Vampire Diaries is better than Twilight
Debate Rounds (5)
Vampire Diaries always has new characters appearing throughout each season. Twilight has the SAME character appearing in each movie.
Vampire Diaries also has a variety of interesting story lines weaved into it while Twilight only has one ongoing storyline.
Also there are a lot more different relationships going on in TVD which also makes for a more interesting show than Twilight does.
Pro's criticisms can be boiled down to the following: 1) Twilight is one-dimensional, Vampire Diaries is multi-dimensional; 2) Twilight has the same characters in each movie, Vampire Diaries introduces new characters each season; 3) Twilight focuses on one relationship, Vampire Diaries explores multiple relationships; 4) Twilight is not heavy on murder, Vampire Diaries is. I'll address each of these points in turn while bringing out themes and scenes from Twilight that, for me, illuminate why it is the enduring masterpiece it is.
While it may be true that the Twilight films focus on Edward and Bella's romance, there are numerous other themes that add to the series' complexity, appeal and cultural significance. Twilight is anything but one-dimensional. Yes, Edward and Bella are the center of the films' narrative, but the series is equally concerned with the contemporary American family, the role of women within that family, and the relation between sexual desire and family stability. Twilight is fundamentally a story about family, gender, sex and power. Furthermore, the Twilight films represent these themes through cinematic techniques that bring out complex layers of irony and comedic relief that serve as a reminder, to more critical viewers, that even if they disagree with the core values of the film, they can still enjoy the films as fun Hollywood-style entertainment. Twilight offers something for everyone.
NOTE: I will now go into more detail. Hopefully my readers have seen the Twilight films and can follow my arguments.
Bella is denied the experience of a stable family from her parents' divorce. This is the underlying structure that drives the entire narrative and thematic framework of the films. Bella is thrust into the world looking for a sense of stability and family. That is precisely why she desires eternal life with Edward: it offers the promise of both stability and family. What I think makes Twilight so interesting and profound is the way it represents family, and through family, motherhood. Bella becomes the self-sacrificial, selfless mother she never had. She becomes the mother willing to die for the good of her unborn vampire child. Bella is no weakling, however, as she also becomes the mother who successfully guards and protects her family, ensuring its survival. Bella is no ordinary mother, she is a warrior-mother. Twilight suggests that motherhood provides women with a source of power that equals or surpasses the power of men.
Twilight's thematic complexity thus far surpasses the complexity of Vampire Diaries. It offers a sustained critique of the contemporary American family, and in doing so, offers solutions. Twilight reflects on the nature of family and motherhood in a way that Vampire Diaries doesn't even scratch the surface of.
Part of what makes Twilight so brilliant is Bella and Edward's old-fashioned courtship. The series explicitly values abstinence before marriage, an unusual point of interest that the Vampire Diaries does not share. What other contemporary narrative film or TV show simultaneously places value on abstinence before marriage and sexual desire? Think about it. It is quite interesting in this respect alone: just as Edward exercises self-control over his desire to drink Bella"s blood (clearly analogous to sexual desire, not just in Twilight but in vampire lore generally), he refuses to give in to Bella"s persistent desire for sexual contact. Twilight thus offers bizarre take on male/female romance. The thematic complexity here becomes even more interesting after Bella's transformation into a vampire. It is at this moment, after her desire for her father's blood manifests, that viewers become distinctly aware of the way that her sexual desire for Edward is symbolically the same desire she has for her father, not as a lover but as a father. In other words, Twilight ventures into potentially Freudian territory, speculating on the nature of fatherhood in male/female romance. These are extremely complex themes that don't have clear answers. The idea here is that Twilight offers an exceedingly complex network of motifs relating to family, motherhood, fatherhood, and sexual desire that offer great entertainment value as well as deep interpretive challenges for critics.
Another thing I love about the Twilight films which I think sets them apart from Vampire Diaries are the unusual layers of irony that pervade the films. The social interactions in Twilight, for example, are often bizarre and in themselves pose masterful examples of irony. One of the really great scenes in Twilight occurs when Bella calls her mom after the first day of school. If viewers might recall, the students are extremely welcoming, treating Bella almost as if she were a celebrity. Yet when she speaks to her mom later that day, and her mom asks how the first day of school went, Bella replies in a tone of total and utter sarcasm: "they were very welcoming." It is a great moment of ironic genius, as Bella's sarcasm suggests the students weren't welcoming whereas viewers are privy to the knowledge that the students were in fact very welcoming. It turns out that Bella speaks the truth even at the same moment that she is totally oblivious to it. The layers of irony here are performed flawlessly, they remind viewers of the great ironies in Shakespeare's plays. Yes, Twilight is THAT good.
What is so impressive about this scene, however, is that the irony doesn't end there: Bella's mother asks if there are any boys Bella liked. This adds another layer of irony because the viewer of the film knows the real reason Bella is upset is not because the students weren't welcoming but because the one person who wasn't welcoming was a boy, Edward. Bella's mother emphasizes this point for viewers through her question, and in doing so, brings out yet another register of meaning and irony. The film is filled with scenes like these that provide both comic relief and critical commentary on the experience/representation of youth and adolescence within the family unit.
Returning to Pro's criticisms, Twilight is more thematically complex, multi-dimensional, interesting, and entertaining than Vampire Diaries. Pro claims Vampire Diaries introduces new characters each season but this actually is one of the reasons that Vampire Diaries is worse than Twilight: since Twilight focuses on just a few characters, it is able to develop those characters more fully. Moreover, Twilight's exploration of the thematic complexity involved with family, motherhood, and sexual desire cannot possibly be matched. Vampire Diaries is a superficial show compared to Twilight. Pro's claim that Twilight is not as heavy on murder is irrelevant, as many great films don't have any murder whatsoever. And Pro's claim that Vampire Diaries is better because it focuses on multiple relationships is actually false as well, since none of the relationships in Vampire Diaries are nearly as developed as the single relationship in Twilight. Twilight ventures into themes regarding eternal life, family, sexual desire, and motherhood that Vampire Diaries barely recognizes. Twilight is as such without a doubt the better series.
Now when you imply that Vampire Diaries doesn't fully develop its characters, I completely disagree with you. Elena went from a weakling in Season 1 to a strong, brave warrior vampire in Season 4. She has come a long way for someone who's lost as many loved ones as her. With each episode, I saw her manage her own problems, and make her own choices. She doesn't let the Salvatores make decisions for her any longer.
Pro claims Elena is a fully developed character because she goes from being a weakling to a strong vampire. I disagree. When Elena becomes a vampire, she is still scared to kill. When she finally kills for the first time, she is plagued by guilt. She always relies on others to kill for her, and to protect her, hence making her no stronger than Bella.
Pro claims Elena makes her own decisions. So does Bella. Bella, in fact, chooses the Cullen family of her own volition, and chooses eternal life, and the stability and family that comes with eternal life. She chooses marriage, and motherhood. These are some of life's most difficult decisions, decisions that Elena rarely if ever even contemplates. Elena doesn't choose to become a vampire, it is thrust upon her. Elena is a flat character. Her motivations are clear. There is little complexity to her thought process.
Anyway, that's all of Pro's arguments from R3. Pro also drops the vast majority of my case so I'll assume that's a concession of the major points I make.
Twilight is a masterpiece on par with great works of art. Vampire Diaries is a fun show to watch but it simply does not offer the same depth, appeal, or cultural significance that Twilight has.
Another point Con said was that Bella is stronger than Elena. Bella doesn't ever make her own choices. Elena actually makes most of her own choices whereas Bella goes to Jacob or Edward to help her solve her issues. She's not confident at all. Elena isn't ever afraid to slap Damon and isn't scared of him either. I mean, Bella does slap Jacob in Breaking Dawn part 1, but Elena insults and hurts Damon a lot more and isn't afraid to. Bella is very hesitant. She's has to think through things before she makes a move. Elena just has impulse and does things without questioning her actions. She's so much better than Bella. Bella is too self absorbed. Elena cares more about keeping her friends safe than her own life being at risk.
Pro claims Elena is stronger than Bella because she isn't afraid to stand up to Damon. Bella has no problems standing up to Edward and Jacob, either, and forcing them to respect her desires and body.
Pro claims Elena has impulses and does things without questioning her actions. This sounds like the stereotypical representation of girls - unable to think rationally. Bella, on the other hand, thinks through things before she makes a move. This makes her more rational, and in that sense, Bella offers a critique of the stereotypical representation of women as irrational and impulsive. Vampire Diaries offers no such critique. Pro's own arguments provide evidence taht Twilight has greater cultural significance as well as a better message for women who seek equality with men.
Pro claims Elena is better because she cares more about her friends than herself. I don't see how that makes Vampire Diaries any better than Twilight.
Pro's arguments boil down to saying Bella is a better character than Elena, so therefore Vampire Diaries is better. This is a very one-dimensional approach to evaluating the two series. Twilight has much more to do than just with whether you like a certain character or not. It provides entertainment through the narrative, but it also provides thematic complexity. This is what makes Twilight a masterpiece, not whether you subjectively like a character or not. You can see Round 2 for my arguments explaining why Twilight is great. Pro has yet to address any of those arguments.
iholland95 forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: F.F.
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