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More TV, because I don't know how to moderate my addiction and have no sense of time management. Cut because I apparently can't stop typing about this show, and also for spoilers (lol @ the idea that anyone else is still watching this show, let's be real):

Vampire Diaries 6.01-6.04
Surprisingly, even though it's entering its sixth season, this show is the best and freshest it's been in ages. And it's really easy to pinpoint the reason: Elena and Damon have been split up. The show was weighed down so heavily by their relationship (including the first few episodes of season six, with Elena's self-destruction) that it dragged every other aspect down too. I've no doubt that Plec will bring them back together--it's her obsession and it's definitely endgame--but I'm enjoying the ride while it lasts.

Stefan and Elena's "date" in last night's ep was really charming and fun and reminded me why, in the early days of TVD, you could not tear me away from Elena/Stefan. I was rabid. It wasn't just that I hated Damon (although I did), but that Elena and Stefan were so good together. (The main reason Elena/Stefan went stale for me is because Elena/Damon turned Elena into such a terrible person. I don't think the show should go there again, but it's nice to remember.) In fact, it's also like the first season in a different way: it's been more episodic and character-focused rather than mytharc-focused (TVD's mytharcs are mostly shit, thank goodness). And, of course, Alaric's back. I feel very nostalgic. I will go to the mat for TVD's early quality.

Damon has always worked best with characters antagonistic to him; Bonnie is the epitome of that and an ideal choice (Caroline would have worked, too, I think). Since the very beginning of the show, Bonnie has been the naysayer--opposing vampires, and opposing Damon in particular. With Damon and Bonnie trapped in some kind of magical purgatory reliving the same day over and over, the show is really appealing to my love of forced proximity and enemies-forced-to-work-together. In this scenario, they play off each other well, especially against a common enemy (and I liked Bonnie's statement last night about why Damon was different from psychopathic Kai; I am a sucker for reformation arcs, and Damon's has been shitty all around, but I will always hope for better).

Speaking of. The cast is getting really bloated. New people: Sarah (?? Jeremy's hook-up whom Elena bit); Elena's Pre-Med Friend Who Kissed Her; Ivy (who was gone and now is back as a vampire); Kai; and Guy Who's Not Sheriff Carter (but looks like him!). Plus all the characters that have been introduced in the last season or two. Thank goodness we at least got rid of all the Originals, amirite?

It's time to cut down. If you're reading this, TVD producers, please feel free to kill off the following characters:
  • Tyler
  • Matt
  • Elena's Pre-Med Friend
  • Kai
  • Guy Who's Not Sheriff Carter (sorry, Colin Ferguson, I love you!!)
  • the witchy brother and sister duo whose names I can't remember because LITERALLY NO ONE CARES ABOUT THEM
  • Enzo (PLEASE, do not draw this out, you know the longer Guy Who's Not Sheriff Carter keeps him alive the less chance there is he'll die. I will admit I like some of his scenes with Caroline and his slightly creepy chivalry where she's concerned.)
  • Damon (I'm only saying this because they never will)

I liked Ivy, although I don't think she fits in well in terms of the narrative and will probably die again soon, likely in service of Stefan's angst.

I was surprised by the Sarah reveal; nice way to bring the two plots together. I'd somehow been expecting her to be related to Ferguson's character, since she was searching for her dad and he seemed the most likely option; the idea of Zach never crossed my mind. She's a Salvatore! Too bad I don't know anything else about her and am not really invested in her character. Also, she's probably slated for death soon too. Just a guess.

These episodes have fleshed out Stefan's dysfunction nicely. Stefan's always been sort of this really nice guy who's a little broody and feels guilty for all the bad things he's done in the past, and most of his drama was really about/with Elena and Damon. His coping mechanism for Damon's death appears much healthier than Elena's, but I like how its negative effects on everyone else have been highlighted. "Starting fresh" whenever bad shit goes down can be quite cruel, especially if you're leaving people behind. I was glad that Caroline called him a dick, even though Caroline/Stefan is one of my all-time #1 ships. I want it to happen so bad, but it's not clear yet in the show that Stefan has feelings the same way Caroline does. (Pretty much the only thing Enzo would be good for at this point is pushing Stefan to realize those feelings. He can get staked after.)
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