This post is coming to you several weeks after the fact. It may or not may be because tonight I was supposed to post my review for Jessa Crispin’s wonderful book, The Dead Ladies Project.
Unfortunately that review does not yet exist.
So instead, I’m going to write about The Vampire Diaries. This post contains spoilers. You were warned.
The Vampire Diaries is a ridiculous show. I know this. When I watch it, I do my very best to turn my problematizing brain off.
Mostly, I succeed.
Until it comes to Damon, that is.
Oh, Damon. You crazy controlling ass. I suppose as far as most viewers are concerned, your abs and beautiful face serve to excuse all of your crimes.
For me… not so much.
Shit Damon has done:
- Killed Elena, the supposed love of his life’s brother, Jeremy because Elena was mean to him. Granted, Jeremy came back to life, but still. Damon didn’t know that was going to happen.
- Turned a teenage girl into a vampire, had sex with her, and then ripped her head off when he was done (why do hundred-year-old vampires exclusively date seventeen-year-old girls? It’s one of life’s greatest mysteries)
- Killed his brother’s best friend (and one of my all-time favourite TVD characters, Lexi), because he felt guilty over a previous occasion in which he had sex with her then tried to kill her.
Damon and Elena’s whole dynamic was based on the notion that she made him a better, less murder-ey vampire. As I mentioned earlier this week, the whole he’s-not-a-murderer-because-he-loves-me premise is one I take issue with. That gives the girl in question a whole lot of responsibility for shit that isn’t really her problem.
So on this specific occasion, the problem started with the other Salvatore brother, Stefan. Stefan decided to kidnap his ex-girlfriend, Caroline because she was in danger, but had decided not to leave the dangerous situation. Problematic. Ladies should be allowed to make their own choices.
When he told Damon what he’d done, Damon responded:
‘In my book that’s a notch above flowers and chocolates because when you love someone, sometimes you have to go to those extremes.’
I hate the idea that removing a woman’s agency because He Knows What’s Best is somehow romantic. I keep hoping that one day Damon will turn around and realise how awful he is.
But he never really does.
I should really stop watching this show.
6 thoughts on “Cringing at The Vampire Diaries”
haha this made me laugh because I understand your frustration. I stopped watching this show years ago. When it first started, I absolutely loved it. It was smart, action packed and never afraid to take risks.
But then it just got so complicated! And with that, it became far-fetched. (all them dopplegangers) I’m not even sure what season I stopped watching–either 3 or 4 I think. Damon was never a favourite of mine but I enjoyed his eccentricity while I did watch the show.
Amen to all of this.
I’m uncomfortable with my own enjoyment of TVD for exactly this reason. I’m usually deeply put off by men who move so much as a toe in the direction Damen’s joyfully barreling toward, but something about Damen intrigues and even attracts me despite that–even though, yes, I’m also horrified by and terrified of him. And it’s not just Ian Somerhalder (though holy crap Ian Somerhalder); I felt the same about Damen when I read the books ages ago.
My tastes have shifted in a more thoughtfully feminist direction since I read the books; maybe I should reread them soon, and see if my opinion of Damen lands more squarely in the “horrified and intrigued” side, with less of the uncomfortable “attracted” stuff.
I have actually never read the TVD books. Sometimes I think I should, but I know it would send me inner feminist critic into overdrive. Does Caroline feature in the books much? Honestly a lot of the time she is the one who keeps me watching. Whatever happens, I will always love Caroline Forbes.
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Inner feminist critics would probably have a field day with the TVD books.
Don’t take my word for it, I don’t remember Caroline being awesome in the books. She doesn’t get vamped, and I don’t remember her having a strong or enjoyable character arc. Which is a shame, because you’re right; she’s pretty darn great in the show.
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