The Vampire Diaries Was The Last Good Crappy Teen Show Before Teen Shows Got Crappy

Sorry, Riverdale.

Back in the day (‘the day’ being the time when I was in the middle of my teens and really into romance novels), The Vampire Diaries was the teen show of all teen shows. 

It was like the Twilight of television but with a slightly better plot, better actors and a darker more ~mature~ storyline. It had all of the trimmings: angsty high school romance, family betrayal, sexy vampires, badass witches, werewolves and all of the sexual energy a teenager could dream of. 

Also, the two main male leads looked like this: 

Hello handsomes. Source: Giphy

The Vampire Diaries aired ten years ago (!!!) and, looking back, I realise it was the last good show to come out of the crappy teenage genre. It had a cast of characters each with depth and their own personal storylines which unfolded along with the main plot. 

It had the ability to introduce new creatures (see the witches and werewolves mentioned above) in a believable way and, most importantly, it didn’t have any cheap arse musical episodes. 

The Vampire Diaries was the peak of crappy teen shows. In its later seasons, however, it was also the beginning of rock bottom for the genre. 

It suffered at the hands of the same thing all good, long running television shows suffer from: too many seasons. It ran for a total of 8 seasons and 7 years which is basically forever in TV time. 

It’s believable character arc became a mockery – I stopped watching after Damon was brought back from the dead for the third time. 

Don’t give me that look. Source: Giphy

It also got a spinoff which basically screams “quick do something the original show is losing relevance”. 

Despite its crappy later seasons and a spinoff that we don’t talk about, The Vampire Diaries is still better than the teen shows to come out of the last few years. 

One watch of Riverdale, and you’ll know what I mean – high school drugs and local gangs have nothing on Elena, Stefan and Damon’s love triangle. 

The same goes for shows like Gossip Girl, The OC, and Gilmore Girls – these are the kinds of shows that struck the perfect balance between trashy, believable and bingeable. In the age of Netflix, it’s rare to find teen shows that have more than a single strong season. Riverdale fizzled after two, 13 Reasons Why after one. 

It’s ironic and a damned shame. 

Suddenly, all of the teen shows aren’t good crappy, they’re just plain old bad. 

I Re-Read My Twilight Fan-Fiction And It Was An Experience

Stephenie Meyer, eat your heart out.

When I was much, much younger I had a dark obsession. Nothing else in my life mattered but this one thing. My friends had to like this thing, my clothes had to reflect this thing, and even my bedroom decor was designed around this thing. 

My world was all red, white, and black. I loved sparkly vampires and red apples and wanted to drive a Chevrolet for no other reason but because Bella Swan drove one. I even wrote (deep breath) a Twilight FanFiction. I technically wrote one-and-a-half FanFictions from 2008-2011 which was about how long it took for the obsession to wear off. 

I’m not proud of my past. I don’t talk about it easily. But it’s time to tell my story. 

What she said. Source: Giphy

Picture this: nerdy little 10-year-old stumbles upon a book and likes the cover. She had been recommended the novel by a friend so decided to give it a read – innocent enough. 

I read Twilight just before it exploded into the world and was instantly obsessed. 

My whole friendship group at school was obsessed. We were known for being obsessed. We were the ‘nerdy’ girls who loved fictional characters and read books in our lunch break and wrote FanFiction to channel our romantic fantasies. Sometimes we would even write ourselves into them. 

Not kidding. 

I didn’t just have my own FanFiction account, I also had a joint account with my best friend at the time (Gabby- shout out to you). 

All my closest friends had their own accounts where they would either a) leave me supportive reviews or b) write their own stories. Those friends have asked not to be identified in this article. 

Some friends you are. Source: Giphy

Every time I remember this period of my life I feel a mixture of shame and amusement. 

Because I’m a masochist (I still can’t use that word without thinking of Edward Cullen), I decided to re-read my Twilight FanFictions. 

Also because facing up to your demons is powerful thing to do. But mostly the first thing. 

I will not be providing titles, links or Googleable details. I’m not ready to bare by soul to the world that much. But I will provide snippets for your painful enjoyment. Also because if I have to relive the pain so do you. 

To ease you in, to get you in the right state of mind, here’a screenshot of my FanFiction profile. No judgment zone please. 

I would like to clarify that my reading repertoire has since expanded beyond fantasy-fiction and that I no longer write in abbreviations or use so many exclamation points. 

I also have much more nuanced conversations with my friends. We now talk about political issues and which celebrity has the best abs. 

Honestly, how I became a legitimate writer after all of this^ is beyond me. Follow your dreams, kids. 

Chase those dreams. Source: Giphy

My first FanFiction, the one I somehow managed to finish writing (21 chapters later), has the following plot summary: 

Bella is best friends with Alice Cullen and knows everyone in the Cullen family except for Alice’s mysterious older brother Edward. She begins to see red eyes in the bushes and little does she know, but someone is after her. Who? Why? Is Edward involved?

I honestly don’t remember the plot at all. I don’t remember writing it or planning it. I made Edward even more of a creepy stalker than he already was, so props to me. 

The chapter titles are probably my favourite thing about the entire story. Apparently, I was really good at answering questions with titles and using messy capitalisation.

Despite the above wreck, my writing was actually pretty good if I do say so myself. The content is hardly genius, but I appreciate my ability as a 12 year old. My favourite lines (read: the lines that make me physically shrivel up) include: 

“Go get him, tiger.” Clearly all my knowledge about boys and dating and giving advice to friends about boys and dating came from Mills & Boon novels. 

Apparently, I was totally chill about people acting slightly unhinged: 

And thought a dude who had been ordered to kill the girl he liked would make the perfect boyfriend: 

The dialogue I wrote was the stuff of literary genius: 

And my ‘Author’s Notes’ really added to the whole vibe of the story. 

Of course, there were super cheesy super romantic moments throughout the whole thing. But there were also surprising moments of wisdom. I gave pretty good advice for a 12-15 year old.

Fill your life with love, not self pity. I need young Krissy to come back and tell old Krissy how to manage life. 

The fun doesn’t end there friends, oh no. Every chapter started with an annoying author’s note (which ended with ‘Regards, Krissy’) and ended with an equally annoying desperate plea like this: 

I would even put riddles at the end of some chapters to force people to send in reviews. Now that I think of it, it was kind of genius strategy. 

They say you never love the same as your first. But when it came to my second FanFiction, that wasn’t the case for me. I was more invested in number two. 

The plot was innovative: 

How do you overcome the loss of a loved one? What do you do when your life no longer feels like your own? How do you feel when old scars refuse to fade? Who can you trust with your heart after it’s been broken so many times before? Meet Bella Swan.

Really gives you a sense of the storyline, right? 

Not really, no. Source: Giphy

Shame we’ll never know how it was going to end. I don’t remember what the hell it was supposed to be about. 

My writing on eventually fizzled out, I swapped Twilight for One Direction and, eventually, started wearing more black than fandom t-shirts. 

I might have better clothes now, but I still spend my days writing about Twilight and One Direction so I guess the questions is: did i really escape my Twilight obsession? Or have I been lying to myself this whole time? 

P.S. Team Edward all the way.

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