I much prefer the TV Series. The casting is spot on, the characters are to a tee. The storylines of the series are loosely based on those in the books, however, the writers (Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec) have their own ideas of where they want the series and characters to go. It is this that makes the series so fantastic, watchable, enjoyable and unique.

I'm a huge fan and have followed it from the have humans, vampires, werewolves, witches and so much more! And I believe that there's a heck of a lot more to come and I'm so what are you waiting for...give it a won't bite!
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on 28 September 2015
A thoroughly enjoyable follow up to the original series. There are many new characters and plot twists introduced. Ultimately, the series works if you can suspend your disbelief, but over time, you really come to care about the characters and what happens to them. The plot is fastpaced and the introduction of other mythic creatures in this season makes it more complex but also fresh. Obviously, the burning desire that runs through the three main characters is what keeps it dynamic and fresh. A great series, with great writers and acting. Have just started watching the third season!
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on 14 June 2011

Many of you out there might be a little like me - a vampire convert. I avoided the Twilight saga like the plague, thinking vampire-based programs were probably childish and far too fictional.

Until I got hooked on True Blood, and I didn't think it got any better than that..

Until I watched seasons 1 and 2 of The Vampire Diaries. Season 1 is excellent...far from the "serialisation of Twilight" that I had imagined it to be. Season 2 completely blows the doors off season 1. The penultimate episode (21) of season 2 is one of the best single episodes of any TV series I have ever seen. Utterly brilliant.

I have read up alot on the Vampire Diaries and the good news is that the writers say they can go in any direction with the script, based on the novels, which is great news. Season 3 will start on the brilliant CW Channel late September '11.

I am currently watching season 2 all over again and am also looking forward to True Blood season 4 which starts 26th June '11 in the USA, but I have to say that the Vampire Diaries just edges it in the vampire stakes (excuse the pun), but I would recommend both for very different reasons.
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on 23 November 2010
I am firstly going to start by saying that if anyone is discouraged from watching this due to the fact that Twilight has been so popular and thus compared to EVERY other vampire show out there - please don't let that spoil this for you. This is really not at all like Twilight, in fact - in many ways it is better. The relationships between the humans and the vampires are - however odd this may sound- slightly more realistic to that of them in Twilight.

The first season was excellent, and was interesting how it also incorporated the likes of witches - it showed to expect more than simply Vampires as supernatural beings. Season two, again goes further than just Vamps and witches - but I shall not say anything else about it since many people have not yet seen the show and I do not wish to spoil it for them - it will likely be no surprise what these other creatures are though.

The acting is pretty good for the most part and the two main men, as I am sure everyone knows by now, are absolutely gorgeous! Not that it should be important but if you're as shallow as I am, then it is! haha!

I didn't want to mention anything Twilight for this review since not everything vampire related should be compared with it just because it has been so successful, but I felt the need to mention it because I think its popularity may be a deterrent for many who may actually really enjoy this show so please, try not to compare or expect not to like it just because it is yet another Vampire show.
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