The Vampire Diaries

By Cameron Kaser

The TV series “The Vampire Diaries” that started in 2009 by Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson, goes hand and hand with Henry Jenkins’ theory of convergence culture. The Vampire Diaries in a nutshell is about attractive vampires, werewolves, witches, doppelgangers and other supernatural characters that in someway intertwine with each other. The TV series incorporates Henry Jenkins’ theory perfectly because the vampires in the show demonstrate characteristics of vampires from the 1800’s (such as a thirst for human blood, fangs and supernatural abilities), while also having characteristics that appeal to millennials (such as being attractive, young and powerful). Henry Jenkins wrote the article “Welcome to Convergence Culture” in 2006, three years before The Vampire Diaries aired, however he makes points that could be directly applied to the TV series. “Right now, convergence culture is getting defined top-down by decisions being made in corporate boardrooms and bottom-up by decisions made in teenager’ bedrooms. It is shaped by the desire of media conglomerates to expand their empires across multiple platforms and by the desire of consumers to have the media they want where they want it, when they want it, and in the format they want.” This is a great way to look at the TV series The Vampire Diaries because even though the show tries to incorporate some original vampire characteristics, at the end of the day the writers are going to do whatever will get them the most amount views, even if that means branching away from certain vampire qualities. Young adults today tend to care about two things, attractiveness and power, which is exactly what the writers of The Vampire Diaries base the show on. Vampires used to be thought of as extremely pale, ugly and evil humans with supernatural abilities, now due to shows like The Vampire Diaries people are starting to think of vampires as attractive and powerful superheroes. Henry Jenkins’ article completely foreshadows The Vampire Diaries and it should be interesting to see what direction vampires head in the future.

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