‘Vampire Diaries’ superfan travels out of state

September 10, 2016 — by Jay Kim

Junior Kelly McLaughlin is a superfan: She has watched the series numerous times and has even travelled out of state to meet the cast of "Vampire Diaries".


On one of her walls, junior Kelly McLaughlin can see a signed poster with her idols Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley. They are mementos from her trip to Las Vegas two summers ago, where she was able to attend a “Vampire Diaries” convention and get autographed posters signed by the main actors in the TV show.

Mclaughlin couldn’t help but scream when her idols called her a “cutie” as she approached the two men she’d only ever seen through a TV screen. She hugged them tight, never wanting this surreal moment to end.

Mclaughlin is unlike most of the 3 million viewers, who watch the television series “The Vampire Diaries.” She is a superfan: She has watched the series numerous times and has even travelled out of state to meet the cast.

The show premiered in 2009, but she only started watching two years later after she discovered it on Netflix. From there, she finished  the show’s four seasons, and now every Friday night at 8 p.m., she religiously watches teen heartthrobs Somerhalder and Wesley heroically fight various villains all while battling each other for the love interest.

The drama stars Nina Dobrev, who plays Elena Gilbert, and vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore — played by Wesley and Somerhalder respectively.  The trio of them meet at the start of Dobrev’s junior year of high school, and a love triangle develops in the midst of them braving through supernatural threats of werewolves, witches and ghosts.

“The first three seasons I binge-watched, [making] it really easy to get into it,” Mclaughlin said. “Each episode has a unique plot, and they all tie together really well. It’s captivating and you get hooked on it really [easily].”

Mclaughlin explained that one especially intriguing aspect of the series was the dynamic character relationships.

“Each character cares a lot about each other, even if they are a villain. [The audience] still wants all of them to succeed,” Mclaughlin said. “Different relationships between characters allows [for] romance, friendships, deaths, gore and surprises.”

Led by her immense love and interest for the series, Mclaughlin attended  a “Vampire Diaries” convention held in Las Vegas two summers ago. The convention featured a panel with cast members, whom Mclaughlin only ever dreamed of meeting.

There, Mclaughlin collected autographs from the main cast members and received huge posters of them. She also got to live a “Vampire Dairies” superfan’s biggest dream: meeting the stars of the show.

Mclaughlin met Somerhalder and Wesley and took a picture with Michael Malarkey, who plays Enzo St. John on the show. According to Mclaughlin meeting them has made her enthusiasm of the show even greater.

“I’ve rewatched the series over 10 times and I can recite every word of my favorite scene,” Mclaughlin said. “[The series] came to me at a really difficult time in middle school, and it was something that I could connect with and have a passion for. [It was something] I could always look forward to watching.”

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