Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Premier, "Happy Birthday Elena"

Now that True Blood is done for the season, vampire fans are forced to resort to the teen angsty CW's The Vampire Diaries to get a fix.  Last Thursday was the season premier and we would be remiss if we didn't cover the show.  Do you see how much we sacrifice for you readers?

Two months have passed since Stefan took off with klaus in exchange for curing Damon of a werewolf bite inflicted by Tyler Lockwood. Elena, Damon and Alaric have spent the time looking for him. Each new tip that Elena gets, she passes it on to Damon but what she does not know, is that Damon has been following Stefan the ripper through the news articles detailing his murders.  He didn't want to share the news with Elena because of the extreme violence with which Steffan feeds.  Apparently, he feeds so hard that his victims end up decapitated and then he feels remorse, so he puts their bodies back together. 

Much of this show was spent angsting over Steffan's involvement with Klaus. I know that we are not supposed to like murdering, blood drunk Steffan; however, I think it is a far sight better than mopey musty Stefan on animal blood.  At least he is interesting and a touch bad ass, when he is not moping about how he is going to get Damon and Elena to stop tracking him.

Caroline planned a huge eighteenth birthday party of Elena. How old does this make Jeremy? I had to laugh at this because the idea that Elena is only 18, yet never attends school except to be front in center in some founders day celebration, and goes to bars and drinks, though the legal age for that is 21. At seventeen she went where she wanted when she wanted, up to and including romantic getaways with her boyfriend. I don't understand for the life of me why the writers didn't just make the cast 21-25.  They would still be young enough to be considered in the YA genre, and it would make more sense in terms of what they have the characters doing. 

Caroline and Tyler still have some pretty interesting chemistry though Damon has warned her that being friends with a werewolf is dangerous, because werewolf bites kill vampires. In one scene they discuss how they are always horny thanks to their awesome werewolf and vampire powers.  If they are always horny its because their teens.  Teenagers are one walking hormone so how about we dispense with the woo woo explanation.  Tyler tells Caroline that he is bringing a date to Elena's party and she calls her slutty Sophie.  Nice CW, real nice.  Tyler can't be a slut for wanting to get laid, because of his werewolf nature, but Sophie a human girl is most definitely a slut for having sex without attachments.  This is probably why I didn't feel terrible for Caroline, when she was shot with vervain needles by Carol Lockwood, while she was attempting to do the walk of shame, after sleeping with Tyler.

Speaking of women in this episode, did anyone else notice that when women weren't actively being slut shamed, they were victims of violence?  After Klaus found out the location of the werewolf that he was hunting, he left Stefan to feed on them.  As he walked away, we could hear the women screaming.  I know that this is meant to be excused by Stefan following his true vampire nature, or even the bad influence of Klaus; however, violence against women, should not be so easily excused.  This is something that we see quite often in this genre.  Unless one is a love interest of the supernatural creature in question, one is considered disposable.  I further found it disturbing that one of these women, was a woman of colour.  Outside of the opening sequence when we see Bonnie on skype with Jeremy, there are no other women of color in this episode.  That combined with the that people of colour are routinely considered snack food for the vampires of Mystic Falls, just makes this woman one more example of The Vampire Diaries negative treatment of people of color.

Jeremy is still seeing ghosts but I must admit that I am excited at the return of Anna played by Malese Jow and hopeful that the writers can redeem themselves for killing her off.  At the time of her death in the series, she was one of two women of color regulars on the show and so when they killed her, they killed off 50% of their characters of color. I really believe that because the show is set in the mystical town of Mystic Falls, and L.J. Smith the author of The Vampire Diaries books didn't see fit to have any character of colours in her series that erasure is acceptable. I have news for the writers, people of colour are everywhere, though we continue to be minorities.

I think it is also worth mentioning that once again there were no GLBT characters in the show.  I guess having one cis, straight woman of colour makes up their minority quota for a small southern town.  This again is yet another example of the ways in which The Vampire Diaries continues not to be inclusive. I really don't hold out much room for this to change as there seems to be a lot of resistance to make inclusivity a priority in urban fantasy, but I will keep watching and hope for change.