Book-to-TV Roundtable: The Vampire Diaries

Many books have gone on to be translated into television shows, some going beyond the scope of the book or series itself. In this Talk Nerdy With Us roundtable, we discuss L. J. Smith’s The Vampire Diaries original book trilogy and its TV doppleganger.

AJ: Secret Circle could have been so much better. I watched Secret Circle because, like The Vampire Diaries, I had read the books by L. J. Smith (and because I’m pagan). But they massacred it. I’m glad Phoebe Tonkin got moved to The Vampire Diaries and The Originals though.

Michele: So Sad. I hate when that happens.

Amna: The Vampire Diaries. They went way off book.

AJ: Agreed. The direction was a little too teeny-bopper, even for a book geared toward teens. The Secret Circle was worse.

Amna: That was my original beef with it. I was so excited when it was announced, and then I read about the changes they made and swore I’d never watch it. Of course I ended up bingeing the first 4 seasons because of Tumblr. Wasn’t any better than I expected.

AJ: It got better, then worse, then better, then…I’m not sure where it is now.

Erica: Worse. The Vampire Diaries is way worse. It’s really kind of awful now.

AJ: I’m waiting to see, but I have a feeling this will be the last season. Don’t want to spoil for anyone who hasn’t watched The Vampire Diaries yet, but this season’s main story line is terrible.

Erica: It is. It’s awful. And it only took until the second episode for the majority of Tumblr to be like, “No!”

Shadia: Yeah, The Vampire Diaries! The heretics storyline is a borefest. The Vampire Diaries was so good from Season 1 to Season 3. Especially when Klaus was around.

Erica: The last good story line was the Originals as far as I’m concerned.

Shadia: Sometimes I catch myself watching Delena (Damon/Elena) moments from Season 1 to Season 4 because it was that good. The angst, the suspense, and the dynamic between those two… Gosh, it was everything to me! Lol. The Originals is amazing. Sad to see it still has low ratings. That scene between Hayley and Klaus killed me.

Erica: Delena. (sigh)

Talk Nerdy With Us: Not team Delena. Never going to happen…sorry.

Erica: Really? Stelena (Stephan/Elena), then?

Talk Nerdy With Us: Yup. But in part that’s because we didn’t like Elena once she became a vampire. So we’re team (human) Stelena.

Erica: Ahhh. I was always wishy-washy on whether I liked Elena or not.

Talk Nerdy With Us: Exactly.

Shadia: It’s weird, I just liked Delena when they weren’t a couple. It was just fun to watch their moments. But as a couple, I was just not for it. Stelena was a little boring to me, but I liked them. When Elena was human, of course.

Amna: I loved Delena in the books. I hated Sefan in the books but Paul Wesley made me love him on the show. I couldn’t stand Elena in the show. She was so annoying. I liked the Delena dynamic when Elena was human because they had the whole love/hate thing going, but then it got super annoying.

AJ: Katherine was a great character… book & show.

Erica: Yes! Why couldn’t they have kept Katherine and axed Elena?

Shadia: Elena was so annoying. She’s always whining. Plys the way she cried bugged me. Lol. Katherine was great, but I felt like they could’ve made her death a little better.

Amna: Yeah I loved show Katherine. It gave Nina so much more to do. Elena is just a badly written character. I would totally love to have had Katherine stay and Elena killed off. But I guess that doesn’t matter anymore lol

Shadia: Both are ooooout.

AJ: I don’t think the Heretics storyline makes any sense. They show up and all the good guys just clean out Mystic Falls and let the Heretics have free reign of the town? What the heck was that all about? It seems like lazy writing.

Erica: Yep.

AJ: I feel like it’s a wasted opportunity. There are so many potential storylines swirling through my head that could have played out with much more depth and intrigue. This season seems very basic.

Erica: It is. Extremely.

AJ: We’re back to flashbacks of a previous love interest (remind you of the Stephan/Katherine/Elena story much?) that threatens the current relationship. People are dying and being brought back to life. Even if you’re not a vampire, it seems like there’s no real dying on the show anymore. It’s getting boring. “Oh, so-and-so died? Well, they’ll be back soon. Yawn.”

Erica: Exactly.

AJ: Another thing with The Vampire Diaries…What’s with all the time-hopping this season? I hate when shows do that just for one or two episodes, but a story arc through the whole season? This back-and-forth seems to me like they’re expecting a cancellation. Tying up story lines before they’re even fleshed out, y’know?

Erica: Yep. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are expecting cancellation.

There you have it, folks. A book-to-TV translation that started out somewhat well-received but gradually branched out so far from its book roots that it is no longer recognizable as the seed from whence it came.

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