easily distracted by shiny objects (with fangs) (not a sewing post)

Friends, excuse me while I geek out on a combination of factors.  I’m a writer by training, did you know that?  (probably not.  To call my style “long-winded and excessive” would be an understatement.  I actually get hate mail about a book review I wrote on goodreads!)  so it’s ingrained in me to want to respond to something I see by writing about it.

Also, I’m a huge nerd.  I’m sure you noticed that much at least.  So indulge me while I grapple with my response to last week’s “vampire diaries” and the huge “buffy the vampire slayer” comparison that has been rumbling around my head.

two things. firstly, has david boreanaz ever been hotter? and honestly, i could listen to james marsters read the phone book.

Reading the comments on a bunch of blogs and recaps on this show has been an education, of sorts.  People take it very personally!  I mentioned earlier this year (late last year), while modeling my killer mccall jean jacket, that I had a lot of TVD love.  But that love had been fading, because the show was 1) pulling an angelus on us, one I deemed unworthy of the original and 2) I feel like it’s fallen victim to its own pacing.  Even more so than downton (one of the few criticisms of downton I actually can get on board with).

So anyway, we have a love triangle.  Check.  Vampire loves girl.  Girl loves vampire.  Vampire brother ALSO loves girl.  And she sort of likes him but mostly loves the attention.  This season kicked off with the “good” vampire doing unspeakable evil and (to put it in buffy-speak) losing his soul, ultimately sending the girl right into the arms of the “bad” vampire brother.  In the interim, a lot of potentially fascinating emotional plotlines were sacrificed in the name of this show’s lightning-fast pacing.  I lost interest.

Moving into this phase of season 3, the obvious comparison between Stefan and damon is angel vs. spike.  I think it’s a wonderful comparison—it sets out a lot of fascinating parameters to think about as a watcher.  Stefan, like angel, loves Elena but is constantly battling against himself and what he deems his nature.  He knows that their relationship is futile, he can’t help himself, he succumbs, he pulls back—played with increasing depth by Paul Welsley, who started off this show as absolutely the weak link.

Damon is more like spike.  Impulsive.  Less interested in a moral event horizon.  Drawn in against his own wishes by his weird desire for the girl.  And always about “protecting “ her—which often turns into trying to force her to do what he thinks is best.  No respect—at all—for her own agency.

Incidentally—this is why I hate twilight.  Bella has no agency.  She exists only as an object of desire.  She literally has no life outside of her all-consuming desire for Edward.  (and this is a model for young girls to read about?  Pass the buffy DVDs, please!)

Stefan, like Angel, loves the girl and has that love returned.  But what is more important to me as a viewer, and what makes their relationship more interesting (even if it is the conventional choice) is that Stefan finds ways to respect Elena’s agency.  She is not always a damsel in need of saving.  She’s no Buffy, but she has found the strength within herself to be a worthwhile companion.

Damon, like Spike, loves the girl and…sort of has that love returned.  I’ve always interpreted Season 6 of Buffy as Buffy initially working out her own issues on Spike, but ultimately breaking it off because she doesn’t want to hurt herself—and she doesn’t want to hurt him.  Spike (and Damon) were there for our heroines at times of great need and provided vital emotional support.  I think Elena respects that about Damon.  She loves that about him.  But ultimately Damon’s impulsiveness and lack of respect for her agency will always get in the way.  (Not Buffy 6×19 “Seeing Red” style, with attempted rape in the bathroom, but there are arguments to be made about the times that Damon has forced Elena to drink his blood and how that can compare…)

So we get a scene like in this past week’s episode of TVD, where Damon professes himself to Elena, she lies to him (and to herself) about his importance to her, and meanwhile anvils are dropping that 1) she still really prefers Stefan and 2) that feeling is still returned.  And the fans go WILD.  On both sides of the triangle!  But for me, it’s about who has greater respect for the heroine’s choices.

I started watching this show because I couldn’t help myself.  Twilight on Dawson’s Creek?  Yes, please!  I kept watching because Stefan and Elena matured into an actual, functioning relationship and because Ian Somerholder was doing some amazing work finding new borders between drama and camp and the evil-googly-eye roll every week.  Ian’s real-life chemistry with Nina Dobrev may make them hotter on screen, but I’ll always be a Stefen-Elena ‘shipper.

The end.

Oh, and look at the pretty wardrobe from this past week.  (see?  Clothes!  This is still a sewing blog!)

because when the oldest vampires in the history of time invite you to a party, you know it's black tie

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8 Responses to easily distracted by shiny objects (with fangs) (not a sewing post)

  1. Robert says:

    Thank the heavens you aren’t a Twilight fan! I would have given True Blood an honorable mention. It’s a really decent show, though it get’s campy from time to time.

  2. I don’t know much of anything about TVD or Buffy, but good golly I hate Twilight! I read it because all my students were reading it, and I figured a good teacher should know what on earth these girls were all into, but once I realized Bella was such a flat character I was horrified that *this* was what they were soaking up.

    Anyway, I wish some old vampire would invite me to an event, just so I would have an excuse to get all dressed up!

    • puu says:

      i have often wondered what teachers think of the twilight phenomenon. when i was in high school, my senior year was the year harry potter got big. i am sure our teachers thought we were insane! but at least there are some strong women in HP.

  3. Tina C. says:

    We are two peas in a pod! I am also a writer, and also a huge Buffy nerd! I recently jumped on TVD train (I’m watching via Netflix and only just into Season 2). I have no idea what’s going on in Season 3, but your description does sound very Buffy-esque. I think we’ll always root for the Buffy-Angel pairing but secretly take pleasure in the Buffy-Spike pairing cause lets face it… it’s hot.

    Twilight sucks. I hate it. I told my (much younger than I by half) teen aged cousin as much but didn’t stop her from reading the book. She got through about half of the first (disclaimer: I read them all) and described it as “complete idiocy–I mean, what girl falls for a stalker?” I <3 my cousin…

  4. CGCouture says:

    Yay! Another vampire-except-twilight-lover! I read Twilight, hated it, and couldn’t force myself to watch the movies. I miss Buffy, and I could absolutely listen to James Marsters read the phone book. Especially if he does it in leather. ;-) I like the Vampire Diaries, but I feel like you’re being pulled into too many directions at once….or maybe it’s that the scenes are too short before switching back and forth? I mean, I know it’s supposed to be “dramatic”, but mostly it’s just irritating. And yeah, I think I could watch Ian read the phone book too–also in leather. ;-)

    How did you feel about True Blood? I’m told the books are good (haven’t read them), but I couldn’t get into the show. Just not my cup of tea.

    • puu says:

      i read the first book and thought the concept was actually pretty cool, but didn’t make it too far in to book 2 before i was bored. i haven’t even tried the show.

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