After a work-induced hiatus, I recently reacquainted myself with my favorite vampire-related, network television, teen tv show. And like a pair of fuzzy pajamas put away for the summer, the show fit just right. It continues to be one of the most satisfying, enjoyable hours on television. It’s the romance of Twilight, without having to worry that you’re secretely being brainwashed into believing in the Church of Ladder Day Saints. It’s the action of Buffy without having to dig too deeply into the meaning of being human. It’s the sexy plot twists of True Blood without having to worry your neighbors are going to think you’re watching porn.

And as its second season saw us finally reunited with the deliciously scheming Katherine, reacquainted with a newly tortured Tyler and vamped out Caroline, and falling deeper and deeper into the show-defining rabbit hole that is the love triangle between Stephan, Elena, and Damon, the show is proving that despite its soap-operatic scale and ever increasing levels of violence, it can more than maintain its premise while deepening its mythology. Plus, the show proves every episode that The CW is an equal-opportunity barely-legal exploiter, given that every male to appear on the show ever (from Alaric, the teacher, to Stephan, the boyfriend, to Jeremy the little brother) must appear shirtless as often as possible.
Despite my tongue in cheek statements, Vampire Diaries really is a great example of a show that aims squarely in the middle in terms of depth, and hits it so well that it has become the single most consistent hour long tv show in my rotation. Even in 8 hour chunks, it never disappoints thanks to the snap and crackle of the dialogue, the surprisingly astute direction, and a plot that is so action-packed and fast-moving that it’s hard even for my ADHD infected mind to keep up.