The Vampires in The Vampire Diaries aren’t just ridiculously sexy undead creatures who drink blood. They’re faster and stronger than the average human being, and they have super hearing. And yes, they burn in the sun (or, most of them, anyway.) But what is it about these particular vamps that makes them so…compelling?
People in my life can not believe I watch TVD. And they’re right. There’s a lot of pretty gruesome violence that goes on in the show. As a highly sensitive person, I’ve always steered clear of strong images and especially violence, because it affected me too strongly. A single image from a movie could give me nightmares for weeks. So how on earth can I manage The Vampire Diaries? And why do I love it so much?
I’ll keep the answer to how I can tolerate all the violence for a later post. For now, let’s talk about my favorite theme in The Vampire Diaries: Heightened senses. Everything is magnified. Vampires experience everything to the extreme – and I relate to this on a deep level.
1. Senses are heightened.
2. Senses operating at super-speed.
Sometimes we can really be uncomfortable in our own skin.
3. Anger becomes rage.
There are good things and bad things about being a highly sensitive person. It’s usually not a cake-walk, and we don’t exactly get the benefits of super-strength and speed.
Beautiful things are more beautiful.
You live more intensely. Love more powerfully.
Anger becomes rage.
When you’re sad, you’re in despair.
Grief, loss…can cripple you.
4. It sucks.
Sometimes just the fact that we feel can really suck.
5. We don’t do anything half-speed, and that includes falling in love.
6. Don’t underestimate the allure of darkness.
It’s so much easier to fall into the darkness, to give in to the part of you that wants to be numb and shut down.
7. Sometimes the trivial things are not so trivial at all.
Like getting out of bed.
(Note to TVD fans: yes, I realize nobody in this particular quote is a vampire. You know what I’m trying to say.)
8. One minute I think I’m fine, the next minute I feel like I’m dying.
Life can feel like a roller coaster, constantly flitting between extremes. We want to be okay so badly, but things can change so fast, and something as simple as the temperature in the room rising a few degrees can make us want to jump out of our skin.
9. So sick of crying.
And it’s not always from sadness or anger, sometimes I’m crying from allergies, or tiredness, or because someone is talking to me and that’s making me anxious even though inside I feel fine.
10. We. Feel. Everything.
Oh, man. What I wouldn’t give to be able to flip my humanity switch some days.
11. Sometimes hope really is the only thing that keeps me going.
12. There are times when it seems like all you feel is pain.
13. Fear of regressing.
Always standing on the edge of the pit you just climbed out of. The pain being with you all the time. The fear that one day you’re not going to want to fight anymore. Yep. Been there, Stefan.
14. It’s completely normal.
TVD also offers answers and affirmations. First: Your emotions are heightened. I promise you it’s completely normal.
15. Keep fighting and remember you’re not alone.
16. Accept yourself exactly the way you are.
17. Once you can hurt, you can love.
And sometimes we have to ask, what is the point? What do we gain from all of the pain we feel? What’s the point? And here’s Lexi with an answer: Love. That’s the point.
18. You tell yourself that you’re strong enough.
And what do we do? How do we get through a day when everything is extreme, regular city noise can be deafening and a faint winter sun can blind us?
You tell yourself that you’re strong enough.
And you make friends who are there to remind you in case you ever doubt it.
19. Don’t sit back and wait for the good parts to happen. But forgive yourself for trying to be happy during the bad parts.
20. But at the end of the day, we would never trade places with someone else.
I love this show. I love both of its spin-offs. I hope it lives at least as long as its oldest characters.
*** Contains spoilers for s5e9, s5e22 ***
It’s so important that these gems show up on the episode centered around yet another heterosexual wedding aired on this show (is this the 3rd? 4th? Unclear.) Interesting that Charles and Genevieve are not married, even though they’ve been together for three seasons now and are co parents. Is this another subtle spit in the face of society’s hetero-normative ideas?
First gem: Captain Holt officiating.
“You’re married. You may kiss the bride.”
He does not say “husband and wife.” And I’m sure that’s important to Amy, and probably Jake as well. But mostly, I’m sure it comes from Captain himself who would never have agreed to hear “I pronounce you husband and husband.”
Second gem: Actual bi-visibility
“You never know when you’re gonna find your dream person.”
“Anyone on the street could be them.”
“All right, it feels like you googled how to talk to your bisexual friends.”
Go Serge! Doing research after someone comes out to you is nothing to be ashamed of, and you should all do it! Although I feel like watching this show might be enough.
Notice how Gina Rodriguez approaches in the car, and there’s some hinting on Terry’s part, and Rosa seems into it, but can we all stop to appreciate the fact that a complete stranger walked on screen and we didn’t all immediately assume she’s straight? And then once you think about it, is she a lesbian? Who knows? BI-FIVE EVERYBODY! WE GOT SOME REAL VISIBILITY! Yes, I wrote that in all caps so you would yell in your head, that’s how exciting this is.
Third gem: return of the Chosen Family theme
“And I love you both very much.”
“Permission to say it back?”
“I love you too!”
“Love you, captain!”
#captainholt #queerculture #bisexuality #bivisibility #terryjeffords #rosadiaz #wedding #lgbt
Leadership is not just about establishing dominance, giving guidance, going first…to the Captain of the Nine-Nine, it’s about being willing to take a bullet for a cause you believe in. Captain Holt takes multiple bullets (some hypothetical, some metaphorical, and the rest just not technically bullets) during his career as Commanding Officer of New York’s Funniest.
But his leadership has many layers, it’s not all taking bullets. It’s about being a role model and a team player. It’s about setting the rules and earning the team’s respect by descending to their level when it’s appropriate. It’s the way he correctly estimates each member of the squad, the sergeant, and Gina, to maximize their potential and play to their strengths. He brings Terry to the gun range to get him re-certified because he believes the sergeant is ready to return to the field. I’ve dedicated an entire post to Holt and Gina. He mentors Amy and appreciates her so much. Holt-Peralta also deserves its own post, as does Holt-Diaz.
On principle he is hesitant to let the squad come to his aid, not because he is proud (#gaypride?) but because he doesn’t want to put them in danger. As he sees it, it’s his job to risk his safety for them, and not the other way around. Examples of this can be found in season 1 Christmas episode and the saga with Jimmy Figgis in Florida opening season 4.
He stands up in defense of any member of his squad whether it is their safety, their career, or their feelings that might be hurt. For example, he scolds the detectives for avoiding Boyle after his injury (s1e12) defends Jake when he’s being threatened by the Commissioner (s1e2).
Now, let’s talk bullets.
Holt makes some major sacrifices, which sometimes work out fine because this is a comedy, but involved sincere risk of giving up on his dream and sabotaging his career altogether. The most obvious one is the deal with Seamus Murphy (season 5 episode 2) which could have cost the captain his career and possibly more. At the moment of decision, the captain took the deal even though it almost certainly meant giving up his chance to be police commissioner. That turned out okay, but he did know that at the time and he did it anyway, for Jake and Rosa.
Not to be taken lightly either is his speech in the running for commissioner (s5e14). The committee could have told him to go to hell and dropped him from the race. Again, that’s not how it turned out for him. But that is most certainly what would have happened if he had pulled that same move ten years earlier. Captain Crawford was not even one of his people, rather, she is a political opponent of his. But his mic-drop speech about being denied opportunity because of who he was is such a powerful statement, and so much more because of the position he is in.
He has risen through the ranks because he wanted to be in a place to make a difference, that’s what he tells Terry when they submit the complaint about the cop who stopped Terry for being black (s4e16). He recognizes that he has power, and he uses his power to do good. To make change. It’s really no wonder Cheddar is so well trained, I mean, look who his dad is.
#captainholt #queerculture #lgbt #pride #leadership #feminism