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Pilot Review of The Vampire Diaries on The CW

Pilot Watch: The Vampire Diaries

The networks have announced their Fall schedules, but which series will be worth watching? Throughout the Summer, as I watch the pilots, I'll be posting my first impressions. Note that a lot can change before a show actually makes it to air, so these aren't reviews, just quick thoughts on how the shows look now. Today's pick: the CW's drama The Vampire Diaries.

What's it about? Based on a book series of the same name, the show focuses on a teenager named Elena who becomes the object of affection for two competitive brothers . . . who also happen to be vampires.

Who's in it? Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley

The good: Since executive producer Kevin Williamson also made Dawson's Creek and Scream, it's probably not surprising that this show finds a sweet spot between witty teen banter and creepy suspense. Dobrev and Wesley are fine in their roles, but it's Somerhalder who really pops, and as soon as he swoops in, the show is instantly better for it. The basic outline of the story seems flexible enough to work for multiple seasons, should the show become a hit.

The bad: Some lines are unforgivably cheesy ("It's the fog. It's making me foggy"). That could also be a good description of the special effects, which are occasionally laugh-out-loud silly. The whole "diary" aspect of the show seems a little clunky and unnecessary on screen. The pilot drags a bit before Somerhalder shows up.

Will I watch? I'll probably TiVo it, though I wouldn't commit to pushing my regular Thursday shows aside for it just yet.

To watch a promo for the show and see some pictures of the cast, just read more.

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Photos courtesy of The CW

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