The Vam­pire Di­aries

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Bet­ter than last year – but is that enough?

The Vam­pire Di­aries be­com­ing in­creas­ingly re­view proof. What can you say, other than, “It’s The Vam­pire Di­aries, you know the score”. If we tell you that – so far – sea­son six is slightly bet­ter than sea­son five ( which it is), that’s hardly go­ing to get you tun­ing in if you’re not cur­rently watch­ing the show,

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be­cause you know we’re talk­ing a mat­ter of de­grees. It’ll still be a vamp soap with a bunch of char­ac­ters all play­ing lip- lock­ing merry- gor­ound with the oc­ca­sional bloody death.

We may as well tell you that that the sound­track is mildly less ir­ri­tat­ing this year. There’s a rea­son for that. Some of the early episodes are par­tially set in 1994, so the usual whiny pop from artists you’ve never heard of is re­placed by some proper clas­sics from that year by bands that you have. This is good. But is that re­ally go­ing to make a dif­fer­ence to whether you watch it or not?

Time travel sug­gests some ma­jor changes go­ing on. Well, yeah. And no. This is The Vam­pire Di­aries. It can Vam­pire Di­aries- ise any new plot el­e­ment. So yeah, bad boy vam­pire Da­mon and witch Bon­nie – both pre­sumed dead by self- sac­ri­fice – have in­stead ended up in a witch- cre­ated 1994 that looks just like Mys­tic Falls ex­cept the place is de­serted aside from an im­pris­oned psy­cho. In­ter­est­ing, but not time trav­elly. They may as well have be­come trapped in a de­serted Burger King.

The other big gim­mick is the mag­i­cal bar­rier around Mys­tic Falls that doesn’t al­low the su­per­nat­u­ral to ex­ist within it ( mean­ing all the vam­pires are stuck out­side). The writ­ers have been hav­ing some fun with this con­cept, but you know its days are num­bered.

Other than that, it’s busi­ness as usual: slick, witty on oc­ca­sions, nicely grue­some when it needs to be and Da­mon’s fruit ma­chine eyes are fas­ci­nat­ingly bizarre. But it seems to be on con­stant loop – and that’s the epit­ome of the law of di­min­ish­ing re­turns. Dave Golder Ware­house 13 was in­spired by the fi­nal shot of Raiders Of The Lost Ark any­way.” TheDik­tor: “I’ve never heard that.” Al­lSee­ingIvy: “Some truths don’t need to be doc­u­mented, they just need to be re­peated

bonus fea­tures

Con­ti­nu­ity: Flynn ( Noah Wyle) men­tions hav­ing killed Drac­ula, which he did in the third TV movie, Curse Of The Ju­das Chal­ice.

It’s Wos­sis­name: Chris­tian Kane, who plays Jake Stone, is best know to tele­fan­tasy view­ers as de­mon lawyer Lind­sey McDon­ald in An­gel.

Nit­pick­ing: Among the many Doc­tor Who par­al­lels in the open­ing episode is a ref­er­ence to a “fixed point in space”. Which just seems to be an Amer­i­can way of say­ing, “a place”.

Best Lines: Eve: “I need an an­swer.” Flynn: “This is my an­swer.” Eve: “Walk­ing away quickly is not an an­swer.” enough times on the in­ter­net to be­come fact.” TheDik­tor: “True enough. So was this the same set- up? The same cast?” Al­lSee­ingIvy: “Sur­pris­ingly yes, though you won’t see as much of ER’s Noah Wyle, Third Rock’s Jane Curtin and Bob New­heart in the fu­ture. They’re hand­ing over to the new team.” TheDik­tor: “At which point it will be in­dis­tin­guish­able from Ware­house 13, ex­cept the jokes are crap­per. Li­brar­i­ans/ agents travel the world to find mys­ti­cal arte­facts to bring back to the li­brary/ ware­house. The Li­brar­ian may have got there first, but if Ware­house 13 did it bet­ter in the mean­time, why bother?” Al­lSee­ingIvy: “It’s not that bad…” TheDick­tor: “There are some fun mo­ments, but it’s pretty lame over­all with ob­vi­ous gags, cheap props, lots of shout­ing and a then- this, then- this, then- this plot­ting style. And why is Noah Wyle do­ing a bad im­pres­sion of the Ten­nant and Smith Doc­tor com­bined? Bow tie and base­ball boots, the bit where he be­comes fas­ci­nated with the word ‘ vex’ – very Mof­fat.” Al­lSee­ingIvy: “You won’t have to suf­fer for long.” TheDik­tor: “You’re right. I’m not both­er­ing with the next episode.” Dave Golder

tv re­views and opin­ion “See, I told you we should have brought a blan­ket.”

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