Since the beginning of time, similar things have always been compared to each other: Pepsi or Coke? Lemon or Lime? Boxers or Briefs? And books are no exception!
Throwdown Thursdays: On the first Thursday of every month I play the ultimate game of “Would You Rather” with books that are inevitably compared to each other. After 3 rounds, I pick my winner. Feel free to join in by commenting, making your own response (just link back) or vote in my poll! Here is this month’s match:
*I am only including the first 4 books of the original Vampire Diaries Series in my review; AND I only watched the first 4 seasons of the TV show
Book Series Review Here
I compare movies to their books all the time so why not try a TV show?
Round 1: Story
90s Cheerleader with Vampires & Witches vs Modern Teen with Vampires, Witches, Werewolves, Hybrids…did I miss any?
I think we already know who is going to win this one…
When you compare the book series to the TV series, it seems so basic in its execution and that’s because it is; and there is nothing wrong with that. You can do a lot more with TV/visual media than you can with literature because you have more time and have an easier way to present material without endless amounts of description. I’m not saying that it can’t be done in literature–because it can!–I’m just saying it’s a hell of a lot easier for TV shows and movies.
I find that the TV show expands upon the basic concepts of witch-craft and gets wayyyyyy deeper into the Catherine-Elena history. I also loved the darker edge the TV show has to it because I found the books to be a little cheesy at times (but that is probably because they were written in the 1990s). They aren’t afraid to kill off people on the show and I like the idea that no one is safe–it keeps things exciting!
One thing I really don’t like about the show is all the supernatural creatures they have going on. It got a little too crazy for me and because I was watching it sporadically it was hard to keep up. I plan to catch-up this summer though 🙂
Winner: The TV Show. I just prefer the darker storylines and the action. Never a dull moment!
Vampire Diaries Books: 0 | Vampire Diaries TV Show: 1
Round 2: The Characters
Golden Cheerleader with Sister vs Doppelgangers Galore with Brother
These little verses are hard to come up with!
In the book series, I found things to be pretty stereotypical. Sure, Elena didn’t live with her parents but she followed every other high school cheerleader stereotype. Cute boyfriend? Check. Rival Cheerleader? Check. Everyone loves her? Check. It was a little cliche to say the least but she did have some good character development, allowing her to break out of these molds at times. Stefan is your typical brooding heartthrob and Damon is evil. Add a BFF witch and a darling little sister and you have the original cast of characters. Nothing surprising but nothing all that exciting either.
The TV Show really revamped (no pun intended) these characters. gone is the childhood sister of Elena and in her place is the I-got-better-looking-as-the-series-progressed teenaged brother Jeremy. I really liked Jeremy’s character, his looks aside, because he added another perspective to the storyline and was another male character–and one who didn’t immediately fall in love with Elena. Elena herself is a much strong, independent heroine in the TV show. She doesn’t do anything rebellious for the sake of attention and has a good head on her shoulders. Bonnie became a lot more interesting and integral to the plot with her witch-craft. But really, it’s Caroline who stole the show for me. I really didn’t like her character in the books and it took me awhile to like her on the show, but she really grew on me!
As I said before, there are so many characters on the show that it is hard to follow them. And the doppelganger situation was starting to get a little out of control when I stopped watching. I LOVED the addition of the Originals (yet I haven’t started to watch the show yet!) and that whole storyline.
As for the brothers–they’re pretty much the same on the show except you realize Damon has a soul and isn’t as evil as you expected 😛
Winner: The Show. While they rotate them through quickly at times, I find they have a lot more substance to them.
Vampire Diaries Books: 0 | Vampire Diaries TV Show: 2
Round 3: Romance
One Sided Love Triangle vs Full Blown Love Triangle
In the books, the main focus is Elena and Stefan; in the show their love is important but so is the rest of the casts’
I always felt like the romance in the books was really a one-sided love triangle. I mean, I think we all knew which brother Elena was going to end up with from the start. One of her BFF’s gets a love interest but past that, it really is the Elena-Salvatore Brother love triangle.
With the show, who knows who will really win Elena’s heart? That’s part of the reason why I stopped watching because I hate back and forth love triangles in my TV shows. They are exhausting to watch! But what kept me around was everyone else’s romantic encounters. Jeremy, Bonnie, Caroline and Tyler, even Klaus and Rebecka all had me totally onboard with their relationships and provided a fresh storyline I was interested in watching.
Winner: The Show–in the sense that there is more romance going on. However, I prefer the love triangle of the books so both get a point!
Vampire Diaries Books: 1 | Vampire Diaries TV Show: 3
Ultimate Winner: the TV Show
Final Comments: The show really amplified the basis of the Vampire Diary stories and brought them to the next generation. And because I am from that “next generation”, the show appeals to me a lot more. It’s faster, darker and has a whole lot more drama–basically everything I like in a good TV show!
What are your thoughts: which one would you rather read? Leave a comment below!
Hey there, I have been an avid watcher of TVD series since season 1, I haven’t read the books because I know there’s a whole lot of difference with these two and I think I prefer the tv series. I definitely agree with all the points that you stated. And Caroline, yep she definitely stood out for me as well and she is a character who has undergone a major character development throughout the series, in a good way. 🙂
And I don’t know you’ve heard it or not but Elena who is played by Nina Dobrev in the show is leaving after this season. Season 7 will be probably without her and I can’t handle when there’s no Delena. So I might stop watching as well.
The Originals is epic, I’ve heard but I haven’t got the chance to waych it yet as well. And I should stop blabbering as well! Sorry. 😛
Great post btw!
Haha no worries about the blabbering, it was hard to keep my post from becoming a big rambling mess!
Yes, I read that about Nina and I’m curious to see how they are going to handle losing the main protagonist. I feel like that there are enough strong characters to replace her but it’s a little weird to lose THE key character. Guess we will have to wait and see!
I love the TV series and I don’t really want to read the books because I feel like I would only be disappointed, though, that’s just me. I love this post btw! 🙂
Yes, I would avoid the books if you love the TV show 😉 I feel like they are books for a different generation so they appeal to different audiences. Thanks for commenting 🙂