I did not want to watch The Vampire Diaries. I resisted for 14 months, disregarding my co-blogger’s incessant pleas and passionate justifications.
During those 14 months, my conversations with MH would go something like this:
MH: CB! You have to watch The Vampire Diaires! It’s sooo good!
CB: Ah ha.
I watched like two episodes last Christmas and felt like my brain was melting into mush.
MH: Nooo. It gets so much better! And besides, Damon is so hot. You’ll love him.
CB: No! It’s some ridiculous, teenagery, Twilighty, immature, pathetic excuse for TV. I’m not watching it.
MH: Listen, that’s what I thought. But the more you watch it, the more you’ll realize how awesome it is.
And round and round we went.
And then my sister asked for a few show recommendations. Knowing her tastes (while this might seem like I have just called my sister’s tastes ridiculous and immature, this is not the case) I recommended The Vampire Diaries. She liked it. And then she got sick and I, out of compassion, agreed to watch a few episodes with her.
It took five episodes and I was hooked. The writing, the acting, the plot lines, the characters—absolutely unbeatable. While one might judge it as girly and romantic and teenagery, it is not (completely). In my rather finicky opinion, The Vampire Diaries ranks as one of the most intelligent, well-written, and well-acted shows I have ever had the pleasure of watching.
When I first started watching The Vampire Diaries, I really honestly expected to like Damon and not Stefan. I had already used a photo of Ian Smolderpants for my Facebook profile before I even started watching (that is quite the honor, let me tell you).
I was surprised to find out that I am a hard-core Stelena shipper! I love Stefan and Elena together. I love them apart. I love them. But most of all I love him.
For the record, I passionately desired Damon to die throughout Season 1 and even during his pseudo death scene in the Season 2 finale, part of me hoped the producers would terminate his contract. However, I like Damon. I like him on the show; I like him for the purpose he serves on the show. I like his bromances with Alaric and Stefan, I like when the camera is on him, I like his one-liners, his tortured despair, his snarky confidence.
But not like I like Stefan.
At first, Stefan is too tortured, too caring, too dark. At first, I really just wanted him to shut up. Everything he says is miserable, profound, preachy.
But then something happened. It’s a testament to not only the writers, but also to Paul Wesley, who is able to take a tortured character and make him loveable and believable. It’s also a testament to Nina Dobrev (who is dating Ian) to keep that chemistry with Stefan alive. Over the course of Season 1, I realized just how much Stefan and Elena love each other. Deep down love, belief, trust, honesty, care. And this is what made me love Stefan. You can see how much he cares for Elena. How far he is willing to go for her. It appeals to every romantic bone in my body. Damon and Elena would never work on so many levels—and besides, Elena, despite what she occasionally feels, will never, ever love anyone the way she loves Stefan.
If you are a romantic, don’t you want to see the two people who love each other most be together?
Of course, this love for Stefan the character ultimately turned into a love and respect for Paul Wesley the actor. Watch any behind-the-scenes footage with Paul Wesley and you will see why.
Here are my reasons:
1. He is married, stable, from a good family, and cares about his family and their opinion. In this day and age, that means a lot of points in my book. (And I might just be a little jealous of Torrey DeVitto.)
2. He is a phenomenal actor. It is remarkable that he—a very happy, humorous, snarky, sarcastic goofball—can play such a tortured, guilt-ridden, depressed character so believably. But he does: when Paul acts, his face and demeanor takes on another persona. He is no longer Paul but Stefan.
3. He is incredibly smart and intelligent, and says everything that I say all the time (anyone who agrees with me is therefore intelligent). For instance: he and Caroline have amazing chemistry, Elena should really just ditch everyone, Stefan needs to move away from the whole mess and deal with his own crap, etc. Additionally, he does not shy away from expressing his opinions and thoughts on plot points. I love that he says it all during interviews—not just say what PR wants him to say.
Watch this video and you will understand what I am trying to say.
I leave you with this: