Winning by the old rules – Story of addiction to The Vampire Diaries

I’m the kind of viewer who doesn’t exactly discriminate between the genres of entertainment content out there. Though like most students of film making I’d like to be an ardent seeker of technically intense movies/series, I’m still the girl that cannot resist dramatic romance, comedy and good looking people in the visual content I consume. Though I may not be the biggest fans of the franchise, I have watched all the Twilight movies, read all its books and loved them all.

So the addiction to The Vampire Diaries did not come as a surprise. I had been watching a lot of art movies lately and I decided to take an entertainment break with The Vampire Diaries. And two episodes into it, I knew the addiction had made its way in and everything including my Instagram feed would constitute TVD contents henceforth.

Whenever something like this happens, I have a flex where I attempt to break it down to why. Same applies for the addiction to TVD. Although here, the very notable fact is that the show has played on the most obvious and old school techniques that are utilized by most shows over the decades to gain popularity. And despite having seen and experienced it time and again, audiences like us fall for over and over.

So let’s just list out the obvious things TVD has made the most of. First, casting the most good-looking people to play every big and small character in the entire series. Even if the storyline sucked, people would still watch at least a couple of seasons to bask in the glory of Ian Somerhaler’s smirks and Paul Wesley’s brooding. Not to mention the gorgeous female leads as well.

Secondly, the good old teenage pressure point of high school dating life where a delicate teenage girl ends up making not one but multiple characters swoon over her for eternity. The basic idea is the feeling of exclusiveness and self worth that the viewers tend to associate with the lead character- that most of them replace with themselves while watching the show. Having two or more characters with incredible depth fall in love with one person with so much intensity is a major projection of self worth, leading to easy addiction to the plot.

And of course, the cliff hangers. Honestly, TVD has the best possible storyline and plot in its genre. While a lot of movies and series revolving around the same idea struggle to explain a lot of occurrences and supernatural elements, TVD manages to justify most of those. Also, the sheer elaboration of the plot ranging from originals to witches and hybrids and whatnots make the series much deeper than teenage romantic drama. Honestly, that’s what I went expecting – that TVD would be a rather shallow rendition of a vampire love triangle but it was an extremely welcome surprise that the plot had so many elements.

They’ve checked the character arc box as well. Every single character on the show develops over a span of 8 seasons into completely different persons, and each of them has had a journey worth witnessing for eight seasons. In fact, for the lunatic fan base that loves to project themselves into one of the characters in a series, TVD provides a large list of options. Every single one of them has had a set of adventures that people with different tastes can relate to.

Basically, what TVD has done is poured some incredibly fine aged wine into a sophisticated, brand new glass. To be fair, the central theme of the whole series is something we all have seen a lot – love triangles with seriously good looking people, family sentiment, strong friendships, agonies over loss of loved ones and bad villains on their journeys of redemption. But it is almost surreal that TVD has succeeded in still making a mark. So much so that Mystic Falls almost falls in line with the fantasy worlds like Narnia that we’d love to be a part of.

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