The Vampire Diaries: A Comparison

Okay, teen. I know, I know, I know… and before you judge me horribly well, here’s to say I really don’t care. But anyway, this blog post is a comparison, in so far as a TV show and a book can be compared.

I got hooked on The Vampire Diaries a whole three weeks ago and since then have watched all the seasons up to the present, wondered what to do next, and started reading the books, the first of which I finished last night. Thus, insomuch as I have only read the first book, this blog will just be a comparison of the things that have happened there in.

It’s not very often that I’d actually say this but I really preferred the TV show to the book; usually a book manages to get so much more detail in its pages than a TV show ever could, but somehow the book is just far too simplistic, the plot moves too fast and the characters are very flat; whereas on screen the plot details are really intricate, characters are well developed and story lines develop within a much more reasonable time frame, also creating tension and just the right amount of horror (it’s about vampires mkay?).

Okay, I’ll just give you a basic plot outline so you have a vague idea of what I’m talking about here on in; a small town girl (Elena) leads a normal life until her parents die in a car crash, then a vampire (Stephen) moves to town and she falls in love with him, crazy murders happen and everyone thinks it said vampire boy (nobody knows he’s a vampire except small town girl), turns out it’s actually vampire boy’s ‘evil’ brother (Damon) who small town girl has complicated feelings for, sh1t happens from there… Did you like my summary?

Alright, well one of the things that struck me (and really irritated me) in the book was how fast relationships develop between characters. Surely more than ever a book has the time to develop narratives and dialogues between characters so that affirmations of love seem real. In the book Elena tells Stephen that she loves him after they’ve been together for a day – really?! Also, when Damon starts making appearances in the book, Elena’s feelings for him also develop much faster than would be “realistic”; I know they’re crazily attractive vampires, but surely even they need a little longer than ten minutes to make a girl fall for them?

Slating the book aside, one of the things I did like about it is Damon’s character; he seems nicely dark in the book. Whilst this definitely comes across in the TV series as well, I found the book actually making me scared of his character as well as intrigued to know more (which sadly the book doesn’t give).

I feel the TV series has so much more to offer than the books and I’m just more excited to follow what is going on. The differences between the TV series and the book are innumerable and, oddly, I think it’s actually the book that suffers because of it. For example the character of Elena in the TV show is more like the Katherine of the book (her doppelgänger and ancestor… very long story), the setting of the Salvatores being from the time of the American Civil War also provides greater interest and realism, because it allows story lines to flow from then to the present day as opposed to where the book puts them in Renaissance Italy. Another difference I thought was wisely made was the lack of “Meredith” and the redemption of Caroline. Meredith doesn’t really seem to play a role in the book, except to be Elena’s best friend, so to ditch that character and have Caroline take on that role as well as her own storyline was far more convincing.

So, to round up, if you wanna get hooked into this series (as I did), I strongly suggest you watch the TV Series and then, if you feel you must to get the whole experience, go and read the books. I found the books entirely disappointing next to the show and that is something that is very rarely said when comparing a novel to an adaptation of it.

Alright, enjoy this sexy cast photo of the Season 4 ‘Vampire Diaries’ cast…

B

XO

P.S – I might do a full review/my thoughts of the different seasons of TVD… just cause I think they’re awesome

Film Review: ‘The Hobbit’ directed by Peter Jackson

Rating: 4.6/5.0

WARNING: REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

Once again, it seems, I am much behind the times in reviewing this film. I am actually surprised at how behind the times I am. Being a massive Lord of the Rings fan (films, books, Tolkien in general), I had plans to see this film on the day it came out. That didn’t happen, and then I was going to see it over the Christmas holidays, but it just kept getting pushed back further and further. Luckily, however, my university cinema showed it the other day, so I finally got the chance to go along and watch it.

Like most other Tolkien fans, I had very high hopes for what this movie would be like and needless to say I was not disappointed. One thing I had been concerned about before going to see the film was that, judging by the plot outline, they had managed to drag six chapters out into a three hour film. I was concerned that it would feel stodgy and stuck, and parts of the plot would get very boring, very fast. I didn’t find this, however, and even though I know The Hobbit story very well, I found that film was able to create tension for me. For example, in the part where Gollum is sitting in the exit gap to the Misty Mountains, I knew that Bilbo would take a flying leap and get free, but I still found my heart pounding with terror lest he didn’t escape. I think another way Peter Jackson effectively create tension was through the addition of the white Orc. There is no such character at this stage in the Hobbit book, and yet I didn’t find the addition to be in anyway clunky or to not sit right with the movie.

This leads on to the other additions that I thought were effective; the part with Radagast and the coming of the nameless terror were very well done; they are alluded to in the books but I thought the way it fully played out was most interesting. Also, the part with the white council and the riddle of the sword really gripped my attention. I thought it was fascinating to see the beginnings of character traits that I have come to know and love in the Lord of the Rings films. I thought the casting was terrifically done as well; Martin Freeman as Bilbo has just the right amount of lightheartedness as well as emotional depth, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield provides a brooding and yet somehow empathetic character as the leader of the dwarves. Returning cast members were equally as fabulous; Sir Ian Mackellan as Gandalf the Grey, Christopher Lee as Saruman the White, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel (love this women, and what would I give for her costumes!), and of course Andy Serkis as Gollum. I love Andy Serkis, he’s a genius (and the fact that he went to my university is pretty cool as well!), and he manages to make Gollum funny, terrifying and yet incredibly sad at the same time.

Aside from the actual plot line of the story, I thought it was incredible well filmed; the score by Howard Shore was immense as ever and this positioned next to the breathtaking scenery of New Zealand really got my heart soaring. I can’t say everything about all things I would wish here, because then the review would be several thousand words long. If you are interested in this film, I strongly suggest you go and look at the production videos that are available on YouTube, that will give you the ins and outs of how things worked, from the creation of the concept art, through to location choosing and on to post-production.

As to these films, I cannot wait for the next part and to see what Jackson and his team will do with it.