Okay, so I haven't read the books. I did Google them, though. They're pretty old (like 1991 old). That explains why I never read them. I was only in my early teens when they came out, and I never really got into paranormal series like some other kids my age did at that time.
In any case, I went into watching the series knowing that L.J. Smith had not ripped off Stephenie Meyer, so I wasn't really looking for comparisons with Twilight. In fact, the only real Twilight thought that crossed my mind was that I thought Nina Dobrev looked more like the Bella I imagined than Kristen Stewart does. Oh, well.
For the most part, I was entertained. And not just because of the story. I guess the pilot was filmed around here, because for most of the hour I was playing "guess the location". Small-town Virginia? Try suburban British Columbia. (Subsequent episodes appear to be filmed in Covington, Georgia. There goes my game...)
I liked the characters (though I couldn't really compare them to the book... maybe that's a good thing). Damon was deliciously evil; I think he'll be a good contrast to his more passive brother. And Elena was good, in a sort of bland heroine kind of way. I'm hoping her character will be fleshed out more as the series progresses.
So now I'm kind of curious about the books. Maybe I'll have to give them a try. But perhaps it's best to wait until at least the end of the first season; I don't want to ruin my viewing with endless comparisons between the TV show and the books.
What were your thoughts on the show?