There are obviously some similarities between The Vampire Diaries and Twilight, no matter what Damon Salvatore might have to say about it.  But after watching the fourth episode, I realized that, when you start looking at the characters and storylines, The Vampire Diaries has a lot more in common with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

A little more than a decade after Buffy hit our TVs, The Vampire Diaries is following an eerily similar path, with similar relationships, plot devices, and romances.  Here are just a few of the shocking similarities I’ve discovered.

The Lead Lady’s Love Life
Both shows feature prominent female characters, and while Buffy could kick Elena’s butt any day of the week, their love lives are remarkably similar.  Both fall in love with a brooding vampire who’s trying to be good by turning his back on drinking human blood.  Stefan and Elena are just Buffy and Angel for a new decade.

But both ladies also have another suitor, a rebellious bad boy vampire who starts out incredibly evil.  Damon is eerily similar to the early years of Spike, taking great joy in massacring humans.  But as we learned on Buffy, Spike eventually learned to love Buffy, much the same way Damon is undeniably drawn to Elena.  The only question is whether Elena is going to stay cookie dough for the entire series.

As if being courted by two rival vampires wasn’t enough, Elena’s list of romantic conquests also includes a blandly attractive do-gooder with a chiseled jaw and mid-West good looks.  That’s right, Zach Roerig’s Matt, Elena’s ex, is essentially Riley.

Witch BFFF
If you’re a girl dating a vampire, it only makes sense that your best friend is a witch.  Buffy had Willow, and now Elena has Bonnie.  The only question is whether The Vampire Diaries will give Bonnie a werewolf boyfriend before making her a lesbian.

The Bad Boy and the Cheerleader
Season 4 of Buffy gave fans one of the most hilarious relationships on TV when bad boy Spike started dating cheerleader turned vampire Harmony, who loved her Blondie Bear.  While Caroline isn’t actually a vampire on The Vampire Diaries, she’s still a frivolous blonde cheerleader who strikes up a fast and dangerous romance with Damon, mirroring the classic Spike-Harmony pairing.

The Annoying Sibling
Starting with season 5, Buffy fans had to put up with Dawn, Buffy’s little sister who always got into trouble and made everything more difficult for everyone else.  Elena also has a younger sibling she has to deal with, Jeremy, and just as was the case with Dawn, his storylines are incredibly dull.  His little love triangle with Vicki and Tyler just keeps going around in circles.

The Watchers’ Council
On Buffy, the Slayer was guided by a group of humans known as the Watchers who passed on knowledge about vampires from generation to generation and helped them fulfill their destiny.  The fourth episode of The Vampire Diaries ended with a shocking revelation that the adults in Mystic Falls, led by Caroline’s mom, Tyler’s parents and Aunt Jenna’s ex-boyfriend, are all entrusted with knowledge about the vampires and it’s their mission to keep their town safe.  In other words, The Vampire Diaries has its own Watchers’ Council.

Obviously the two shows aren’t completely similar.  Elena has no real stake in the vampire lore, and The Vampire Diaries is more interested in the ongoing relationship drama than the demon-fighting action.  For now I’ll let these similarities slide, but I’ll be keeping a careful eye on the situation to make sure it doesn’t start crossing the line with the Buffy-isms, because if The Vampire Diaries tries to become the new Buffy, it’s almost certainly doomed to fail.

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of the CW)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.