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*shock* Short reviews - what is the world coming too! Mild SPOILERS in The Vampire Diaries review - no SPOILERS in The Secret Circle review.

Oh, and I don't think I mentioned this here, but because I'm watching (and potentially) reviewing so many shows this season I came up with a special ratings system:

Evil/BAD: This episode was a crime against humanity!
Poor: This episode wasn't great, but wasn't a crime against humanity.
MEH: This episode was neither horrible nor great.
Good: Could've been better, but me likey anyway.
AWESOME: I am figuratively humping this episodes leg!


The Vampire Diaries 3x01 "The Birthday"

MEH: This episode was neither horrible nor great.

Seriously, the opening was okay, but just okay nothing to really write home about. Now it does leave some serious potential for awesomeness coming soon - Stefan and Klaus bonding, and I must admit that I'm mildly interested in the haunting of Jeremy. Plus one thing that really saved the opening for me was Alaric and Damon - finally, someone is actually going to be pointing out some of Damon's flaws - I love flawed characters, so of course I love Damon, but it starts to get annoying when it feels like no one has a problem with a flawed characters behavior.
(I'm also more sad then expected that reporter!girl died, but that's mostly because I think I was hoping she (or someone) would pull her head from Damon's ass before that happened.)

So, maybe a MEH rating is a bit harsh, but while it made sense I just didn't like Elena not accepting (or not willing to accept) that Stefan is a bad boy now. I mean, yes, it does make sense that because Stefan is someone that she loves she wouldn't want to accept that Stefan could be evil, but *shrug* I just didn't like it. Also, wasn't exactly thrilled with Tyler/Caroline, which was at one point (before a certain season two storyline) something I wanted to happen, but after season two... I don't know, I guess I'm just wanting Caroline to realize that she doesn't need a man that she's awesome all by herself.

Still mostly a good solid opening.

The Secret Circle 1x01 "Pilot"

Good: Could've been better, but me likey anyway.

Again this pilot didn't WOW me, but I must admit that I liked it better then Ringer. However, this pilot does have an advantage for me that Ringer does not - it's a true blast from my childhood. Sure, Ringer has Gellar, who is a part of my past, but alas I was all ready an actual adult by the time Buffy came along. On the other hand, The Secret Circle as The Vampire Diaries before it only truly bears a vague resemblence to the books on which it's based on, but still apparently that is enough. Or maybe the pilot for The Secret Circle is objectively better then the pilot for Ringer was, because aside from the childhood factor I was not really primed to love one more then the other.

Anyway, a good set-up for the series, and the special effects I think was done better then the special effects for Ringer, which I must admit was a tad surprising, I figured Ringer would have the bigger budget and therefore the better special effects, but maybe most of Ringers budget goes to the talent instead of the effects.

Another thing, The Secret Circle also used the same type of music that Ringer did, but the music chosen for The Secret Circle matched/worked better then the music chosen for Ringer.

Anyway, if it keeps up the quality of the pilot (or gets better even) this series could end up being a good solid hit for the CW.

At the moment, the main difference from the books is the size of the circle - in the books the circle was twelve (well, thirteen, but twelve main characters, which I knew the show wouldn't be able to do - actors cost money, after all), and the parents. Not the fact that many parents was dead, but the fact that the ones left alive was mostly clueless wrecks and mostly off-screen. In the books it was the grand-parents that sometimes played in to things. Anyway, in at least one case they seem to have merged Adam's dad and grandma (in the books she was the slightly off one and the dad was never actually seen - he was dead, if I recall correctly). Still even that change has potential to be interesting.

And right off I like the casting for The Secret Circle much better then I did for The Vampire Diaries. I mean, I'm okay with The Vampire Diaries casting now, but for The Vampire Diaries some of those casting choices had to grow on me and did not work right off the bat. With The Secret Circle most are working right off the bat, even Diana who was blonde in the books (SHUT UP! Because, yes, most times things like that just bug me). Faye and Nick especially seem perfectly cast, though admittedly with Nick that is at the moment based more on looks than anything. I'm a bit iffy on Adam, because I always pictured someone like Jared Padalecki as Adam, but depending on the writing this Adam could end up working for me.

Honestly, the characters I'll miss most are Sean, Suzan, and Chris and Doug, but again I understand that actors cost money, so I never expected to have all The Secret Circle characters on my screen, but Sean (at least) was a key player, so it's kind of weird not to have him. And again part of why the Adam actor isn't working for me as Adam is because he's closer to how I imagined Sean not Adam.

Why not Deborah? She was awesome, and I understand that you think I should be ashamed for not missing her. But to be perfectly honest I'm sorta pretending that this made-up character (Melissa) is Deborah, so that's why I'm not missing Deborah yet. When they expand on that character and she clearly becomes more of a character in her own right and not one I can pretend is someone else then I'll be sad.
I SO wanted to watch The Secret Circle, but about ten minutes into it, I fell asleep..sigh...never woke up til the news was on.

Oh well, I'll try again next week.

I turned the TV on about halfway through Vampire Diaries, so watched part of that. I didn't much care for it. Of course, I've never seen it before, which could be the major reason.
*sigh* Wish I'd seen this sooner, because last night (Friday) they encored the pilot episode of The Secret Circle, but now I don't think they'll be encoring it again until summer break.
(Actually, they might encore the first ten episodes over winter break. Might because for the last two seasons each winter the CW has a week long The Vampire Diaries encore week where they reshow the first ten episodes from the current season. So, if The Secret Circle stays ratings strong I could see the CW expanding that one week thing to a two week thing and encoring The Secret Circle as well if for no other reason then to keep their ratings over winter break from completely collapsing. Most CW shows don't exactly rerun well.)

As for The Vampire Diaries it's usually a good solid show - so far there's been only one episode that I've honestly not liked at all in some way, but last nights just didn't hit any high points (for me). Of course, it didn't truly hit any low points either, but it still wasn't "the best of The Vampire Diaries" by any stretch of the imagination. Mostly because it was setting up the season long storyline, at least I think that's why it wasn't exactly stellar.

Edited at 2011-09-17 09:23 pm (UTC)
I'm just wanting Caroline to realize that she doesn't need a man that she's awesome all by herself. So true)) But I'm pretty sure that's the way it's going. I doubt they're gonna have a real relationship now. Otherwise Caroline wouldn't sneak out of his bedroom secretively while he was asleep, as if to avoid a conversation. And I'm guessing Tyler's mom knocking Caroline out will be a setback too)) Maybe it's a tv-show stereotype, but I seriously doubt Tyler and Caroline will have a great relationship without going through some major draaaama at first)) Besides, the pre-season 3 spoilers highlighted that they were friends and it was important. So I'm guessing it;ll be like: blah-blah-blah, we have such a great friendship, but we also have feeeelings = DRAAAMA))
EEK! If you receive email alerts, sorry about the really bad HTML formatting - I think I've fixed it now.

You may be correct - according to this (careful, because there are SPOILERS there for Nikita, Supernatural, Ringer, and The Secret Circle):

Candice Accola
On Caroline and Tyler: "They're going to do lots of laundry -- like, 'oh, that shirt looks dirty, let me take it off of you,' 'oh, your dress is wrinkled, let me take it off for you...' [laughs] We're just teenagers being responsible!"

On what Caroline will be doing this season (besides Tyler): "We come back with Caroline planning Elena's birthday party, and what I love so far about season three is that the audience is going to see more girl bonding time. The women come back together this season, because I feel like last season there was so much going on within the separate storylines that it was always like one woman with a bunch of men around her. It's been nice to have all the girls back together and showing each other that support. I'm also really excited for the audience to see the flashback scenes; they're really beautiful and it's a lot of really great storytelling."

So, it sounds like this might be just a "friends with (supernatural) benefits" thing, which I admit I probably ain't gonna hate, especially if we see lots of naked (and oiled) bodies. What can I say? I'm just shallow that way.

Edited at 2011-09-17 09:27 pm (UTC)