Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Recapper Revealed!

Not only does Crissy Calhoun (@crissycalhoun on Twitter) write one of our favorite Vampire Diaries recaps (which can be read at but she also writes our favorite unofficial companion (if you have not done so already, you can purchase Love You to Death on Amazon. Look for the sequel in September!) You can read more about her and her passions on her blog: The Calhoun Tribune. In the mean time, Crissy was kind enough to share her personal thoughts on everything TVD.

Anyone who has read your book and/or recaps knows that you have extensive knowledge of all things Vampire Diaries. When did you first realize your love for this story?
C: I was introduced to the TVD universe with the TV show; somehow I missed the book series when it came out. I got sucked into the show really quickly — it was a collection of moments that made me love the show and think of it as much more than an amusing way to spend the hour from 8 to 9 on Thursday nights. The “Hello, brother” moment in the pilot. Caroline drunk at the Grill, telling Bonnie that it is a competition. Elena sticking up for Caroline when Damon talks crap about her in the parking lot in “Friday Night Bites." The entire Vicki Donovan plot line. Damon compelling Jer to forget. Bonnie and Elena and the feathers. I could go on…

You have also written an unofficial companion for Gossip Girl. There is a LOT of TV out there. Why did you choose The Vampire Diaries to be your next undertaking?
C: I wasn’t at all planning on writing another book, actually, let alone on a whole new show. For the GG book, I wrote it on two seasons in one volume, and it was a pretty labor-intensive undertaking. So I wasn’t thinking, What’s next? I was thinking, Zzzzz. But the devilish TVD made me want to invest my time; I found myself thinking about it in an episode-guide-worthy way so I pitched my publisher on the companion guide idea. And Love You to Death was born.

If you had to chose to write about a television show other than Gossip Girl or The Vampire Diaries what would it be?
C: Friday Night Lights. Hopefully in the fall, my answer to this question will be Secret Circle. . . .

Is there something you like better about the TVD books over the show? Something you like better about the show over the books?
C: This may be a weird answer but I love how Elena is kind of awful at the beginning of the book series. Her character arc is much different from TV-Elena, and I found it fascinating. I am primarily a TVD show fan, so there’s a lot I like about the show more than the books.

Has there been an episode recap that has been more difficult than others to write?
C: This season, there hasn’t been a particular episode; there’s just been so much to write about that even with a 1,500-word post (which is kind of a lot to read online, at least for me), there’s still so much I haven’t yet talked about. (Which is why I’m glad to be doing a season 2 book.) It’s such a densely packed season. In season 1, the most difficult episodes to write about were the ones that made me cry — I was literally away in tears over “Let the Right One In” (Vicki Donovan RIP) and “Miss Mystic Falls.” Thinking too much about Elena honoring her mother’s memory by participating in the competition is a dangerous thing for me to do.

Favorite TVD character? Book and/or show (if it differs):
C: Ah! Impossible question to answer. I have so many favorites. For the books, I have to go with Matt. On the show, the person I have consistently felt the most affection for, from the first episode to her recent badassery, and I’m always happy she’s onscreen is Ms. Caroline Forbes. That kind of character is not easy to write or portray; I just wish the other characters would stop saying things like, She has her flaws but…Dudes, you are all flawed.

Favorite TVD show moment:
C: I fell for the Katherine-as-Elena switcheroo in “Founder’s Day” in a big way, so I have to go with that. I was sitting there convincing myself that it made sense for Elena to kiss Damon right after telling Stefan she loved him; it made sense that she would eye that butcher knife — she’s had a rough couple of months. Katherine had been built up all season and to finally see her was amazing — especially since she was chopping off Uncle-Daddy John’s fingers.

Favorite TVD episode:
C: “Let the Right One In.” In one episode, it has everything amazing about TVD: the bond between the Salvatore brothers, a wicked fight sequence, romance, genius Damon one-liners, the dire consequences of earlier actions, a setup for more trouble to come, and all the other good and bad stuff that unites the characters — love, loyalty, grief, friendship, and familial bonds. And it makes me cry. So points for that.

What has been your exposure and/or experience with the infamous TVD “shipper wars?” Any thoughts on this phenomenon?
C: Ah, the shipper wars. I have had pretty limited exposure, actually. I try to stay out of/away from that kind of dialogue about the show, initially because I don’t lean one way or the other. I don’t watch the show because I have an endgame in mind. With something like the Twilight series, it was very much centered on Bella’s choice between her beaus — her romantic future was the heart of the story. With the Vampire Diaries, I think who Elena ends up with romantically is a minor part of the show (its one-line synopsis about a girl between two superhot vamp bros aside). I’m more interested in seeing how Elena deals with the insanity thrown into her life, the friendships between these characters, the bond and tension between Stefan and Damon and within each brother as they fight between man and monster, the mythology of the supernatural creatures, the twists and turns and mind-blowing oh-no-they-didn’t moments. Damon tolerates Stefan being with the woman he loves, and Stefan tolerates his brother being in love with his girlfriend, because they are brothers and they love and respect each other — I would love to see that sentiment echoed in the fandom.

Hopes for the future of TVD books and/or show:
C: I’m curious about the direction of the books after the whole LJS situation. For the TV show, I hope its audience grows — because those poor people who don’t watch the show are missing out — and I hope the writers, crew and cast are given the resources and time to do what they do best. It’s an amazing show and my hope is that they can sustain it.

Message for the TVD Fandom:
C: Big massive thank you thank you thank you. The TVD fandom is a friendly, welcoming, thoughtful, hilarious group and I’m so glad to be a part of the gang. And it’s truly heartwarming to see when people translate their passion for this show into something positive. Mad love.

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