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TB vs. VD: Which is More Infectious?

A young girl in a small southern town who is more than just a pretty face. One straightforward vampire, one trickster vampire with a heart of gold and a penchant for violence. An unlucky-in-love best friend. Werewolves, witches, and run-ins with the law--all based on a series of books that weren't hugely popular until the show started. Complicated stories, complicated villains, and very, very pretty people. And did I mention the buckets of blood?

Despite their similarities, True Blood and the Vampire Diaries somehow feel very different and provoke diverse reactions among fans and foes. So now it's time for a knock-down, drag-out fight.

1. Which show is better?
2. Who is your favorite vampire, and why?
3. Which sidekick (or lead) annoys you the most?
4. Which possible coupling do you think is the sexiest?
5. Which show is the most Southern?

Let us know your answers in the comments, and feel free to add your own questions.

Fair Warning: you might not want to participate if you haven't seen the full run of each show. Spoilers on any episode that has already aired are fair game. After Thursday's premiere of the third season of VD, that becomes fair game, too.

(Let's keep book spoilers out of the comments, though. We'll have a "True Blood: Books or Show?" discussion soon enough.)
Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)


  1. Now this is my kind of discussion!

    1. Really difficult to choose. I love True Blood, and I review True Blood. I'm a big fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books. But I love Vampire Diaries, too. It's a surprisingly fun, heavy and complex show. I'd have to choose True Blood, but it's close.

    2. Eric Northman. Probably because he's by far the oldest vampire main character on either show, and arguably the most complicated.

    3. Sigh. Tara on True Blood.

    4. Elena and Damon. Isn't that interesting? I'm definitely into Sookie and Eric, but Elena and Damon are what I'm waiting for.

    5. Definitely True Blood. So much so that it flirts with obnoxious stereotypes.

    I never really thought about how much these two series have in common. Wow.

  2. 1. I have to choose VD. (We're reviewing the right shows, Billie!) I find it more affecting--less spectacle, more emotion. For me, at least.

    2. Caroline from VD. I hope the Matt storyline goes away, though.

    3. Matt and Tyler on VD. I can't bring myself to care, especially about Tyler. (I'd like the Matt stuff more if Julie Cooper returned as his mom.)

    4. Damon and Alaric. Mmmm....

    5. TB seems like a spectacle of the south. As you mentioned, Billie, it plays with a lot of obnoxious stereotypes.

    But VD seems more southern, in a different way. The events of the past are hugely important in the present. There's a lot of insularity. Money and class matter (well, I guess that's anywhere, anytime, isn't it?).

  3. Awesome idea!!! But seems like an impossible choice you're forcing those of us who are fans of both to make! I'll give it a try...

    1. Damn. Although I prefer VD I think TB might be the better show (writing, mise en scène, acting, secondary characters)
    2. Damon all the way! Can't wait to see him take on the "good brother" role this season!
    3. Matt. booooring
    4. Damon and Elena!
    5. I think TB feels more Southern

  4. 1. Deciding which is the better show is difficult as both have their pros and cons. But I'm going to have to go with VD because it hasn't annoyed as much as TB has managed to do these last two seasons.

    2. Jessica. Do I really need to explain why?

    3. Tara. May she (hopefully) rest in peace.

    4. Elena and Damon.

    5. True Blood. Which is somewhat ironic since VD is actually filmed in the South (Georgia I think) while TB is filmed in California.

  5. Great idea, Josie! I'm in!

    1. I think I enjoy Vampire Diaries more for the drama and story, but True Blood has me in stitches every week. Despite both being vampire shows, they're a completely different viewing experience. Bon Temps feels like something out of a fairytale to me, whereas Mystic Falls feels more like a real community. (Or at least appeals to my sense of what a real small town American community might be like.) So I'm going with VD.

    2. Jess for her story and sex appeal; closely followed by later series Caroline. (Probably for the same reasons.)

    3. It used to be early series Caroline; before she went and got all awesome. Now, maybe Bonnie or Jeremy. They both still get on my nerves.

    4. I'm going to go for the cross-show coupling of Eric and Katherine. Those bastards deserve each other. In fact, that should be a new question. Best cross-show coupling.

    5. I'm not really qualified to say. Southern to me is London. But, in terms of accents, probably True Blood. They seem more prominent, and nobody's moaned too much about them sounding terrible, so they must be reasonably kosher.

  6. TB vs. VD: Which is More Infectious?

    Haha.... spectacular!

  7. TB vs. VD: yes, it is punning at its most infectious. :)

  8. For those of my friends who have never watched VD, they'd have a hard time understanding why it is actually difficult to choose a fave here.

    Both shows are very flawed, and never really follow through very well, but I'd have to say that:

    1) True Blood is better.

    2) From VD: Caroline. From TB: Pam.

    3) Jeremy and Matt. KILL them NOW. Awful characters. Sookie bugs me sometimes, too. I'm gonna get some flack, but Damn also.

    4)Pam and Bill could be interesting =P

    5) I gotta say True Blood.

  9. My favourite used to be TB by far, but now VD is probably my favourite, but they are really close and forever changing in my rankings, either way they're my two favourite currently running shows! Everyone says there are way too many vampires these days, but I think both the shows are definitely different enough in approach and story to warrant two different shows, but then i guess i like vampires so I wouldn't complain about too many!

    True Blood is DEFINITELY more southern, there's not even a smidge of an accent on anyone in Mystic Falls. I think TB feels like a small town more in the senses that everybody knows everybody, and the plethora of side characters make the world feel more fleshed out, whereas VD's town has a lot more of a community feel, and feels a lot more grounded in the real world.

    Eric & Katherine, wow that would be good, although I think she'd make even badass-Eric look too nice!

    Pam is my favourite character, closely followed by Caroline

  10. I've never seen Vampire Diaries, should I? (I don't think it's on over here actually)

  11. Juliette, Vampire Diaries started out looking like a stupid teen vampire drama and then it turned into one of my favorite shows. Absolutely -- I think you should give it a shot. I think Josie, who reviews it, would be the first to say you need to hang in for awhile, because it took a few episodes to start getting good.

  12. In response to the southern question, I do know that in the book series, Mystic Falls is "Fells Church", which in turn could be a reference to the real Falls Church in Virginia. If it is, then the lack of accents is pretty authentic- I've been to Falls Church, and it's not at all distinctly southern.

    Then again, the books are pretty different from the TV show.

  13. If I remember correctly Vampire Diaries takes place in Mystic Falls, VA. If that's the case than it isn't surprising that they don't have accents.

    1. I know it's a bit of a cop out, but I don't know if I can pick a favorite. They have strengths and weaknesses that balance out in my opinion. So in other words, they're neck and neck.

    2. Caroline and Jessica, oh all right Eric and Damon as well. Call me indecisive.

    3. Matt and Andy. Tara isn't annoying, so much as, I wish they could find a way to give her a coherent story where she wasn't a victim.

    4. Eric/Sookie & Elena/Damon are the sexiest couples. But if I had to pick a relationship that's the strongest, and has the greatest chance of survival, it would be Stefan and Elena.

    5. That's kinda tough to call. For me VD has more of a pre-Civil War cotillion vibe to it. Whereas TB has a very modern hick/redneck vibe to it. So they both feel very southern, but I guess if were using stereotypes then I would have to pick TB.

    I would love to see a torrid affair between Elena and Damon, I would also want to see Stefan and Caroline develop a lasting friendship like what he had with Lexi.

  14. 1. As much as I love TB, I've recently become more invested in Vampire Diaries. Maybe because of David Anders. I love them both, honestly.

    2. From TB, it'd have to be a coin-toss between Russell and Franklin. Franklin because I love James Frain. Russell because he's just amazing. From VD? Caroline or Katharine.

    3. From True Blood, it would be Tara, or, forgive me, Jason. I love Jason, but he's just ... infuriating lately. From VD, it would be Bonnie, or Sheriff Forbes. I love Matt and Jeremy and John and basically all the characters who seem the annoy the majority of people. Plus, how can anyone find Sark annoying?

    4. I know I'm in the minority, but I'd love to see Sookie and Alcide together. I lost faith in Sookie and Eric, sadly. From Vampire Diaries, it would be Matt and Caroline, or John and Isobel.

    5. Hands down, True Blood.

  15. Juliette, Vampire Diaries currently airs in the UK on ITV2.

  16. Ooh, I'll answer ...

    1: True Blood. It feel more original in it's own way.
    2: Jessica Hamby
    3: Damon Salvatore. Is that controversial? Eric can also be annoying too.
    4: Right now, Jason/Jessica.
    5: True Blood I suppose.

  17. Ah this is perfect as I was just trying to figure out which show I like better!

    1. "Better" from a personal standpoint? I'm drawn more to VD. It's hard to say why though - I get ridiculously excited for both shows. Maybe because it was a surprise to me that VD seemed like it would be a teen thing but it's got a lot of complex subject matter. I knew TB would be adult-oriented because of the books and the fact it's on HBO; it was a pleasant surprise that I like VD as much as I do.

    2. Damon, he owns everything he does and I love when he shows his vulnerabilities. And Pam for the snark - she's so good at delivering the sarcasm!!

    3. Caroline used to annoy me but I really like her now. I don't think there's anyone from VD that I dislike enough to not care about their storyline. In TB, whenever Andy comes on the screen my eyes glaze over. He just strikes me as a whiny mamma's boy. And I hated all the Mickens, they were the epitome of bad people.

    4. Sookie and Alcide. Please make it happen.

    5. TB has more of the hillbilly vibe IMO, plus all the accents. VD doesn't strike me as southern at all, except when they talk about the Civil War times.

  18. 1. Very hard to choose. I'm addicted to both of them. Plus I'm a Libra. BUt I was kind of upset at the end of TB's fantastic season, and fascinated at VD's opening episode, so I'm going to go with VD.
    2. My favorite vampire is Damon Salvatore. Ian Somerhalder gives us a fantastic rendition of a great character, with so many layers, so many different aspects of the same troubled soul (do vampires have one?), and those eyes.. ah, those eyes...
    3. I have to go with Bonnie. I never did like her, and never bought her relationship with Jeremy, who is , on the other had, so cool.
    3. Katherine and Damon. Sexy, hot and full of an emotional baggage. Though, I laughed out loud at the possible coupling of Katherine and Eric. Could we have Jessica and Damon? The screen would surely melt...
    5. I'm from Brazil, so I'd go with TB for the accent and vocabulary, and VD for the Gone with the Wind background.
    Either way, I'm happy one followed the other otherwise I'd probably go on a bloodlust like Stefan...

  19. 1. True Blood is better.

    The characters of True Blood appeal to me more - they're more adult, more cosmopolitan, funnier, gayer, it's all good.

    The setting of TB is more fantastic - Bon Temps already feels like a different world to me but then we also get to see the fascinating sub-cultures of the various supes, and of the wiccans and the Fellowship of the Sun. With VD all the action tends to happen in Mystic Falls. It feels more realistic (no glowy fairy finger rays) but I don't need uber-realism in my supernatural shows.

    The shorter run of episodes is a more a blessing than a curse as it means episodes are more intense, there are almost never any dead-weight scenes and since they almost always end with a cliffhanger, the episodes are great to rewatch back to back.

    2. Favourite vampire, I don't know how to choose between Eric, Pam and Stefan! It used to be Eric hands down, but now he's reduced to being so in love that he's willing to kill himself for Sookie, I've lost a bit of respect for him. Pam and Stefan on the other hand - their stars are on the rise! Pam is simply fabulous, and is getting more screentime, while Stefan's new tormented thing reminds me so much of Angel, in a really good way.

    3. Arlene. UGH, don't you just want to grab her by the hair and shake her? I wouldn't say Tara as anyone who can survive the affections of Franklin Mott deserves respect.

    4. Sexiest possible coupling is Bill, Eric and Sookie. Hey if Sookie is dreaming about it it's on the table, far as I'm concerned! We already know just how gay Eric will go in order to achieve his goals. Add in Alcide and the screen would Definitely melt.

    5. I'm from South England not the US south, so I'm not remotely informed, but True Blood seems to have more of an atmosphere, stronger accents, and just generally seems more aware of cultural settings. You only have to look at the title sequence to see that!

  20. I'm definitely more of a fan of True Blood, it's wittier, sexier, darker, grittier but I have grown to love VD too, and love the fact that weve transitioned almost seamlessly between them this year. I'll get onto settings later...

    From a programming point of view I loved that HBO made season 4 an uninterrupted run, and there were way too many breaks in the VD schedule in season 2.

    2. Favourite vampire - hard to choose. I think my overall favourite is Jessica, but I wouldn't kick Eric, Bill, Damon or Stefan out of bed.
    3. Definitely Matt in the Vampire Diaries, he needs to grow a pair. Such a dull character.
    4. Can I be cheeky and say me and any of the aforementioned males? I actually have real soft spot for the Sookie/Bill relationship in series one. When they're in the grave yard and he says 'I could bring you back to life'. Damon and Elena would be awesome, she should just go for it.
    5. Like some of the above posters I'm from London, but in terms of being most evocative of the American Deep South, there's something about the rural setting of TB that makes it so much more dark which i just love. Theres something about the way they portray the weather - stifling, still, hot that makes it feel like anything could happen. Also the intro is awesome.

  21. I'd say True Blood is better in many technical aspects. The production values seem higher, the sets seem better done, the actors are on average more talented and the writing is more accomplished. The people feel more realistic, it feels more firmly set in this day and age.

    But I like the Vampire Diaries better. It tells stories that actually interest me and keep surprising me. It charms me and pulls me along without wishing half the characters would go away. It doesn't mess up its plots and meander out the way True Blood's last few seasons have. Mostly it just seems to have more heart, more character as a show. It seems less played for effect.

    2] Jessica. There's just no comparison. (A lot of credit goes to the amazing actress.) But Eric (not mind-wiped) and Pam and Russel Edgington and Caroline and Eliah are all honourable mentions. And hell, even Stephen and Bill in the later seasons are good. Both shows do vampires well.

    3] Hmm... everyone involved in the Hot Shot? Especially Crystal.

    4] Jason and Jessica.

    5] Thanks to my dim knowledge of US geography, I was only vaguely aware VD was even set in the south. That answers it, I think.

  22. Yay, in a fury of marathon viewing of VD, I finally caught up so here it is:

    1) It's tough because I enjoy them each for different reasons. If I have to pick, I'd say TB just because it's funnier and sexier (but VD does have tighter and more dramatic stories and it moves along more quickly even with 10 more episodes a season).

    2) Before watching season 2 of VD, I would've said Pam or Jessica but Caroline is just so much more authentic, funny and involved in the show. Eric comes in a distant fourth.

    3) Matt from VD. I would have said Tommy from TB but fortunately he's gone.

    4) TB's Sam and Bill. :)

    5) TB, just for the accents alone.

  23. I finally got into VD! Enjoying it very much, thanks for the tip :)

    1. Still TB. I don't know if it's objectively 'better,' but I think it's more where I'm at right now, and I spend less time resenting the leads for having better love lives than me. And amazingly, I think the vampire characters on TB are actually less morally bankrupt than the ones on VD...

    (glad the pun has been noted btw. and now, which is sexier, TB or VD?! Gotta be TB...)

    2. Eric Northman. But Damon Salvatore is basically the reason I started watching VD, so it's a close call.

    3. Bonnie. And I have to admit, Caroline kind of annoys me too. And Elena initially put me off the show all together - too goody-goody by half.

    4. Eric/Sookie. I prefer to Sookie to Elena, so this pairing wins. But Damon/Elena is very sexy too.

    5. Since I'm British, the accents have it and TB feels more Southern - but ti's more than that. The credit sequence, the swamp, Sam's bar - I don't know what the American South is like, but TB seems to me to ahve a very Southern feel, whereas VD doesn't really feel any different from Sunnydale.

  24. 1.The vampire diares
    2.Damon , they are vampires and they like it , plus their are the strongest and funniest characters
    3.I like pretty much every lead from tvd , but Tyler can be boring sometimes
    5.I'll say True blood is more sothern


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