But I have a confession to make.
I’m in love with the television show, “The Vampire Diaries.” This is about as difficult for me to admit publicly as my predilection for People magazine and box wine, but it’s painfully true. It isn’t just because I don’t watch television. It’s also because the show is advertised as a teen drama about pretty vampires. 40 year old housewives shouldn’t be watching teen dramas. That’s just all kinds of wrong.
For the record, it isn’t even my fault that I’m obsessed with the show. Not like with LOST where I sought it out like a fan girl on a three day comic con bender. I didn’t know the meaning of obsession until I watched my first episode of “The Vampire Diaries” a couple of weeks ago.
I’ve been catching up on the first two seasons every day since and it’s made me the subject of much taunting and teasing from my family and friends who just don’t understand how dreamy both Stefan and Damon are. They mock me by quoting my steadfast belief that too much television doesn’t just lower the IQ, but also corrodes the soul. They laugh at how I desperately search out people remotely near my age who also love the show for some validation of my obsession. Despite what my husband says, it’s not just the vampires and buff chests. But have you seen that Damon shirtless?
Let’s get back to the reason why this whole thing isn’t even my fault.
See, what happened was, I did a feature for the Covington News about Worthington Manor. This beautiful local home is used as the set of the Lockwood Mansion on the show. I only wanted to do the assignment because who wouldn’t want to see the inside of that gorgeous house, right? I stalked it from Floyd Street the first two years my family lived in Covington and getting in was a real treat for me.
Ben and Ralph, the owners of Worthington Manor, were such gracious hosts when I was there to do the interview. Honored doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt to be given a personal tour of such a beautiful home. I couldn’t really follow all the talk about “The Vampire Diaries” though and that bothered me. I felt like I was missing out on the full picture. Seeing Ben’s smile as he talked about the actors by name was enough to make me want to at least check the show out once. And, if you’ve never met Ben, his eyes really do sparkle when he smiles. I’d accuse him of compelling me like a Mystic Falls’ vampire, if I didn’t know any better.
Then, I learned about more local places being used for the filming of the show- houses on Floyd Street and, of course, our historic square. I remembered passing by the floats used in a few scenes and watching the fireworks one night a few years back. That was it. I had to see this show even if it meant I was a Creepy McCreepston for doing it, even if it meant I had to watch some (gasp!) television.
Here’s the thing about “The Vampire Diaries,” y’all. You don’t have to be a 14 year old girl in love with Edward Cullen or a cable-less schmo who’s jonesing for some True Blood to really like this little gem of teen drama. Solid story telling, well developed characters, and intriguing plot twists are waiting like a reward for viewers who can make it past the first three episodes of Twilight-esque silliness. I mean, I’m not their target demographic (I not even a fan of television, period!) and they had me hooked well before Stefan and Elena shared their first kiss. Plus, every time I recognize a local set location, I shriek and giggle, pausing and replaying the scene.
Vampire lore has become a part of our pop culture, but I’ve been fascinated with it ever since a pile of “Dark Shadows” betamax tapes landed squarely in my childhood psyche. Obviously, I’m not concerned with believable story lines. I can suspend disbelief for an hour in Mystic Falls. I’m not bothered by a murder rate that puts the ATL to shame or the 20something supernatural hotties responsible for it.
I’m a fan of “The Vampire Diaries.” There, I’ve admitted it. But it’s entirely Ben and Ralph’s fault.
Beth McAfee-Hallman lives in Covington and cam be emailed at mamabee@OneFabulousMama.com.