The Vam­pire Di­aries Sea­son Five

Lack­ing Orig­i­nal­ity

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Dvd & blu- ray - Dave Golder

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

2013- 2014 | 15 | Blu- ray/ DVD Showrun­ner: Julie Plec Cast: Nina Do­brev, Ian Somer­halder, Paul Wes­ley, Kat Gra­ham, Candice Ac­cola

After an­cient vamps the Orig­i­nals de­camped to New Or­leans for their spinoff show, The Vam­pire Di­aries was left with a gap­ing hole to fill for sea­son five. It was still there by the fi­nale.

The main par­a­digm shift: Damon and Elena are now an of­fi­cial item! Big mis­take – lovesick Damon is lit­tle fun to watch. The sea­son only steps up a gear when he has a mul­ti­episode his­sy­fit. Sadly, he gets bet­ter.

This is also the sea­son of the dop­pel­ganger. Both Paul Wes­ley and Nina Do­brev play three roles each, which be­comes sim­ply far­ci­cal at times. The two Big Bads that book­end the year – an­cient witch Si­las and an­cient “trav­eller” Markos – are dull as ditch­wa­ter, ev­ery­one dies and comes back so of­ten it’s dif­fi­cult to care, and the di­a­logue is now 75% ex­po­si­tion.

The Vam­pire Di­aries still has its mo­ments of gory glory, though. Aside from Damon’s Rip­per frenzy, the vam­pires- feed­ing- on- vam­pires sub­plot works well, and the fi­nal cou­ple of episodes are full of sat­is­fy­ing shocks.

The show feels like it’s tread­ing wa­ter, but the cliffhanger sug­gests big changes ahead. Here’s hop­ing.

Ex­tras: The 2013 Comic Con panel ( 30 min­utes), 13 min­utes of deleted scenes, a five- minute gag reel and three fea­turettes ( 28 min­utes): one cel­e­brates the show reach­ing 100 episodes; another dis­cusses “the other side”; in the third, Kat Gra­ham takes us on a be­hind- the- scenes tour. With “Res­i­dent Evil”, Paul Wes­ley ( Ste­fan) be­came the first Vam­pire Di­aries cast mem­ber to also di­rect an episode.

Damon wasn’t en­tirely happy with their lat­est sex game.

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