The Vampire Diaries
Based on 127 reviews
Based on 508 reviews
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The Vampire Diaries
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Vampire Diaries is a slickly produced, bingeable supernatural drama based on L.J. Smith's bestselling young adult novels. The series plays into the perennial popularity of vampires and all things otherworldly. That said, it's a lot edgier than Twilight, making it an iffy choice for younger teens. The violence is pretty graphic -- there are torture scenes, bloody wounds, and combat shown -- and romantic scenes can get pretty steamy. The show also tends to portray underage drinking as commonplace without showing serious consequences. And if you're looking for an accurate portrayal of young people today, look elsewhere: Most of The Vampire Diaries' cast is White, with only one Black character seeing significant screen time.
Loved it, but definitely 15 yrs +
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would deffinitly recomend for tweens
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What's the Story?
Based on the bestselling young adult novels by L.J. Smith, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls and centers on the interplay between orphaned Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and two vampire brothers, Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder). Both Elena and Stefan keep track of their thoughts and feelings by writing in their journals, but Stefan's diary also contains fascinating details about his complicated past and the town's surprising supernatural history. Later in the series, the plot thickens with the arrivals of Elena's vampire doppelganger, Katherine (also played by Dobrev), "original" vampire Klaus (Joseph Morgan), and vampire hunter Rayna (Leslie-Anne Huff).
Is It Any Good?
Fans of vampires and young adult dramas might enjoy this show's style and themes, which include teen angst, dramatic tension, and conventionally attractive characters who become more complex in each season. The Vampire Diaries took off as a hit with teens and young adults, and maybe even a few of their parents. While there are obvious parallels to the Twilight storyline, it's worth noting that the book trilogy that inspired this series was originally released in 1991, predating Stephenie Meyer's Twilight bestsellers by nearly 15 years.
The Vampire Diaries delivers better-than-average entertainment, boasting a soundtrack that includes songs from artists like The Killers and MGMT. This Teen Choice- and People's Choice-nominated series also gets props for maturing along with its characters, expanding the plot to include much more about Mystic Falls' fascinating past.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the ongoing appeal of seeing vampires and other supernatural beings in stories like The Vampire Diaries. Why do audiences find magical creatures so appealing?
How does the show portray teen behavior, particularly when it comes to sex and drinking? Do the characters' choices lead to real-life consequences?
If you've read the books that the series is based on, how does the show compare? Did the writers take any creative license? If so, why do you think they changed the story?
- Premiere date: September 10, 2009
- Cast: Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley
- Network: CW
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Book Characters, High School, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 26, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Teen fans will love faithful -- if uneven -- adaptation.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Teen vampire series has female role model; sex, violence.
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For kids who love vampires
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