The Doppelganger Diaries

March 1, 2011
The world wide hit book series, The Vampire Diaries by L.J Smith thought that by having a TV show would increase fan size, but due to huge changes with characters, chronological order, and settings from the book series changing into a show is causing fans of the books to lose interest. Smith’s books take place in the mysterious Mystic Falls, Virginia, a fictional place. In The Vampire Diaries, the town’s dark past and blood shed from the battle of Willow Creek during the Civil War is the reason for the supernatural beings drawn to the town. Vampires and werewolves collide in Mystic Falls trying to tip the balance in their favor, but the town isn’t just at stake there is also Elena Gilbert, the protagonist. Stefan and Damon Salvatore are vampire brothers drawn to the town and they have a past of fighting for their ex, Katherine’s affection back in Italy, 1864. If that isn’t enough Katherine who’s over five centuries old and wants Elena and her two lovers dead. Oh and one more thing, Elena just happens to be Katherine’s doppelganger.

As you can tell characters and relationships get pretty hectic and are hard to keep up with when you’re a fan of The Vampire Diaries, but the producers of the show went so far as to changed appearances and personalities. The books and the show are polar opposites when it comes to Elena Gilbert. Elena is stereotyped as a perfect blonde haired, blue eyed, cheerleader who fools around with football players at her high school, Mystic Falls High in the books. On the other hand, in the show Elena is portrayed as a brunette willing to do anything to help a stranger in need. The producers have went so far that they actually took out the character Margret, Elena’s little five year old sister and replaced her sister with a teenage brother, Jeremy. Another character from the book series that was not included on the show without a reason is Meredith, Elena’s best friend. Maybe the producers just couldn’t find someone to play these parts, but leaving them completely? A lazy move on behalf of the producers.

The Vampire Diaries series has a complicated chronological order, but the fans of the books have grown to love it and accept it. However, the producers of the show have no respect for the time line of Smith’s books; for instance, filler material is added of completely made up and false content for the show to gain ratings. This season so far is nothing but false content with a non existent masquerade ball and just flat out wrong flashbacks for characters. The most complicated time order of the books is the Elena and Katherine plot. For the longest time in the series the readers could not tell who was who until after the Salvatore’s realized Katherine was in town because Katherine and Elena could pass as twins. In addition, the producers of the show did do wonderfully when they cast Nina Drobev as Elena and Katherine so until a character knew on the show, the show viewers were left guessing whether it was Elena or Katherine.

One element fans fell in love with was the setting of The Vampire Diaries, which isn’t in a rural town with a population of a thousand as in Twilight. Instead. By placing the fictional town Mystic Falls in Virginia, Smith could then explain the supernatural activity on the battle during the Civil War. In Smith’s series there are flashbacks to the Salvatore’s past with Katherine in Italy, but the producers decided to have the Salvatore’s be from Mystic Falls instead because they wrote the books instead of L.J Smith, in their made up world of course. In the novels Stefan and Damon live together in Stefan’s apartment that is owned by Ms. Flowers, but the producers living in two story mansions didn’t think vampires would want to hide in a town known for it’s anti-vampire council so the producers changed the setting of the Salvatore’s house to an actual house owned and kept up by a living relative. Though the Salvatore brothers have no living relatives since they’re vampires and cannot have children.

The fans of the books are outraged by the drastic changes the producers have made. Characters, chronological order, and settings are the key to a good novel. For a TV show based off a book to gain fans of the series, the show must stay true to the three key factors of the story. The show is a doppelganger of the books; it looks the same, but the filling material is not factual. If the show does not stay true to the three key factors eventually the producers will dig themselves a hole so deep not even the vampires of Mystic Falls could get them out. To true fans of The Vampire Diaries, it seems that the producers read the summary on the back of the books and guessed the plot of each book.

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