I'm pretty much a vampire virgin. Any cuts on my neck came from bad shave jobs, not the teeth of a pale, blood-seeking eternal being. I just don't get this sudden vampire craze that's seducing the nation. I've never read "Twilight" (really, sparkling guys are considered sexy?) or an Anne Rice novel. I'm not quite sure what a Sookie Stackhouse or Lycan is, and the last vampire movie I saw in theaters was Mel Brooks' misguided 1995 farce "Dracula: Dead and Loving It."

Clearly I'm missing out on something, and if I want to maintain my position as a knowledgeable pop culture enthusiast I decided I'd have to give in to the dark side. Luckily, along came the CW's new series "The Vampire Diaries," offering me the chance to finally get bitten. Let's see if these new gang of night walkers can teach me a thing or two about the genre.

"For over a century I have lived in secret, hiding in the shadows, alone in the world, until now. I am a vampire and this is my story," pouted a mysterious voice as the show began. Ok...so vampires are really just people ignored by the rest of the world? Eh...I like "District 9's" metaphor of insect-like aliens standing in for war-torn refugees better. Aliens however, don't get to rock sweet sunglasses, and even from behind his shades vampire hottie Stefan (Paul Wesley) was able to convince a school administrator that he suddenly had the correct transcripts to enroll at Mystic Falls High School. Vampires have apparently mastered Jedi mind tricks. I'm sensing some great crossover potential here and wouldn't put it past George Lucas to reboot "Star Wars" yet again, this time with The Dark Side overrun by bloodsuckers.

While Stefan might be the perfectly-tweezed-eyebrows hunk every girl dreams of, it's kind of pathetic that he's now pursuing resident troubled girl Elena (Nina Dobrev) just because she looks like his ex-girlfriend Katherine from 1864. Ok, Stefan, I get that as an immortal you're stuck here for eternity, but after 135 years, it's time to move on. Your vast knowledge of the past (as you showed by embarrassing a teacher's lack of fact checking) could make for a comfortable life working as an advisor to The History Channel or flashy Hollywood period movies.

Stefan's angry brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder, finally landing a permanent gig after his premature death on "Lost") seems to have the Hollywood attitude down. He is constantly accompanied by a crow in the way Paris Hilton carries a purse dog. "You should know better than to think you're stronger than me," Damon warns his little brother.

While the show tries to set up Elena's ex-boyfriend Matt (Zach Roerig) as the town's dumb jock, turns out vampires are more egotistical than any pigskin throwing goon could ever be. Damon is sadistic when feeding his junkie-like blood habit. I wouldn't be surprised if he subjected himself to some weird striptease for a creepy 60 year-old man if it meant being provided with blood. Sure he'd probably turn around and mutilate the guy afterwards, but he'd definitely cross that line.

Not much is said about the guy providing Stefan with shelter. I'm guessing he's not a vampire seeing as how he freaks out about Damon's attacks. That leaves the two brothers as the only Dracula dudes in the series so far. How does vampire breeding work? Did both brothers just happen to get bit, or can vampires give birth? Regardless, Damon has promised his brother "an eternity of misery" so clearly there's some past family drama to be explored.

While I did get a better sense of the vampire genre, if I truly learned anything from the show it's that American teenagers (or at least those on CW shows) will always have really cool, unsupervised bridges to party on. Also, the blond chick is always a shallow whore and there's more to the brunette girl than meets the eye. Elena finishes the show with another entry in her journal (wait, I thought all teens blogged these days?) with the puzzling advice, "All you can do is be ready for the good, so when it comes, you're invited in because you need it." Great, another Meredith Grey in training.

Image © The CW Television Network

Story by Michael Mellini

Starpulse contributing writer