Family TV Review: The Vampire Diaries, Season 2

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The Vampire Diaries, Season 2Show: The Vampire Diaries
FCC Rating:
TV-14, V (Intense Violence)
Airtime: Thurs., 8PM ET on The
CW (season 2 premiered Sept. 9)
Ok for Ages:
14+
Hot Spots: Violence, flirting and kissing, social
drinking, sex talk & foreplay

The Vampire Diaries returned with season two on Thursday, Sept. 9, and we’re happy about that in this household. My daughter and I fell in love with this
show last season, so we were counting the minutes until season two started.

The Story: Based on the books by L.J. Smith, this
teen-focused drama follows high-schooler Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), who prior to season one, had lost her parents in a tragic car accident. Elena falls in
love with handsome, good-hearted vampire Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley). His vampire brother, Damon (Ian Somerhalder), is at first just out for his own gain,
but by the end of season one, we see there’s actually a heart buried in there
somewhere.

Other characters include Elena’s brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen – grandson of Steve McQueen); her aunt Jenna (Sara Canning), who’s living with Elena and Jeremy now; friend (and witch) Bonnie Bennett (Katerina Graham); Uncle John Gilbert (David Anders); Alaric Saltzman (Matt Davis); and other friends Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola), Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig), and Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino).

How It Ended Last Season: Uncle John (whom we learned is Elena’s father) set off a device that exposed the vampires, allowing him and the cops to inject them with vervain and haul them into the basement of the old hospital. Damon saw John stake Anna and set the basement on fire. Back at the Gilbert’s, Damon kissed Elena (or so he thought), but it turned out to be Katherine, who moments later chopped off John’s finger and stabbed him! Also, Anna had left Jeremy a vial of her blood, in case he changed his mind about wanting to be a vampire.

What’s Ahead: Season two looks to be amazing and fun. Taylor Kinney joins the cast as Mason, the “black sheep” brother of the late Mayor Lockwood, who died in the season one finale. Look for werewolves to surface in season two, as wolves are in the Lockwood bloodlines.

In the season two premiere, Damon realizes he fell victim to “doppelganger hijinks” via Katherine’s kiss. Ian Somerhalder’s performance is excellent, and without giving away any spoilers, let’s just say he did something at the end of the season two premiere that’s shocking, leaving you wondering what Damon does and doesn’t know.

Nina Dobrev, meanwhile, gets to sink her teeth into the role of evil Katherine (“Game on!”), and you can tell she has a blast with it. And Bonnie’s witch powers continue to grow, making her a formidable adversary to anyone ho crosses her.

The Parent Factor: The Vampire Diaries is fast-paced, sexy and shocking, and includes everything you might expect from a teen-based vampire show: angst, dramatic tension, sexy creatures of the night, and a soundtrack that includes artists like MGMT and The Killers. Overall, the TV-14 (V) rating is on target. The Vampire Diaries is edgier than the Twilight franchise. Also note that the books on which this series is based pre-dated Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books by about 15 years.

Sex/Nudity: Heated kissing between teens, references to teen sex (“hooking up,” “getting laid” and “threesomes”), and scenes that involve foreplay and teens in bed.

Violence/Gore. Fairly graphic. Includes bodies thrown against walls, body parts chopped off, fist-fights, vampires sucking blood from necks and arms, explosions, car crashes, stabbings, and fires.

Profanity: Somewhat mild, compared to the intense violence and sexual references. Language includes “crap,” “ass,” and “Oh my god.”

Drugs/Alcohol: Teens drink socially, sometimes to the point of getting drunk. Some dealing and drug use among teens, although it hasn’t been a major storyline up to this point.

Which Kids Will Like It? Kids who loves stories about vampires, werewolves and witches, who love the Twilight series, or who’ve read the Vampire Diaries books.

Will Parents Like It? Similar to the Twilight franchise, The Vampire Diaries has a fan base among parents of teens who like this show. It’s a great show for all the reasons mentioned above; however, because of the graphic violence and teen sexual content, I don’t recommend it for kids younger than 14.

Jane Boursaw is a family entertainment writer specializing in movies, TV and celebrities. Visit her at Film Gecko and Reel Life With Jane. Follow her on Twitter; become a friend on Facebook; email jboursaw@charter.net for info on using her family movie and TV reviews in your print or online publication.

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