This is a spoiler free chat.

The much heralded premiere of the fantasy TV series The Vampire Diaries on the CW finally aired. I came into this premiere incredibly hesitant, expecting to be disappointed to some degree. In short, I wasn’t overly enthused by it, but I probably won’t turn it off if it came on my TV while I was doing something else.

The premiere opened with a couple driving down a tree-lined road and as the car enters a thick fog, they hit a guy who was standing in the middle of the road. The driver gets out to check on the guy, and well, it’s a vampire show- you do the math. The female passenger gets out and starts screaming and running for her life towards the camera and then she gets snatched and disappears up into the air. That was cool. Classic, but cool.

The Vampire Diaries demonstrated some classic vampire lore, added one new facet to the lore that hasn’t been too overused and spent the first 1/2 of the episode defining characters. Usually, I would rather learn about characters over time, but this worked out OK.

I don’t know why a vampire, who has lived a long time, goes back to high school, but there you have it. Then we had some classic situations: Beer parties in the woods, Attacks being attributed to animals, Creeping fog, A mysterious crow flirting about in various scenes and Brothers in angst with each other.

Everyone keeps a dairy. Hence, I presume, the title, The Vampire Diaries. OK, not everyone, but our main characters Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrey) and Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) both keep diaries which seems to be one of the connectors between them. That, and Elena looks a lot like someone the brothers knew from their past.

When Stefan’s brother, Damon (Ian Somerhalder), finally shows up, my test audience indicated some serious approval and they didn’t mind the show overall.

Regardless of what the naysayers think, the CW did indeed hit pay dirt with this premiere. With 4.8 million viewers, they outdid 90210 and Melrose Place, put together (I know you’re shocked at that one!). The CW says this was their most watched premiere to date.

I don’t think it’s terrible…  I’ll give it that. But there is a lot of rote vampire lore that they’re just regurgitating in the story. It will be up to the cast to generate the attention the show needs to retain all the viewers this premiere drew in. I have to wonder if a lot of those numbers were Twilight fans going through withdrawals waiting for the next chapter of their favored screen vamps?

What did you guys think of it?

Ratings source: E Online