Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Vampire Soap Operas

TV is a great source of escape at the end of a hard day of work. Or a day of hard work. Or a day of easy work. Or a day of hardly working... 

I have always liked TV, but I'm critical and as I've gotten older, I've gotten much pickier about what I watch. So it took me completely by surprise when I was sucked into and couldn't stop watching "The Vampire Diaries" on Netflix, recently. 

Finally, thankfully, I have caught up and now only need watch it once a week to keep up on all the drama-- is Elena going to really break up with Damon? Is Bonnie really dead? Will Caroline ever find happiness with Tyler? 

The fact is, this show is a soap opera (as is its spinoff, "The Originals", which I also caught up on last week). I could trade the names in my questions above with the names of the characters that populated "Days of Our Lives", back when I was in high school and it would make sense to fans. It's the same thing as "Days", but with more blood and decapitation. People die and aren't really dead; people fall in and out of love; folks have affairs; they lie and manipulate each other; there are characters designed for you to "love to hate"; every actor on the show is ridiculously good-looking; every few episodes has a cliff-hanger ending; much of the dialogue and relationship dramas repeat in a cycle-- it's amazing. 

What's more amazing is that I even like this stuff. I've always been partial to a vampire-type of story. While I despised the movies, I actually really like the "Twilight" books. I have read a few other vampire books, most of which I've liked. I don't mind a little gore and I love a good mystery. What surprises me is that I like this teenage, romance-themed soap. I can't stand soap operas, now that I'm an adult. In my opinion, they're weak-scripted garbage that dulls the mind and wastes time better spent doing almost anything else.

But vampire soap operas? I'm there!

It's been very strange. My one big complaint about this show is that most of the teenagers are sexually active and many of them do drugs, too. Everyone drinks, though. It's just the thing. I guess that's modern Hollywood's view of society at large, but I hope that's now what all teenagers feel is "normal". Because it's not. And, frankly, I think it's dangerous for teenagers to watch shows that portray drinking alcohol, taking drugs and promiscuous sex as not only "normal" behavior, but fun and exciting and without negative consequences. As an adult, I have a more true perspective on such things, but kids really don't.

How do I explain why I liked this show, though? I really don't know. Maybe I just needed an escape that I wasn't finding in other shows or books right now. Maybe I'm enchanted by the good-looking actors. Maybe I was just so excited to get to see Ian Somerhalder shine again- I loved him on "Lost". 

Thankfully, I'm completely caught up with both vampire shows, and now I can waste less time on that and spend more watching "Veronica Mars" (as recommended by my siblings) and reading my enormous, wonderful, mentally delicious copy of Brandon Sanderson's "Words of Radiance", which may turn out to be my new favorite book.

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