The Vampire Diaries “Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take” Review (Season 7 Premiere)

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On the season premiere of “The Vampire Diaries,” things went south pretty quick- and apparently in both the present and the future, no less- in the wryly-titled “Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take.” The title is a reference to Damon’s time-keeping countdown to Elena-revival time, and that wait is clearly taking its toll to the point that he must have hibernated himself to kill at least some of the time until then, which is kind of sad.

However, all hope isn’t lost. As those who watched the show last season know, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Bonnie (Kat Graham), despite their initial mutual hatred, were showing signs of- gasp! – actually getting along. This sort of thing tends to happen when you’re stuck living the same day over and over again ad infinitum. You either learn to live with one another- or one of you ends up killing the other. Fortunately for them, it was the former, and it’s now gotten to the point that the two have actually grown kind of fond of one another.

To the extent, at least, that at one point, Damon actually referred to Bonnie as his “best friend.” (Don’t tell Alaric- he’s been through enough!) Granted, it was after he seriously contemplated letting her get hit by a van or whatever, in order to bring Elena back- you’ll recall Bonnie and Elena are linked so that one can’t live until the other dies, the “other” being Bonnie, of course- but still. I don’t know about you, but I got a serious case of the feels right about then, and realized that I’d kind of like to see Damon and Bonnie get together.

Yeah, I said it. I mean, come on, let’s face it: there’s a reason Nina Dobrev left the show, and it wasn’t just to “pursue other opportunities.” Put another way- how would you like to have to work with your ex every day, much less in a role where you had to play a couple, much less after said ex married someone else in under a year after dating you for several and never seemingly coming close to marriage?

Yeah, that’s gotta suck, and not in a hot vampire kinda way. So, who can blame her for bolting? Besides, it was all downhill once they killed off Katherine, anyway. Elena was basically the Bella of the show, and no one wants to be the Bella- not even K-Stew herself, least not anymore. At least when Dobrev got to be Katherine it had to have been fun, after playing the “straight girl” for so long, but with her out of the picture, it was “meh” city, so I say it was the right move, anyway.

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So, why not hook up Damon and Bonnie? She’s hot as hell and he’s not too shabby himself, and they have more chemistry together than Somerhalder and Dobrev have had in many a moon. Hell, I’d even go so far as to say they have better chemistry than those two had from practically the minute they started dating.

Everyone knows hooking up with your co-star might be fun, but it’s also almost always the kiss of death when it comes to generating heat with one another. You get too comfortable around each other, and out the window that spark goes, accordingly. Go ahead and try and name a couple- even a non-married one- that’s been together for, say, a year or so, that still have chemistry to burn…I’ll wait.

Yeah, not so easy, is it? The simple fact is, chemistry happens when you aren’t used to one another and sparks fly. Doesn’t always happen with everyone, to be sure, but when it does…Katy bar the door. And Somerhalder and Graham have it, plain and simple. I don’t care if he’s married now, don’t care what her situation is, don’t care whether they ever hook up for real IRL- it is what it is, and what it is, is a golden opportunity to do something new and fresh- just the show itself is attempting to do in Dobrev’s wake.

Plus, I actually think Elena would approve, personally. Didn’t she tell Damon to live his life and be happy while she was gone? What better way to honor that than by hooking up with one of her best friends, someone she herself would have heartily approved of? I am all in favor of this ‘ship, so I say bring that ‘ship on. (See what I did there?)

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Of course, there is one little issue- okay, a big one. We already know, thanks to that handy-dandy little three-year time-jump, that Damon clearly bailed on any such “moving on” noise, to the point that he’d rather wile away the days, weeks, and possibly even the years, by hibernating in a coffin rather than actually moving on with his life. So, yeah, the prospects don’t look great, admittedly. But hey, three years is a long time, and maybe, just maybe, those two crazy kids can bond over the mutual destruction of whoever that is hunting Stefan.

Well, unless it IS Bonnie, that is. I don’t think it was, though. Some are positing it might actually be Caroline, but I can’t rightly think of what Stefan might have done to her to have ticked her off THAT much, you know? But you never know. I guess Lily would be a bit more obvious, but it’s also the most likely suspect. Think about it: Stefan, probably with a little help from the gang, has systematically eliminated her supposedly indestructible “family” and now she’s seeking revenge. Makes perfect sense. Hey, to be so “unstoppable,” it certainly didn’t take much to take out one of them.

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Naturally, they did something similar with “The Originals,” but look how that turned out. Last I checked all but one were still alive and kicking, and there’s a good chance the other will return eventually. So, that lot really WERE unstoppable, it turns out. These so-called “Heretics” would seem to be an attempt to recreate that “Originals” magic, but good luck with that. So far, so okay, I guess, but no one is jumping out at me as a keeper as of yet. Well, maybe that Nora girl. I did crack a smile at her “murder selfie.” It certainly didn’t take this crew long to assimilate, despite all their whining.

Speaking of which, this episode really put the “Diaries” in the title, didn’t it? Seems like everywhere you looked someone was pensively reflecting on something, whether they were actually writing it down or not. It’s like someone in the writer’s room was like: “Hey, we totes forgot about the whole ‘diary’ conceit from early on in the show- let’s bring that script back!” (Creative evasion of swearing when you can’t, example #2, for those keeping score at home.)

Anyway, whatever the case, it remains to be seen whether these “Heretics” are all they’re cracked up to be. We shall see soon enough. Until then, there’s enough stakes in the air to keep things interesting, I suppose. You’ve got the burgeoning Stefoline business, which finally went to the next level, only for Enzo to come in and mess things up just when they were heating up, as he is wont to do.

You’ve also got the whole Alaric trying to resurrect Dr. Jo from the dead thing, and in the meantime doing creepy stuff with her corpse thing- here’s a thought: maybe he succeeds, and she comes back “wrong,” like in “Pet Sematary” and she’s the one after Stefan, for reasons unknown as of yet! First she played with Alaric, then she played with the others, now she wants to play with YOOOOOUUUU! (My apologies for those who haven’t seen the movie and are like, WTF is he talking about right about now?)

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Those were the main plotlines in motion, as far as I can tell, and that’s just enough to keep things interesting, IMHO. Now, whether they stay that way is another matter, but so far, so decent, I’d have to say. It might be looking like “The Originals 2.0” for now, but who knows, they might have a few more tricks up their sleeves for us. Here’s hoping.

What did you think of “The Vampire Diaries” premiere? Are you missing Nina Dobrev or glad to be rid of her? Would you totally be onboard with a Bonmon sitch? (Or should it be Damonnie? What say you, ‘shippers?) What did you make of the “Heretics”? Are they a pale imitation of “The Originals”? Or could they be something interesting? Do you have a favorite, or is it too early to say? (If it’s Malcolm, you are ‘ship out of luck- got one more in before the finish line, yay!) Sound off below on this and whatever else you like, and I’ll see you next Thursday for hopefully lots more writing in diaries, he said sarcastically!