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The Vampire Diaries – 10 Ways to Prepare for “The Return” on September 9th

Do you adore this new promotional poster for Season 2 of The Vampire Diaries as much as I do?  If so, you are going to LOVE THIS ONE!

Labor Day Weekend is just days away.  And you all know what that means  . . . summer is almost over.

But it ALSO means that the fall television viewing season is about to begin!  And would anyone like to guess what the FIRST show to RETURN will be?  I’ll give you a hint . . .

It’s The Vampire Diaries!  And it’s coming back to the CW on Thursday, September 9th, which is only ONE WEEK AWAY!

And yet, when hot shirtless vampires are involved, a week can seem like a REALLY LONG TIME!  That is why I have devised this fool proof ten-step plan to get you through the last Salvatore-less week of YOUR LIVES (at least until the next hiatus).  So, without further adieu, here are ten things you can do to tide yourself over, while you are waiting to watch the season premiere of The Vampire Diaries.

1) Rewatch ALL of Season 1!

Not only does today mark the final week before Season 2 of The Vampire Diaries premieres, it also marks the day that the Season 1 DVD was released in stores and online.  What better way to refresh your memory on old TVD episodes than to watch them in the comfort of your OWN home, on your OWN time schedule.  In addition to all 22 original episodes, the DVD also features: deleted scenes from the show, creator and director commentary, a gag reel, a webisode series, and much more!  You can purchase it here.

Low on funds right now, and not quite ready to shell out the “big bucks” for the Season 1 DVD?  Fear not!  You can find a fairly comprehensive (if I do say so myself ;)) recap of the Season 1 Finale, by clicking here

2) Watch Season 2 Promos (and then watch them again .  . . and again . . . and again)

In anticipation of the upcoming second season of The Vampire Diaries, the CW has been releasing titillating trailers for the series, throughout the summer.  You can probably find ALL of the trailers, by doing a quick YouTube search under “The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Promo.”  However, I’m going to post the three most popular ones, right here, for you to enjoy.  The first trailer, of course, belongs to my favorite character on the show, DAMON SALVATORE!

Watch him be deliciously DAMON-Y, to the tune of OneRepublic’s “Everybody Loves Me.”

This next trailer was the second one released in the series.  And it definitely wins the award for SEXIEST TRAILER EVER!  The song featured in the trailer is “Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine.

But, if I had to choose a favorite trailer, it would have to be the this next one, because IT features BRAND NEW SCENES FROM THE SEASON PREMIERE!

For a more in-depth look at THIS trailer, click here.

3) Rock out to music from the show!

Nothing gets you in the MOOD for a show about sexy vampires, like the music you were listening to when you first met them.  CW shows are known for their amazing soundtracks.  And The Vampire Diaries is no exception.  Featuring a host of songs from  a”Who’s Who in Contemporary Artists” including Katy Perry, The All-American Rejects, Placebo, The Fray, White Lies, OneRepublic, and TONS more, The Vampire Diaries soundtrack has a little something for everybody. 

The official soundtrack for the show is slated to be released in October 2010.  However, you can check out the track listing here.

“But WAIT,” you say.  “How am I supposed to PREPARE for the season premiere by listening to a soundtrack that ISN’T EVEN OUT YET?”

Good point .  . .

Fortunately, I found this AWESOME website that lists EVERY SINGLE SONG featured in The Vampire Diaries (organized by the episodes in which they aired).  This website also offers you links to download the songs (and accompanying music videos) from iTunes and other popular music download sites.  Ready to rock out to some fangy tunes?  Just click here, and get ready to do some serious dancing!

4) Follow the stars and creators of The Vampire Diaries on Twitter.

These days, it seems like EVERYBODY (except me) has a Twitter account.  And the cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries are no exception.  And while I don’t actually “tweet” myself, I still like to visit the Twitter pages of the stars of my favorite shows on a fairly regular basis.  Why?  Not only is it a great way to get to know the real people behind the characters you love, it’s also a FABULOUS way to get the inside scoop on your favorite shows, from the people working on the front lines.  Sometimes, they even post set pictures and script pages there! 

Here are the Twitter pages for MOST of the stars of The Vampire Diaries.  (Paul Wesley doesn’t have one. 😦 )

For Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore)’s Twitter page, click here.

For Nina Dobrev (Elena Gilbert)’s Twitter page, click here.

For Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy Gilbert)’s Twitter page, click here.

For Michael Trevino (Tyler Lockwood)’s Twitter page, click here.

For Candice Accola (Caroline Forbes)’s Twitter page, click here.

For Katerina Graham (Bonnie Bennett)’s Twitter page, click here.

For show creator  / writer Kevin Williamson’s Twitter page, click here.

And for show creator / writer Julie Plec’s Twitter page, click here.

5) Watch cast and crew interviews on YouTube.

If reading a star’s Twitter page helps you get to know what he is like as a person, watching that star interview helps you get to know what he is like as an actor, and how he develops his respective roles.  The cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries interview like CRAZY!  And folks on YouTube POST these interviews online like crazy.  A quick YouTube search of “[insert TVD actor’s name] interview” is sure to find you more content than you could ever watch in a lifetime.

But, just in case you AREN’T a vampire, are NOT immortal, and, therefore, have limited time to watch interviews, I have taken the liberty of posting a few for you here.  For example, here is a fun one featuring Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec discussing how they came about casting Nina Dobrev, as Elena, and Ian Somerhalder, as Damon.  (There is some GREAT audition footage of both actors in here as well).

Here’s a nice interview with Paul Wesley  . . .

 . . . and here’s one with Nina Dobrev . . .

 . . . and here’s one with Ian Somerhalder . . .

But, of course, the ULTIMATE TVD cast interviews would have to come from Comic Con 2010. . .

For THOSE interviews, and more information on THAT event, click here.

6) Watch video of the cast of The Vampire Diaries from BEFORE they were vampires . . .

Believe it or not, Ian, Nina and Paul weren’t ALWAYS on The Vampire Diaries

 In fact, they each already had pretty extensive acting resumes, by the time the show aired.  Sometimes, watching stars in some of their earlier work, can be as much fun as looking at your friends’ embarrassing baby pictures.  For this reason, I would like to introduce you to two non-TVD videos for each of the show’s main stars.

Check out Paul Wesley’s brief career as an angel in the short-lived ABC Family series’ Fallen (and watch him converse with a talking dog).

Angelic, Dog Whisperer, Paul Wesley, not your thing?  Perhaps, you’d prefer him evil, shirtless and doing pullups, his guest starring role as the nefarious Lucas on Smallville.

Before Nina Dobrev was Vampire Katherine, or even Elena Gilbert, she starred in a Nickelodeon version of High School Musical, entitled American Mall.

Watch her sing, dance (and act a little) here.

But even before American Mall, Nina got her start as Teen Baby Mama, Mia Jones on Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Watch her cope with a possessed high school pal, in this “very special” Halloween episode of the show.

And then, there’s Ian (sigh)!

Here’s a guy who could make even INCEST sexy.  And he DID, as Boone Carlyle, on Lost.  (OK, Boone and Shannon, weren’t blood-related.  But still!)

OK.  So, most of you probably already knew that Ian Somerhalder played Boone on Lost.  However, many of you may not have known that he also played Hamilton on the ill-fated Dawson’s Creek spinoff, Young Americans — a guy who fell in love with a girl, who he THOUGHT was a guy (even though his character wasn’t supposed to be gay  . . . weird).

7) Ogle Photos and Gifts of Your Favorite TVD stars!

One of the great things about being a television recapper, is that you manage to amass a FABULOUS collection of stills, photographs, and animated GIFS of actors and actresses from your favorite programs.  For your viewing pleasure, here are just a few of my favorite TVD photos and GIFS:

8 ) Get to know the NEW TVD characters (and the actors who play them) BEFORE the season starts.

By now, you are probably pretty familiar with the characters of The Vampire Diaries and the actors who play them.  However, this season, the writers will introduce at least TWO more characters (and actors) into the mix, with whom you might not be so familiar.  The first is, Mason Lockwood, Tyler Lockwood’s uncle, a fellow werewolf, and the black sheep of the Lockwood family.  He will be played by actor, Taylor Kinney.  You can hear what Taylor has to say about his new role, in his interview with TV Guide, here.

Another new character that will be introduced during Season 2 of TVD is Vanessa, a Duke University graduate student, with supernatural origins.  (She’s a “blue devil” — whatever THAT means.)  Vanessa will be played by actress, Courtney Ford

A bit more information on Courtney and her character can be found here.

9) Read the novels on which The Vampire Diaries are (loosely) based.

As you may or may not know, the idea for The Vampire Diaries television show was derived from the characters in a series of four books written by author, L.J. Smith — the first of which came out as early as 1991!  Those books were entitled:  The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury, and Dark Reunion, respectively.  Although you will notice quite a few differences between those books and the CW series (the LEAST of which being that “Book Elena” is a blonde), the former are still interesting and intriguing in their own right, and, therefore, worth a read by TVD fans.

The books are sold in groups of two.  The first two, The Awakening and The Struggle, can be purchased here.

The second two, The Fury and Dark Reunion, can be purchased here.

As a result of the success of The Vampire Diaries series, L.J. Smith decided to add a new trilogy to The Vampire Diaries Series, nearly two decades after the first book was written.  The books in The Return series are entitled Nightfall, Shadow Souls, and Midnight,respectively.  The first two are already available in bookstores and online.  The third is said to be available some time in 2011. 

You can purchase the not particularly popular, Nightfall, here,  and the slightly better reviewed, Shadow Souls, here.

In addition to the aforementioned books, L.J. Smith has recently joined forces with show creators, Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, to produce a prequel trilogy, based on the SHOW itself.  The first of those three books, which have been collectively entitled Stefan’s Diaries, will be available sometime in November 2010.  Howevver, it is available for preorder (but, so far, only in E-book format) here.

10) Purchase FABULOUS TVD-themed swag online!

Have money burning a hole in your wallet, and nothing to spend it on?  Or, perhaps, you have a birthday coming up in the near future, and could think of nothing you would want more than a little TVD magic to take home with you, and enjoy during the show’s off hours.  Fortunately, the internet is FILLED with fabulous Vampire Diaries -themed swag.  From t-shirts, to calendars, to book marks, to posters, to coasters  – if you can dream it up, it probably exists.  While a quick internet search of “Vampire Diaries Merchandise” is likely to find you more than enough swag from which to choose, I’ve decided to post a few of my favorite TVD items here, just for you.

For example, check out this AWESOME WWDD t-shirt.  (It stands for “What Would Damon Do?” of course!)

You can purchase this lovely article of clothing here.

This funky vintage tee can be found at the WB store website, along with other choice merchandise

.And finally, since you ALREADY count out the days of your life, based on when The Vampire Diaries airs (Don’t deny it!  I know you do!), why not do it with a Vampire Diaries’ CALENDAR!

So, there you have it, 10 ways to pass the time, while waiting for Season 2 of The Vampire Diaries to begin.  Happy fangirling (or fanboying?)!

(As if it bears repeating, The Vampire Diaries’ Season 2 premiere episode, “The Return” airs September 9th at 8 p.m.  However, thanks to this post, we now have plenty of things to do to keep us busy until that time . . .  See you then!)

[www.juliekushner.com]

 

 

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