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Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' Season 5 Episode 16 'While You Were Sleeping'

3/21/2014 9:14am EDT
The Vampire Diaries
Whenever character matters more than plot, the fifth season of The Vampire Diaries has succeeded. Whenever plot chips character away, makes them pawns on a chessboard to maneuver so that plot point X is hit, or so that the season moves somewhere by season’s end, I lose interest. The Katherine hijacking storyline was great fun, dynamic, a distraction from a directionless season. Katherine’s gone, Elena’s back, and everything’s sort of miserable again. “While You Were Sleeping” deals with what Elena missed while away from her body, the ripper virus Katherine injected into her body to destroy ...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Season 5 Episode 15: 'Gone Girl' Review

3/7/2014 10:03am EST
The Vampire Diaries
Nadia and Katherine sort of drove the last couple episodes. Their relationship, their backstory, their honesty and transparency with each other, were what grounded the two characters. Nadia wasn’t a great character when introduced and never moved beyond what she was created for: to, sort of, humanize her mother. Katherine was her most relatable and human after her brief time as a human before she hijacked Elena’s body. Theirs was a story of misfortunate, bad and lousy luck, tinged by tragedy. Whenever two people miss their chance with each other in life, in any kind of relationship, it is a...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Season 5 Episode 14 'No Exit' Review

2/28/2014 9:07am EST
The Vampire Diaries - No Exit
Jean Paul-Sartre wrote a play, his most famous play, titled No Exit. In French, the title is Huis Clos, which is a legal term that refers to a private conversation behind locked doors. Sarte, one presumes, drew a parallel between the conception of hell and that of the courts. The Vampire Diaries’ “No Exit” doesn’t draw a parallel between humanity’s conception of hell and our awareness of the legal system. I’ve made a habit of referring to famous works of literature or drama when I write about The Vampire Diaries. The most famous line in Sarte’s play comes at the end when a character realize...
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The CW Renews 'Arrow,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Originals,' 'Supernatural' & 'Reign'

2/13/2014 5:30pm EST
The CW Renews 'Arrow,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Originals,' 'Supernat
The CW series "Arrow," "Reign," "The Originals," "The Vampire Diaries" and "Supernatural" have been picked up for another season, according to the network's president, Mark Pedowitz.

"The Carrie Diaries," "Hart of Dixie," "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Tomorrow People" were not mentioned in the network's press release.

The Tuesday night pairing of "The Originals" and "Supernatural" gave the CW its best night in years, Pedowitz explained, adding that Wednesday and Thursday nights have also been strong due to "Vampire Diaries," "Arrow" and "Reign."

"I'm very pleased to announce early pick...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Review: 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart'

2/7/2014 8:57am EST
'The Vampire Diaries' Review: 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart'
So, Dr. Wes stumbled into a legion of travelers to protect him. Great. It was a sparkling start after last week’s bummer of an episode. The introduction of Dr. Wes and the travelers are among my least favorite things about season five. The Damon torture episode before the winter hiatus was the nadir of TVD. Last week’s episode suggested a change for the rest of the season. I wrote about this whole three acts to a season thing that doesn’t work now. Oh well. Dr. Wes and the travelers act as catalysts for Damon’s further descent into regrettable life choices and then mosey off. They’ll be bac...
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Review: 'The Vampire Diaries' Loses Even More Direction In 'The Devil Inside'

1/31/2014 10:00am EST
The Vampire Diaries
What the hell was that? “The Devil Inside” resets season five for the second time in twelve episodes, resetting for the first time in the season premiere. Katherine is Elena, Damon is Devil Damon again, Tyler’s back adding nothing to the story, the Whitmore plot has been sucked dry, and a directionless season loses more direction it didn’t have to lose. How did that happen? More and more The Vampire Diaries’ fifth season reminds me of Dawson’s Creek’s fifth season: directionless and broken up into three distinct ‘acts.’ Season five of TVD has Damon’s reversion to his season one self; season...
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'The Vampire Diaries' 100th Episode Review: '500 Years Of Solitude'

1/24/2014 10:17am EST
The Vampire Diaries
If I drank alcohol, I’d toast to 100 episodes for The Vampire Diaries. 100 episodes is a tremendous accomplishment for any show (except for According to Jim). I remember a few notable 100th episodes for shows I love. Immediately, the terrible 100th episode of Dawson’s Creek comes to mind. Kevin Williamson also created Dawson’s Creek but left three years before number one hundred aired. Dawson’s Creek took the gang to a beach for a MTV party, and Dawson remembered he loves Joey. Buffy saved the world again in Buffy’s 100thepisode and died. ANGEL bid farewell to Cordelia in its 100thepisode, ...
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Nina Dobrev & Ian Somerhalder Joke About Their Breakup At People's Choice Awards

1/9/2014 12:00pm EST
Nina Dobrev
"The Vampire Diaries" co-stars and former real-life couple Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder joked about their relationship at the People's Choice Awards on Wednesday night.

The pair took home the award for "Best Chemistry" at the event - obviously proving they're very good actors.

Dobrev, 25, said: "You know what's funny, Ian, is that at the beginning of the show, Elena actually hated Damon."

Ian replied, "You were hooking up with my brother!" referring to Elena's relationship with Damon's brother Stefan (Paul Wesley), on the CW series.

They then pretended to act uncomfortably as they ta...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Recap: 'Fifty Shades Of Grayson'

12/13/2013 8:36am EST
The Vampire Diaries
Season five of The Vampire Diaries has aired ten episodes without any theme, narrative, plot, arc connecting one episode with the other. In other words, this season lacks cohesion. Things happen each week. Characters have changed, yes. Character pairings changed. Character dynamics changed. I suppose what holds each up and together is what’s missing from the season. Bonnie’s dead arc mattered because her friends wanted to bring her back, and would once they found out she could (after finding out she died). Damon’s revelation about the Whitmore murders matters because of its affect on Elena,...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Review: 'The Cell'

12/6/2013 9:29am EST
The Vampire Diaries
The Augustine experimentation storyline is just getting started. The Vampire Diaries produces exposition heavy episodes before massive arcs that span more than one season. “The Cell” had the exposition and a healthy dose of ret-conning. Damon reveals more about his inhumane side that does and doesn’t run counter to the character’s progression. Elena learns about this secret from Damon’s with horror and astonishment. Caroline reminded her recently about Damon’s past as a sadistic serial killer, but true love forgives all sins in this show for a character in need of rationalization. “The Cell...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Review: Episode 'Dead Man On Campus'

11/22/2013 8:49am EST
The Vampire Diaries
Damon Salvatore was a character without an arc this season; even Matt had an arc. Damon always had the task of torturing folk, traveling to distant places, or worrying about the stability of his relationship. I began to think TVD’s writers ran out of ideas for Damon. The writers seem focused on keeping Damon and Elena apart even when together. I think they’ve been together the most in the season premiere. Damon doesn’t mope or feel guilt. Whatever he feels he turns into action. He doesn’t dwell, and that may explain the new revelation from his past he didn’t seem to remember or chose to for...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Recap: Death And The Maiden (5x07)

11/19/2013 12:18am EST
The Vampire Diaries
Last week, the problem was too much exposition. This week, a lot of stuff happened. So I guess you could say that's good. But on the other hand, wow. What a crowded episode. Let's go through the plot.

So, Silas decides he no longer wants to help Damon bring Bonnie back to life. His only goal now is to find Amara and kill her, thus destroying the other side. Then he can kill himself, and they can be together in the afterlife. Amara is being kept in the Salvatore basement, where everyone attempts to keep her safe. When Bonnie discovers that Amara can see and touch her, the group comes up wit...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Review: 'Death And The Maiden'

11/15/2013 10:33am EST
The Vampire Diaries
Impressionable teenagers who watch the show and so of course read my reviews of The Vampire Diaries weekly, do not think love works the way you saw with Tessa, Amara and Silas.

“Death and the Maiden” puts the button on a season and six more episodes worth of convoluted mythology. Tessa and Silas ruined lives in the quest of eternal life with their respective beloveds. In a way I think the ancient triangle served as a cautionary tale for the triangle of Stefan/Elena/Damon, the heart and soul of the show. Obsessive attachment, which is misunderstood as love by very old supernatural beings, l...
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'The Vampire Diaries': Handle With Care (5x06)

11/9/2013 11:50pm EST
The Vampire Diaries
Early on in this episode, Stefan says the following to Tessa: "I think I still need to be drunk to understand this story." And, basically, that's what this entire episode boils down to. The first half of it is so exposition heavy it's unbelievable. There is so much standing around and explaining in the first ten minutes in particular. Let's look at the plot.

So, basically, we open on the day Silas is going to die. Silas wants to destroy the other side before he dies so that he can join Amara. Tessa wants to kill him before he destroys the other side, so he'll be trapped in supernatural pur...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Review: 'Handle With Care

11/8/2013 8:39am EST
The Vampire Diaries
Nina Dobrev’s playing three characters, Paul Wesley is playing two, for a second it seemed Ian Somerhalder would play two, and the carousel of Silas/Tessa/Amara continues to turn. Nina Dobrev’s consistently excellent playing the very different Elena and Katherine. Amara’s a different type of girl than the others. She’s out of her mind, yells a lot, and sees phantoms (or ghosts). The title of the episode’s a fun play on the package Damon opens at the end of the episode. Amara’s the anchor, or she’s not anymore because she took the cure. Some threads I can’t untangle. Damon wants to protect A...
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'The Vampire Diaries': Monster's Ball (5x05)

11/3/2013 1:26am EST
The Vampire Diaries
This is going to be a rapid-fire review. Let's start with the plot.

We see Professor Maxfield running experiments on the new vampire Jesse, and it appears that these sorts of experiments aren't new to him. That cannot be good. Meanwhile Elena, trying to handle her grief over Bonnie's death, looks further into Megan's death. She meets Aaron, a rather taciturn student who apparently knew Megan when they were kids. Things are getting interesting, however, as Elena is threatened by Maxfield to leave the school before people start asking questions.

Tyler is back in town, but only long enough t...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Review: 'Monster's Ball'

11/1/2013 9:11am EDT
The Vampire Diaries
Season 5 of The Vampire Diaries is either on a path towards brilliance or going completely off the rails.

Julie Plec has said in interviews that she keeps the TVD story in her head, so never does she commit the stuff in her head to a computer, I assume. Now she’s behind three shows on The CW. Five episodes into The Vampire Diaries’ fifth season and it’s hard to tell where everything is going. A ton of stuff has happened in five episodes. Murders, conspiracies, ancient love affairs and heartache, Bonnie’s death going public, Steven R. McQueen working out on camera, amnesia Stefan, Silas own...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Review: 'For Whom The Bell Tolls'

10/25/2013 8:43am EDT
The Vampire Diaries
The Vampire Diaries excels at moving farewell scenes. Bonnie’s farewell scene is different from other farewell scenes. Kat Graham’s still a regular. Bonnie’s not going anywhere. Death means absolutely nothing on this show. Bonnie means very much to Caroline, Elena, Matt, Jeremy, and old Stefan. Bonnie’s continued presence didn’t affect the scene negatively. I felt nearly as much watching the scene as I felt watching the memorial scene from season four’s “Memorial.” I’ve experienced the death of a friend. Scenes like the penultimate ring-bell for Bonnie scene is a rarity in The Vampire Diari...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Recap: Original Sin (5x03)

10/22/2013 12:18am EDT
The Vampire Diaries
*Long dramatic sigh of annoyance*

Oh boy. Here we go.

Zombie-Stefan is lurching around outside until he stumbles into a bar, attacks a girl, but manages to stop in time to tell her to run away. When he goes outside, sans daylight ring, he starts to burn up.

Cut to... Elena waking up suddenly. Apparently it was all a dream! Damon isn't at all interested in hearing about Elena's weird connection with her ex-boyfriend, because he says it makes him uncomfortable. Okay, yeah, that would be a fair enough point, if he wasn't also your brother, you jackass! Like, seriously, does Damon not care a...
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'The Vampire Diaries Review: 'Original Sin'

10/18/2013 8:48am EDT
The Vampire Diaries
The third episode of every TVD season is the exposition episode that sets the central narrative of the season. I like the exposition episodes. TVD's writers had a knack for delivering overwhelming amounts of exposition without burying the episode. TVD's consistently entertaining and enjoyable nearly every week, even when two out of four stories are duds, or the writers are ret-conning. "Original Sin" is a convoluted mess, though. I don't know where to begin with what went wrong in the episode. I appreciate the attempt to stretch the story about Silas and Quetsya, the way the fates and desti...
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2013 Fall TV Season: What Will Be The Second Cancellation?

10/8/2013 6:00pm EDT
Ironside
NBC- The Voice is still doing good numbers on Monday/Tuesday. The Blacklist is winning its timeslot, and was the first show (technically) to be rewarded with a back-nine pickup. Chicago Fire is also doing solid numbers on Tuesday. Revolution needs to regain some audience members if it wants a second season. With the success of The Blacklist, and Chicago Fire doing OK, Revolution is looking to be one of NBC’s weaker points right now. I can’t see it not running the full second season, but it might not get a third. Also, Ironside is definitely going to get cancelled. The premiere was so low, a...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Recap: I Know What You Did Last Summer (5x01)

10/5/2013 12:23am EDT
The Vampire Diaries
Oh, boy. We're back. This show has had a whole bunch of problems over the years. I'm not denying that. However, I'm happy to report that there were a lot of compelling things going on in this premiere episode. Hopefully the momentum can keep up as we continue into the season. Let's take a look.

Over the summer, Elena and Damon have a lot of sex, and Jeremy (newly alive) is disturbed about that. Jeremy is also helping Bonnie write emails and postcards to her father and her friends, keeping up the illusion that she's traveling. She still hasn't told anyone she's dead. Caroline and Elena are ...
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The Vampire Diaries Recap: 'I Know What You Did Last Summer'

10/4/2013 8:40am EDT
The Vampire Diaries
"I Know What You Did Last Summer" is a messy premiere. TVD gets to reboot a little bit now that the originals are hanging out in New Orleans on Tuesday nights (starting this Tuesday). The premiere introduces the new college setting and almost discards the high school aspect entirely. It introduces two, and possibly three, threats in Mystic Falls--one new and one old. I think the episode started badly with the narration/letter-writing montage that filled in the audience about what the characters were up to during the summer. The characters weren't doing anything all summer. Elena and Damon h...
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'Revolution' 2.1: 'The Last Surviving Friend'

9/25/2013 11:05pm EDT
'Revolution' 2.1: 'The Last Surviving Friend'
Revolution was back for the debut of its second season tonight, with a line that typified how far civilization had fallen. Walking through a ravaged excuse for a carnival town, a barker inveighs Charlie with the opportunity, right in that tent, to see David Schwimmer, "the last surviving friend".

This is what the United States has come to, in the wake of the nuclear missiles that were launched in the brief window of time in which the electricity was back on: Atlanta and Philadelphia were destroyed, and our band of heroes is in worse shape than ever. Not only is the sad sack of Friends ...
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2013 Fall TV Preview: The Returning Shows On The CW & CBS

9/4/2013 6:00pm EDT
Arrow
The CW and CBS are complete opposites. The CW shouldn't be in business, and CBS is THE business. The CW aims for teenagers to lose their sh!t on social media. CBS aims for the median age of the people in my office. I've never understood the Blue Bloods audience more than in the last year. My interest in The CW is odd and possibly unhealthy. I'm endlessly fascinated with its shows and attractive actors. I'll watch Reign just for Adelaide Kane. I'm not endlessly fascinated by CBS. CBS lulls me to sleep. I never wrote about Elementary's "Pilot" because I went to sleep mid-episode. I never watc...
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Nina Dobrev Sizzles In The September Cosmo

8/10/2013 10:10am EDT
Nina Dobrev
Nina Dobrev shows off her long, sexy legs on the cover of the September issue of Cosmopolitan. The The Vampire Diaries star discusses yoga, what kind of guys she likes (she recently split from Diaries costar Ian Somerhalder) and the pressure she puts on herself over not finishing school.

"I can take a lot of pressure though. I’m constantly trying to make myself better, to learn more. I didn’t finish college, so I feel like I’m always having to prove myself. I don’t want to feel like the smallest person in the room," she says about the career pressures she puts on herself.

The actress, a b...
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Amazon.com To Start Selling Fan Fiction Via New 'Kindle Worlds' Program

5/24/2013 4:27pm EDT
The Vampire Diaries
Fans who can't get enough of their favorite Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl characters have reason to rejoice.

Amazon.com recently announced a new program for its Kindle e-reader: Kindle Worlds, which focuses on publishing fan fiction to the platform, and the three hit shows are the first properties to be licensed to the new service.

Kindle Worlds will allow writers of fan fiction to cash in on their stories and earn a little money for their stories. Fan fiction prices will range from $0.99 to $3.99 per story, and authors will receive a 20 percent revenue for stories ...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Season 4 Finale Review 'Graduation'

5/17/2013 9:22am EDT
'The Vampire Diaries' Season 4 Finale
The beat goes on and the beat goes on, doesn't it? Never trust a CW promo when said promo promises an epic season finale. The swelling of contemporary music had an epic feel to it. Stefan and Elena's relationship was epic. The story of the season was not epic. The deaths, the resurrections, et al, are the stuff fan videos are made of. I'll be stunned if a new Bonnie/Jeremy video doesn't post on YouTube by midnight. The Silas plot had an epic build and its payoff was okay. Silas' helpful piece of exposition in the final scene helped make sense of his appearances this season. The ever-changin...
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TV Upfronts: The CW Has New 'Vampire' Spinoff 'The Originals,' Confirms End Of 'Nikita'

5/16/2013 11:32am EDT
The Originals
The CW this morning announced its fall schedule - biggest news from the network included a new spinoff from "The Vampire Diaries," titled "The Originals," as well as some time slot changes that include "Supernatural" and "Hart of Dixie." Also big news for CW fans, it was announced that "Nikita" will be entering its final season with six episodes starting midseason.

The following below is the press release from CW as well as its new primetime schedule:

“We had a terrific season last year, growing our audience on-air, digitally and socially.  Now we are building on that success by continuin...
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'The Vampire Diaries' Review: 'The Walking Dead'

5/10/2013 9:24am EDT
The Vampire Diaries 'The Walking Dead': Candice Accola as Caroli
Silas failed as a villain. The best villains this season were the vampire hunters. In next week's epic season finale, the vampire hunters will threaten the town's vampires in their pursuit of the cure. Nonsense needed to happen for the vampire hunters to make their triumphant return, but the nonsense is worth it. Season 4 may not totally be a weird homage/ripoff to the entire Whedonverse if the nail the finale.

One of the trademarks of TVD, after the surprising twists and crazy character deaths, is their rockin' penultimate episode. Two years ago, I thought the penultimate episode of seaso...
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