Pop culture became saturated with vampires, say, around when the Twilight movies started filtering in. So, it was only a matter of time before the vampire craze would reach television.
Two shows popped up around the same time: True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. Both are filled with good, old fashioned, cheesy vampire drama.
If fact, both shows are quite similar, though the main difference is probably that The Vampire Diaries airs on the CW, a network that is home to mostly teenage dramas, and the other, True Blood, airs on HBO. So, sex and stuff.
Both shows center on a female protagonist who falls in love with a vampire right off the bat. Both shows feature another vampire lurking in the shadows, waiting to jump all over that female the minute her love wains for the first vampire dude. Both shows feature the female protagonist’s troublesome brother. Both sets of siblings are orphans.
In both shows, the broody vampire dude was human during the Civil War. Both have seen stuff. Both get seduced by little southern vampire belles and get themselves turned into broody vampire dudes. Both have regrets and it makes them brood a little more. And in both shows, the little southern vampire vixens show up again to make life for their little brooding vampire progeny a little more hellish.
In both shows, the female protagonist has a best friend. In both shows, that best friend always seems to get pushed away in favor of the broody vampire boyfriend. The best friend always loses family members and lovers because everything is sacrificed for the greater good, i.e. the female protagonist. Everyone is always sorry. But it still keeps happening.
In both shows, there is the former love interest that was pushed aside in favor of the broody vampire dude. The former lover interest hangs around, waiting for a second chance with the female protagonist, but they end up second in line to the other broody, slightly more violent vampire dude who is waiting around, though not patiently, for the first broody vampire dude to get staked or something.
And what is the deal with the broody, impatient, slightly more violent vampire dude anyway? Don’t they have something better to do than pine over some human girl, who is a little clumsy, but prettier than she’ll admit? Of course not. Both broody, impatient, slightly more violent vampire dudes are real pricks at first, but then they do something almost nice, and suddenly, you’re supposed to start rooting for them to win the girl, even though they are still murderous pricks and there is a very good chance bad things will happen. But they are tall, mysterious and very good looking, so it’s okay.
And, hey, both of the female protagonists end up not being exactly human. Which gives all the vampires panting over them a reason for their improbable affection.
Both shows feature a pretty, naive girl getting turned into a vampire. Both get turned into a vampire because of the not exactly human female protagonist, because, again, everything is sacrificed for the greater good.
Eventually, despite all the sacrificing they do, the broody vampire dudes lose the not exactly human female protagonists because all of a sudden, they end up being total pricks, too. And that broody, impatient, slightly more violent vampire dude who has been waiting around finally gets his chance. And all death and sacrifice and pain that centered around the success of the relationship between the broody vampire dude and the not exactly human female protagonist is in vain, as it was to begin with. But we don’t care, because hey, that new relationship is the one we’ve been pulling for all along, we guess.
Oh, and both shows have werewolves, but we don’t really find out about them until the second season.