Test Pilot: File #54, The Vampire Diaries

Test Pilot #54: The Vampire Diaries Debut date: September 10, 2009 Series legacy: An exciting show that became so good it went from “criminally underrated” to properly celebrated in relatively short fashion First impressions mean a lot in television, and that’s why writers, producers, studios, networks, etc. put more time, effort and money into pilots … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #54, The Vampire Diaries

Review: The Vampire Diaries, “Homecoming”

Let me just put this out front: I enjoyed the fall finale of The Vampire Diaries’ third season. “Homecoming” was an entertaining episode with a number of truly fun and thrilling moments. If this were just about any other series, I’d be talking about how insane and well-plotted this episode was. But this isn’t any … Continue reading Review: The Vampire Diaries, “Homecoming”

Review: The Vampire Diaries, “The Hybrid”

After a slightly slower, more character-based season premiere, The Vampire Diaries wasted no time jumping into some big ideas in this week’s episode, “The Hybrid.” This episode introduced us to what will probably be the primary narrative for at least the first half of the season (Klaus building a hybrid army), jump-started a few supporting … Continue reading Review: The Vampire Diaries, “The Hybrid”

Season Premiere review — The Vampire Diaries, “The Birthday”

One of The Vampire Diaries greatest strengths is its ability to come up with wild plot twists that seem both entirely crazy and completely believable at the same time. There have been roughly 9,000 insane developments in the first two seasons alone. And I might be understating it a bit. At this point, we expect … Continue reading Season Premiere review — The Vampire Diaries, “The Birthday”

Season Finale review — True Blood, “And When I Die”

This is the best season of True Blood ever. Sure, there were maybe two truly enjoyable episodes and most of the storylines were underdeveloped, stupid, poorly-plotted or some combination of all three. And sure, the series continued its terrible trend of crafting dreadful finales that are trapped somewhere between concluding old, bad stories and starting … Continue reading Season Finale review — True Blood, “And When I Die”

Friday List: Nine half-baked True Blood spin-offs that would be better than True Blood

If you’re a regular reader of TV Surveillance, you know I love a good list. Or a mediocre list. Or even a horrible list. The point is I have a lust for lists. This fall, I’d like to provide you folks with more lists than ever and hopefully that will result in a weekly or … Continue reading Friday List: Nine half-baked True Blood spin-offs that would be better than True Blood

Controlled madness: On The Vampire Diaries, Nikita and narrative pacing

This summer, I made my way through the first season of Nikita, a series I liked in the early part of last season but one I ultimately lost touch with because I was already watching 71 other things at the same time. Thursday nights are tough, you all know this. Generally speaking, I very much … Continue reading Controlled madness: On The Vampire Diaries, Nikita and narrative pacing

Post-hiatus musings: HBO edition (True Blood and Entourage)

After nearly a month, my fairly substantial hiatus here at TVS is over. I am happy to be back providing content for you folks on a regular basis. In my time off, I’ve missed all sorts of television, both viewing- and writing-wise. To combat that, I’ll be whipping up a number of random posts with … Continue reading Post-hiatus musings: HBO edition (True Blood and Entourage)

True Blood, “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’?”

I tweeted earlier tonight that I'm now fairly convinced that I was just an idiot when I thought True Blood was kind of a good television program. But what I am realizing is that I think I only thought these things for like six weeks, sometime near the middle part of season two. Those glorious … Continue reading True Blood, “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’?”

Season Premiere — True Blood, “She’s Not There”

As begins its fourth season, True Blood is a series I no longer give the benefit of the doubt. After two severely flawed, but wonderfully entertaining seasons, last year's offering of episodes failed to provide the same kind of enjoyable thrills to balance out the laughably large number of problems. Early last season, the series … Continue reading Season Premiere — True Blood, “She’s Not There”

2010-2011 season wrap: The Vampire Diaries

With the 2010-2011 television season officially over, I’ll be taking some time over the next week or so to look back on how some of television’s best and worst fared this season. General thoughts: I burned through the first season of The Vampire Diaries in very quick fashion last August in preparation for the second season. … Continue reading 2010-2011 season wrap: The Vampire Diaries

Season Finale — The Vampire Diaries, “As I Lay Dying”

When you're a series that's almost entirely defined by your ability to come up with the most insane twists (in a good way), sometimes expectations for that kind of thing get too high. At the time, the end of The Vampire Diaries first season seemed like the most wild thing ever and throughout the series' second … Continue reading Season Finale — The Vampire Diaries, “As I Lay Dying”

The Vampire Diaries, “The Sun Also Rises”

Well, that was just miserable. The Vampire Diaries is a series that primarily works based on its ability to speed up the narrative so fast that the twists and turns come so quickly, it's too difficult to even think about how telegraphed they may or may not be. Everything is shocking on this series because it … Continue reading The Vampire Diaries, “The Sun Also Rises”

The Vampire Diaries, “The Dinner Party”

Sometimes, like I've done with the last few episodes, it's interesting to talk about some of the emotional states of characters, trust and all that nonsense. But when The Vampire Diaries gives us an episode like "The Dinner Party" it's hard not to just pump my fist with adrenaline-boosted excitement. This episode is jam-packed full of … Continue reading The Vampire Diaries, “The Dinner Party”