Monday, October 17, 2011

The Vampire Diaries - TV Guide: Ask Matt [Roush] Oct 17 '11

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Vampire Diaries

TV GUIDE: Ask Matt: Remakes, Community, Vampire Bad Boys, Pan Am, Fringe and More!

Oct 17, 2011
by Matt Roush

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... Question: I had a question about the concept of the bad boy. I watch The Vampire Diaries religiously, and I enjoy the character of Damon. I understand that he is a vampire and his very nature is evil, and I also understand that he longs to be more caring and loving, especially with Elena. However, I remain convinced that Elena's best love interest is Stefan. Even though Damon has shown some redeeming qualities, he mostly has tried to kill everyone Elena loves (sometimes accomplishing it), used her friend for blood and sex and forced her to drink his blood so she would turn into a vampire if she died. I am not sure how anyone could root for them as a couple. This trend of wanting the heroine of a show to be with the bad boy instead of the decent guy is upsetting. We see it on True Blood and that show from last year, Life Unexpected. I think it shows young girls that you should strive to be with the bad boy because he is more exciting and overlook all the horrible things he has done to you and others. People may think Stefan is boring, but he respects Elena and would never do anything to intentionally hurt her despite his vampire nature. — Rachel

Matt Roush: The allure of the bad boy is hardly a new phenom; just think Marlon Brando and The Wild One as an icon that set the trend. What I like about the way Vampire Diaries has evolved Damon, and True Blood Eric, especially in Blood's last season (my favorite since the first), is that we get to see the side they've long repressed in their embrace of evil and/or power: the romantic who lurks beneath the villain, which only makes them more interesting and compelling as characters. With True Blood, the whole time Sookie indulged her torrid fling with the "good Eric," she dreaded the day he might revert back to form. With Diaries, we have Elena leaning on Damon and drawn (as any romantic would be) to his inner struggle to honor his brother while protecting the woman they both love from this evil incarnation of Stefan. None of this ignores their past bad deeds, but supernatural tales tend to be stories of redemption as well, and the reason these shows work is that the respective heroines have chemistry with both the good and the bad vamps, and our ambivalence about who to root for is part of the fun. In Diaries, no matter what wickedness Stefan commits under Klaus's spell, we're still meant to believe that he and Elena are soulmates. Ditto (departing from the Charlaine Harris books) Sookie and Bill, though that's less clear at this point. But if you're looking at these characters to be role models for the young audience, you're barking up the wrong genre.

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