Look, teen vampire romances and me, we go way back. Like all the way back to the original.
(I’m totally, unapologetically Team Kiefer. Then and now.)
I know my horror genres. Hell, I took a class at USC toward my degree about Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy in film. (Best class ever.) I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula and I attended lectures discussing the resurgence of the vampire genre to reflect society’s fears about AIDS.
Then there was Buffy. My favorite television show of all time. The best representation of a female superhero I’ve seen. A tortured romance between a human (with superpowers) and a vampire. A romance that could never last. None of this happily ever after because we’re both vampires so now we can live together forever bullshit.
Yeah, I’m talking about Twilight. After the first movie came out, I listened to the first book and a half on audio, and then gave up because they were so badly written, but I stuck with the movies. I just had to see how it ended.
I’ll come right and say it, I thought Breaking Dawn Part 2 was the best film in the series. Finally, Bella gets to do something other than sit around and watch boys fight over her. And you know what? She looked really hot as a vampire. I liked watching her rail against Jacob for imprinting on her daughter, and I liked the epic battle scene, which I’ve since learned is not in the book. Further evidence that the books suck.
Honestly, everything wrong with that movie is a problem created by the source material. Twilight has the worst vampire mythology ever. They don’t burn in sunlight, they have reflections, they don’t have fangs, they barely even struggle with cravings for human blood. Why call them vampires? Just make them some immortal mutant race, or something. Especially if you’re going to give them each distinct X-Men superpowers. This one can read minds. This one can see the future. This one inexplicably has electricity coming out of her hands.
About a year ago, I started watching The Vampire Diaries, and I’ll challenge anyone who calls it a “guilty pleasure.” It’s legitimately an awesome show. It kicks Twilight‘s ass because Elena has a personality. She thinks for herself. She doesn’t want to be a vampire, even though it would mean being with her hunky boyfriend 4-eva. Also, vampire heartthrobs Stefan and Damon actually struggle with what it means to be vampires. Plus they have fangs and cool veiny eyes when they feed.
SPOILER: Elena became a vampire at the end of last season. I was pretty sure the first episode of the season was going to have her sitting around with the Salvatore brothers, doing a lot of talking about what this means, and how she feels and whether she should feed. But no, the episode quickly put all the characters into jeopardy with actual consequences. Fine storytelling, in my opinion.
The Vampire Diaries did find a way to cheat the whole vampire allergy to sun with magical “daylight rings,” which, whatever, I guess if you want to have vampires go to high school, they have to be able to go out during the day. But that just gives me that much more respect for Buffy, which managed to keep vampires reflection-free and in the dark.
So. Final thoughts on Twilight, and let us never speak of it again: I really wanted to see Bella eat that rock climber. Then I was sort of hoping she’d bite her baby.