Even before The CW turned "The Vampire Diaries" into a series,
it was impossible to avoid sexy bloodsuckers in pop culture. And
although the young-adult novels that inspired the drama were published
way back in 1991 – years before Sookie Stackhouse or Bella and Edward
were created – we can't help but compare the show to the popular "True
Blood" and "Twilight" series. Here's how all three stack up against each
The Ingénue True Blood:
Sookie. She's a waitress with psychic
abilities and an open mind. She's proud of her vampire boyfriend, has
powered through some really tragic emotional times and makes some
remarkably stupid decisions because she's just too trusting.
Bella. She's a moody high school student who longs for
her vampire boyfriend to turn her into an immortal so that she can be
Elena. She's a gorgeous dark-haired girl with a
hard past, but she's drawn the interest of two undead brothers who have a
centuries-long grudge against each other.
Sookie. While she can make moronic life choices, she's
strong-minded, can defend herself in perilous situations and is
generally pretty damned adorable.
Good Vampire Boyfriend
True Blood: Bill is a Civil War vet, and Sookie's
neighbor, with a teenage "daughter" on his hands and some old-fashioned
ideas about how to treat a lady.
Twilight: Edward is a dreamy high school student with a big
family who has an instant connection to Bella's scent. He's moody and
often disappears for long periods of time, but mostly because he has his
girlfriend's best interests at heart.
Vampire Diaries: Stefan is a Renaissance man from classic Italy
who is immediately drawn to Elena because she looks like his dead
Winner: Edward. He's sulky at times, but he's more appealing than
Stefan and seems to have way less baggage than Bill.
Bad Vampire Boyfriend
True Blood: The threatening Viking bar owner Eric may
not be Sookie's actual boyfriend, but the two share a blood-connection
that has led to some very racy sex fantasies.
Twilight: One vampire is enough for Bella, and though she does
get taunted a lot by Edward's brother Emmett, there's no real attraction
Vampire Diaries: Damon is Stefan's dark brother, who has the
ability to shape-shift, and is also compelled to stalk Elena because she
looks like his dead ex-girlfriend (Damon and Stefan share a dead
Winner: Close call here since Damon is pretty awesome, but we're
giving this one to the charmingly evil Eric.
The Small Towns
True Blood: Sookie lives in the Southern town of Bon
Temps, which isn't ideal for vampires trying to hide out, but it works
in this scenario since vamps have gone public. There are special bars
for fans of the fanged ones and synthetic blood, though some members of
this town don't take too well to supernatural sorts.
Twilight: Bella has relocated to Forks, a dreary tiny community
in the state of Washington, where it's constantly raining or at least
overcast, making it a great place for vamps trying to cover up their
sparkliness. The townspeople know that there is something off about the
Cullen clan, but as long as they stay to themselves, no one raises much
of a stir.
Vampire Diaries: Elena hails from Fell's Church, Virginia. Her
high school seems pretty typical of suburban America, and people are
skeptical about the outsiders, especially when a rash of violence breaks
Winner: Fell's Church. It has the best weather and doesn't have a
nagging maenad or serial killer around to cause community-wide orgies
The Shape-Shifter Guys
True Blood: Sam's the sweet bar owner who is sweet on
Sookie, but she really has no interest in him. So this adorable guy --
who most often turns into a dog, but can become just about any animal
he's imprinted on -- spends his time playing dirty billiards with
devious shape-shifting waitresses instead.
Twilight: Jacob is totally in love with Bella, but she mostly has
eyes for Edward. However, that doesn't keep the sexy, warm werewolf
from protecting the girl of his dreams at all costs, or from attempting
to win her affection along the way.
Vampire Diaries: Damon's not only a vamp, but he's also a
shape-shifter and most frequently turns himself into a menacing looking
Winner: Jacob. Sam's merely huggable and Damon's slightly
terrifying, so this good-hearted Native American boy, who turns himself
into a vicious killer to protect his loved ones, wins by a mile.
The Forces of Evil
True Blood: Sookie and Bill have many different
enemies to battle, from the local serial killer who hated vampires to
the menacing vamp-hating cult called the Fellowship of the Sun to the
mysterious Maryann the maenad (and her minions) who likes to cause
chaos. This pair really has their hands full.
Twilight: There's a bad coven, who strongly disagree with the
Cullens' way of life, what with its aversion to hunting humans and all.
The coven, led by a vengeful Victoria, are after Bella in order to get
even with the Cullens.
Vampire Diaries: Damon. He's the show's primary evildoer,
murdering locals and making life miserable for happy couple Stefan and
Winner: True Blood's multitude of craziness because it
includes messed-up humans as well as supernatural beings all
congregating to try to take down Sookie and her friends.
The Tough Female Vampires True Blood:
Pam. She's Eric's right-hand woman and
looks fierce in coordinates. She's got a tough bark and an even worse
bite, especially if someone messes with her shoes.
Rosalie's used to being the queen bee/mean girl of both
the Cullen clan and her high school. She's stunningly beautiful, and
she knows it, and doesn't take kindly to Bella getting all the
Katherine was torn between loving two brothers,
so she turned them both into vampires and then killed herself, leaving
them to try to destroy each other for hundreds of years to come.
Katherine didn't necessarily know she was being a b****
and Rosalie thrives on being a b****, but Pam could literally bite the
head off of a small child and laugh about it, so she's by far the best
b**** in town.
The Vampire Rules
True Blood: The bloodsuckers on this show abide by
most of the common vampire rules: They can't go out in the sun without
turning into a fritter, can be killed by stakes or by beheading, need to
drink blood (though synthetic is acceptable), have super speed and can
fly (or at least some can). They also have a remarkably complex
governing system with local sheriffs and queens.
Twilight: While you could kill one of these vamps with a stake,
the sun is not their enemy in the traditional sense of the word. They
don't get burnt to a crisp; instead, they get all sparkly in the
sunlight. They also have a strong affinity for baseball, and use their
super speediness to their advantage.
Vampire Diaries: These vamps can go out in the sun, but only when
wearing a special piece of jewelry that keeps them safe. Some can
shape-shift, but they do like to drink blood and keep their identities a
Winner: Again, a close call between the Vampire Diaries
and True Blood, since we like the clever conceit of allowing the
vamps to exist in daylight, but we far prefer our undead to be more akin
to classic creatures of the night, so we're giving the upper hand to TB.
By the Book?
True Blood: Hits some of the major plot points and
character traits, but has gone its own way and invented new characters,
kept some alive and embellished a lot of details.
Twilight: Extremely loyal to the books -- painstakingly so, in
fact -- since the fans quibble over any slight alteration or omission.
Vampire Diaries: Based on the pilot alone, very loyal, but the
producers are going to have to do a lot to stretch this into a weekly
Winner: Vampire Diaries did come first in the literary
world, but we're digging the fact that True Blood is willing to
take chances and make changes to the source material that usually pay
True Blood: Sookie loves Bill, but it's a slightly
strange love given that when his blood saved her life, it may have put
her under his thrall somehow. And she's tied to Eric, too, so she's had
mixed feelings about the man who seems to let her down at the most
Twilight: Bella and Edward are complete and utter soul mates and
are bound and determined to be together for all eternity (even though
Bella briefly flirted with Jacob). It's all very pure and sweet.
Vampire Diaries: Elena is torn between two brothers, much like
her doppelganger Katherine was years ago, as she's got a great love and
attraction for both of them.
Winner: If you want vamp romance, then Elena's life is the one to
follow. Sookie's got her share of sexy adventures, but Elena's really
got the classic love story and two hot siblings vying for her love --
who wouldn't want that?
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