Before sitting down at our table, "Vampire Diaries" Executive Producer Kevin Williamson had to rush over to another table to consult with his cohort Julie Plec. It seems that he wanted to make sure they were on the same page about what they were allowed to talk about. Considering Kevin has been spending a lot of his time lately getting "The Secret Circle" going (I got to talk to him in two different press rooms that day), it was understandable that he was out of the loop on some things. He certainly hasn't been out of the loop in breaking story though and had plenty to share with us.
When he did sit down to talk with us, he apologized for his voice. It was a bit grainy and he told about how he was at a party last night screaming over music. It was still good enough that we had an excellent conversation with him about the upcoming third season.
Hee hee, you get a bonus here. You see, this is really two interviews combined into one for your viewing pleasure. The first part was the press table I was at, the second part a colleague. Either way, Julie gave us some great teasers (as she always does) about the upcoming third season. No huge spoilers, but if you don't even want a hint of what's coming, I don't advise you read this. As a big fan of the show though, I'm rather tickled with all we learned here.
Death is the most unalterable of laws. All things come to an end, or so we believe. The season two finale of The Vampire Diaries brought its audience close to death’s dance but pulled back. Yes, many of the characters have met their end, sadly for some, welcomed for others, but up until this point, we had felt assured that any contact with the dead was a dangerous and perhaps fatal encounter. Now we know that death is always in the air, waiting to rush in over the skin and take hold of the soul. It’s important to note that the season ended not on Stefan’s transformation or Damon’s survival, but rather on the picture of Jeremy standing between the dead Anna and Vicki. Jeremy’s position, in effect, becomes the perfect metaphor to unravel the show’s tale of transformation. He is in between – the place between life and death and there both by choice and by the force of another’s will. He is the consequence of a decision, and that is the most deliberate theme that the show has underscored: a choice made is the space between the night falling and the morning dawning.
History and pain make beautiful monsters. After watching the last several episodes of The Vampire Diaries, I’d like to take a moment to finish my three part essay arc about the television series with the complex hero/villain: Damon Salvatore. Of all the characters on the TVD landscape, Damon is probably the most fascinating and the most complicated. His demonic tendencies, full of bloodlust and just plain lust, juxtaposes with a bone-deep sorrow that is saturated in his own history as son, brother, and vampire.
In part one of this essay, I used Elena Gilbert as a symbol for a few motifs in the Vampire Diaries: coming of age, mirror/doubling, and her story’s connection to Mystic Falls unraveling secret history. In this part, I’d like to take the opportunity to exam how Stefan’s presence exposes more themes that the show has proposed to touch upon and/or explore.
It’s easy to dismiss The Vampire Diaries as another CW teenage drama. You have the requisite beautiful faces and bodies that experience augmented amounts of angst week in and week out. This is all true, but The Vampire Diaries brings something more to the table than simple soap storytelling. The series, based on a set of novels by LJ Smith, chronicles the lives and relationships of Elena Gilbert. While there are notable intersections between the novels and its television adaptation, it is important to note the word “adaptation” here. The television series is a separate story from the novel, and it indulges in social commentary in a way that its genre predecessors like True Blood and Buffy the Vampire Slayer did.
After having a great roundtable interview with Julie Plec, our table sat around for a while waiting. Time was running thin and we still hadn’t talked to both Michael and Candice. They both ended up at our table at the same time, thus not giving us the promised full amount of time with each. Michael arrived first and Candice snuck in a minute later. Michael left while Candice answered a few questions. I’ll indicate which actor answered which question just to minimize confusion. I’ll also indicate which questions were mine. I again was extremely fortunate to get in quite a few (a rarity at these things).
We had a little chance to talk casually with Michael before getting started. He first noticed the two new iPad 2s that were at the table and was quite impressed (as was I, staring at my original iPad in shame). He has been busy in his off time. He’s been spending time in LA taking care of business and doing photo shoots and after this event will be heading to Eyecon in Atlanta. “Tyler is hopefully on his way back soon,” he said in response to when he’ll be shooting again. After that, we were ready to begin with the questions. Unfortunately, we didn’t get too many with Michael.
This weekend I had the pleasure of attending C2E2, the second annual Comic and Entertainment Expo held in Chicago. This year, Warner Brothers brought for the first time to this event producers and actors from two shows to the event. One of those shows was the CW hit show The Vampire Diaries.
In the press room the first person that sat down in our roundtable session was Executive Producer Julie Plec, who calls the Chicago area home. She proudly told us before getting started with the Q & A that she is a Park Forest native and a Northwestern University grad. After getting settled, we got started. Julie had a lot to reveal about her show’s renewal prospects for season three, the creative process that has gone into the show’s two very successful seasons, how characters like Jonathan Gilbert and Elijah have really enhanced the show, how secondary characters have become really important this year and that how Damon’s character journey is giving Ian Somerhandler a few challenges.
No worries spoilerphobes, you’re pretty safe here. Questions from me personally are indicated in parenthesis. I was very fortunate to get several questions in.
Second seasons are so much more fun. A show’s first season is usually about new character exposition and unfolding the backstory. We spend so much time getting to know the characters, where they came from, and what makes them tick. By season two we are invested and have a good understanding of these characters and the mythology. Now the possibilities are endless and that’s when a series can really take off.
The strength of “The Vampire Diaries” in its first season was the storytelling. Love triangles that go on for 22 episodes can get stale fast. Love triangles between vampires brothers and a human girl get a little more mileage, but that still doesn’t make a series. When the whole town gets involved and suddenly everyone’s past plays into the ancient mysticism of this little burg in Virginia, that keeps a series fresh. Luckily the momentum from last season has continued full steam ahead in the second season premiere and doesn’t look like its stopping anytime soon.