The Vampire Diaries First Season Report Card: A+

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The television season may be over, but that doesn't mean the time to offer up critiques on various shows, characters and actors is finished.

As we head into the summer, TV Fanatic will be grading and reviewing a number of the small screen's biggest hits. First up: The Vampire Diaries.

What did we think of its first season? Who was its best character? Where do we hope it goes next year? Read on. Find out. Chime in.

Best Character: Damon Salvatore. This will likely be the easiest choice we make on any show's evaluation. Ian Somerhalder simply owned this role, having a blast with Damon's snarky, sarcastic side - but deftly transitioning to serious and vulnerable when called for. Emmy voters will never even look at a CW show, but they should make an exception in this case.

Worst character: Caroline. This is more by default by anything. We had to choose someone. Caroline is nice and pretty, but she isn't a vampire. She isn't a werewolf. She's sort of just eye candy for male viewers, which does make me wonder: why am I complaining again?

Literally Hot Damon

Best episode: Blood Brothers. This hour took us back to 1864, revealing exactly how Damon and Stefan were turned. It also threw a major, believable twist into the relationship between these brothers. Amazing stuff.

Best storyline: The death of Vicki. This was a turning point for the show in more ways than one: it proved that almost any character could die at any time and it started Jeremy down a path that may lead to him becoming a vampire. Forgive the pun, but Vicki's murder raised the stakes on The Vampire Diaries more than any event from its first season.

Hopes for next season: More background on Tyler and his werewolf connections; more Alaric; the return of Melinda Clarke as Kelly Donovan; Damon finally moving on from Katherine... by killing her!

Overall grade: A+. When The CW premiered this series, I was prepared for a rip-off of The Twilight Saga: a cheesy love story between a vampire and a human, few deaths, no real violence or ongoing mysteries. It's safe to admit: I was wrong! Elena and Stefan are in a stable, mature relationship; the acting is top-notch; answers are provided on an almost-weekly basis; and the show delivers more twists and turns than the Autobahn.

The CW will air reruns of The Vampire Diaries all summer long on Thursday nights. If you aren't yet a believer, tune in. You soon will be.

Report Card

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


*as Damon to develop and evolve by various degrees...


Damon is the best character, in my opinion, hands down. From the beginning, Ian demonstrated a level of skill unparallel as he allowed his character as Damon to develop on so many levels. Stefan doesn't impress me that much. I suppose it goes with the traditional vampire boy meets girl and they like each other scenario, but hardly worth my attention. Without characters like Damon, it would be a snooze fest for me. Ian definitely owned his role.


I agree with the mark given to VD - I loved it, didn't expect to be sucked into it (haha a pun!) but I was. But a B+ for Gossip Girl? I am a massive GG fan but this season was pretty average. C for 90210 is fair, it was so dull this season, it failed to live up to the first couple episodes standard. Glee deserves an A+ though - it is is a brilliant show!


Is there gonna be a review for Life Unexpected, please?


i think both brothers are hot and amazing; why do you think Katherine dated both of them. I still cant choose!!vampire diaries is the #1 show i've seen so far on cw

Matt richenthal

@ScottLoves90210: I'd love to hear you explain what made this season of 90210 amazing. Diverging opinions are always welcome, that one is just so extreme and unusual, I'm curious to hear more from you.


90210 was amazing?! wtf it was horrible and lame :S i respect your opinion really and it's cos of fans like you that it's survived..but it's boring for me :/

Well thats too bad

*Blood Brothers

Well thats too bad

Until I can see Damon Salvatore and not be reminded of Spike from Buffy, I'll continue to believe that Damon is not the best thing about TVD. His character lacks originality. Besides in every vampire series, there's always that dashing handsome asshole who comes in to stir everything up. When they do more with him then maybe I'll change my mind. Ian is great but Paul is better. And as for the Stefan/Elena thing? Are you kidding? Good thing the 'chemistry' between them is subjective because they do have it and then some. If I didn't know any better, I'd believe Paul and Nina had a thing going in real life. Aside from that, I agree with everything about the TVD review. Especially Blood Lines and the Vicki storyline.
I'm not seeing how GG got as high as a mark as it did though, season 3 was horrible.


B for Gossip girl?!? You guys are way too nice for this show. I think it deserves D, maybe C- if you're nice. This season was not good,we only had a few up (Chair in a relationship) for a lot of down (Jenny, Serena, Serena's dad, Lilly, Dan/Vanessa, and the lack of school(they're supposed to be in college!)).

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Vampire Diaries Quotes

You want a love that consumes you. You want passion and adventure, and even a little danger... I want you to get everything you're looking for. But for right now, I want you to forget that this happened. Can't have people knowing I'm in town yet. Goodnight, Elena.


Dear Elena, yes you heard that correctly. Hell has frozen over. I'm writing it all down. Granted, I'm half a bottle in thanks to my 1950 Chateau Cheval Blanc, a bottle I waited 65 years to open. I used to spend nights sitting in my wine cellar convincing myself I could hear it age, tannins growing, fermenting, but appreciating its beauty didn't make time go by any faster. The bottle just laid there on its shelf, torturing me while I waited for Katherine and time stood still. Eventually I convinced myself that no sip of that wine could ever taste as good as I dreamt it would. And that is the story of why I drink bourbon. I don't know who I am without you, but I know that as long as I'm with you, time will stand still. So who is Damon Salvatore without Elena Gilbert? A selfish friend, a jealous brother, a horrible son? Or maybe with a little luck, I'll do right by you. Because you may be a thousand miles away or a hundred years away, but you're still here with me and my heart is right there in that coffin with you. Until you come back to me.