Mixtape Mondays – Spidette Caroline – The Vampire Diaries

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If there ever was a vampire that could be considered sparkly on The Vampire Diaries, it would be Caroline Forbes.

She floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. She looks cute and innocent, and says stuff like “You suck!” to her vampire maker Damon Salvatore with absolutely no sense of irony. Her bubbly, peppy personality has even earned her the nickname of Vampire Barbie.

But just ask Mason and Tyler how lethal and kickass she can be.

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And her care for Tyler during the worst night of his life, his long, painful, drawn out werewolf transformation, points to an inner strength that is at odds with her Goldilocks exterior.

 Top 10 Tyler Caroline Screencaps || 2x11  #4  

So this mixtape is dedicated to the wannabe Alpha Girl who eventually became the type of person the Alpha Wolf would cling to in his darkest hour.

 

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Aww, look how excited she is to have a mixtape of her very own, guys!

Mixtape Track #1 – Polyester Girl – Regurgitator

Lyrics:

all i want you to say is nothing at all
and all i want you to do is stare at the wall
i love your plastic hair and plastic eyes
marvel at your plastic breasts and plastic thighs

my polyestergirl
so shiny
polyestergirl
so shiny
polyestergirl
so shiny
polyestergirl
so shiny

you’re the perfect guy’s accessory
dangling from my arm for of the pretty people to see
boy’s with sassy pouts and perky glee
great for backstage and entertainment award ceremonies

my polyesergirl
so shiny
polyestergirl
so shiny
polyestergirl
so shiny
polyestergirl
so shiny

took you for a ride up in an aeroplane
but your body burst and left an ugly stain
had to take your pieces back to the factory
it took them several weeks to get you back to me

my polyestergirl
so shiny
polyestergirl
so shiny
polyestergirl
so shiny
polyestergirl
so shiny
polyestergirl

she’s my polyestergirl
shiniest in all the world
she’s my polyestergirl
shiniest in all the world
she’s my polyestergirl
shiniest in all the world

Caroline Connection:

Abyss deep or shallow as a kiddie pool?

When we meet Caroline in the Vampire Diaries pilot, she is presented as the archetypical blonde cheerleader type who cares only about the next party that is happening and high school Queen Bee politics. Hey, I said that she stings like a bee!

you’re the perfect guy’s accessory
dangling from my arm for of the pretty people to see
boy’s with sassy pouts and perky glee
great for backstage and entertainment award ceremonies

Polyester Girl is a song that sardonically celebrates ditzy trophy girlfriends like Queen Bee types. Having a “plastic”, “polyester” girlfriend or a girlfriend with superficial perfection is seen as the ultimate aim, rather than a real girl with flaws and thoughts and feelings of her own.

You could even argue the song is about a blow-up doll, and even this double meaning works for the way Caroline is seemingly perceived by everyone at the start of the series – as a plastic blonde who is little more than a sex toy. And let’s face it, Caroline basically is little more than Damon’s vampire chew toy to begin with.

The lyric “had to take your pieces back to the factory” is a perfect metaphor for the high school experience, where conformity is an art form and the pursuit of popularity a science. Need I remind you of another group of Plastics?

One of Caroline’s key early traits is her desperate desire to fit in and be popular, which actually makes her annoying to most people around her.

After being rejected by Stefan in favour of Elena, she and her friend Bonnie share this exchange in the pilot, which sets the groundwork for her social ambition and hints at her feelings of inadequacy.

Caroline: “Why didn’t he go for me? How come the guys that I want never want me?”

Bonnie: “I’m not touching that.”

Caroline: “I’m in appropriate, always say the wrong thing. And Elena always says the right thing. She doesn’t even try – and he just picks her. And she’s always the one that everyone picks, for everything. And I try so hard – and I’m never the one.”

Bonnie: “It’s not a competition, Caroline.”

Caroline: “Yes, it is.”

So Caroline can’t even be the perfect polyester girl, because she isn’t the “shiniest in all the world.” I totally felt for her in this scene, because who can’t relate to feeling like they have been overshadowed at some point in their life?

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Ironically, the extreme “sassy pouts and perky glee” that keep Caroline from being fully accepted in her crowd beyond the popularity value of being a cute blonde while human, are what make her such a bright bolt of loveable, vampire-y sunlight in the otherwise gloomy Mystic Falls. For me, Caroline didn’t have a radical personality change as a vampire; it’s more that the good parts of her personality and positive aspects of even her most annoying traits were finally allowed to shine through. 

Mixtape Track #2 – Teenager of the Year – Lo-Tel

Lyrics:

So this award goes out to you
A dedication to the youth
From magazines for teens that really care
Care enough to want to prove
That the pretty ones
Have got less to lose

Hey teenager of the year
Win the chance to judge your peers
Hey teenager of the year
Your new life begins right here

And you won’t suffer any more
Validation’s your reward
Plus hair and make-up tips
And so much more
For the luckiest of teens
The shallowest of dreams
This model youth

Hey teenager of the year
Win the chance to judge your peers
Hey teenager of the year
Your new life begins right here

So hey, at least try
Maybe qualify
And that piece of mind
Proves that you’re alright

Hey teenager of the year
Win the chance to judge your peers
Hey teenager of the year
Your new life begins right here

Caroline Connection:

Tyler Lockwood summed up Caroline perfectly in Plan B (S02E06): “She’s an insecure, neurotic, bitchy little twit. But the girl’s got heart, she means well”.

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Despite her surface superficiality, Caroline has an inner depth and vulnerability that has made her one of the most compelling characters on The Vampire Diaries – and not only because she has mastered this skill after being turned from human to vampire in the second season.

Seeing her bend over backwards to get Damon to like her in early season one, even though they were dating (her oblivious to his vampiric compulsion of her) and this feeling should have come naturally to him, was heartbreaking. Damon knows how to stick a knife in where it really hurts, and when Caroline fails to retrieve a witch crystal that is key to his season one diabolical plan in 162 Candles (S01E08), he cuts her deep by calling her “shallow” and “useless”.

Teenager of the Year is a song about self-image, and how something will always be missing for those who are superficial unless they try to be something more.

Caroline seems to be jolted with this realisation after Damon’s cruel words, and has the infamous “abyss deep” versus “kiddie pool” conversation with Matt Donovan, one of very few genuine nice guys in Mystic Falls.

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Caroline: “Am I shallow?”

Matt: “Is that a trick question?”

Caroline: “I don’t wanna be. I-I mean, I wanna be deep. I wanna be, like, the abyss deep.

Matt: “No offense, Care, but deep’s not really your scene.”

Caroline: “That’s true. I’m shallow. I am worse than shallow. I’m a kiddie pool.”

This conversation marks a gradual change in Caroline. I think she is too hard on herself and that her insecurities aren’t helped by everyone calling her “neurotic” to her face constantly, but the difference in her mindset is evident in small moments, like her saying in Unpleasantville (S01E12) “I’m a terrible, awful person, but I’m working on it”.

Or like when Caroline starts dating Matt, when she grabs his hand at a party in front of Damon and Damon’s ex-girlfriend Elena, she admits to Matt that it was a lame move and more about being vulnerable around Damon than Elena. Such a difference from the girl in the pilot who wouldn’t have thought twice about playing games with the person she is dating, and would hardly have been half as upfront about her real feelings with him.

The real turning point for me is the maturity she displays in Miss Mystic Falls (S01E19) where Elena is concerned.

Caroline has always felt like second best to Elena; a fill-in best friend for Bonnie when Elena isn’t around, and second to Elena in Matt’s heart because he is clearly still hung up on Elena. This dynamic was responsible for quite possibly the most awkward double date in the history of Cupid.

When the body of Matt’s sister is discovered, he seeks comfort from Elena, not Caroline, which is understandable given his long history with Elena but still a punch in the gut for Caroline.

So when Caroline convinces Elena to not drop out of the Miss Mystic Falls competition at the last moment, because she knew how much the event had meant to Elena’s mother, it is a kind act with so much meaning behind it. Teenager of the Year speaks about how people who win competitions to be on the face on the cover of magazines believe they win the right to judge their peers because they are the most “beautiful”.

Caroline ultimately wins Miss Mystic Falls, basically a glorified beauty pageant, ironically after one of her first displays of real beauty so different from her earlier polyester girl persona.

Mixtape Track #3 – Change – The Lightning Seeds

Lyrics:

The world is full of fools, who never get it right
You don’t know what to do, so you do anything you like.

(put your foot down and drive) Oh, your a silly thing
(put your foot down and drive) You’re such a pretty thing
(put your foot down and drive) You’re never gonna be like all those fools,
We’re going out tonight.
Theres nothing to lose, you’re gonna give it all a try.

Don’t ever change. Don’t ever change.
No, never change, never change.

You better say you’re prayers, or whisper to the wise,
And thank your lucky stars for coming out tonight.

(put your foot down and drive) Oh, you’re a silly thing,
(put your foot down and driiiiive) Don’t you ever change,
Don’t ever change (ever change)
No never change, never change.

When people’s eyes, all open wide, they’re still too blind to see,
A change in style, for a while, is only make-believe.

(put your foot down and drive) Oh, you’re a silly thing
(put your foot down and drive) You’re such a pretty thing
(put your foot down and drive)
You’re never satisfied, so look for something new
There’s nothing to find, and nothing you can do.

Don’t ever change, don’t ever change
No never change, never change.

Oh, you fool, you’ve got me started
Oh, you fool, you’ve got me started
Oh, you fool, you’ve got me started

Caroline Connection:

47 Days Of Forwood Day Twelve: Favorite Caroline moment  Caroline 2x02

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Maybe it seems a little cruel to use such a peppy song to mark Caroline’s transition from human to vamp. But for me this song actually has a bittersweet feel to it, asking a person not to change when it is an inevitable part of life, and therefore a fruitless request.

Also, the refrain of “Don’t ever change. Don’t ever change” in this song is doubly tragic because Caroline is turned by evil vamp Katherine after Matt and Bonnie finally begin to feel this way about her.

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Caroline had been in a car accident with Matt and Tyler after a supernatural sound released by a device scrambled his werewolf brain when he was at the wheel. Caroline’s recovery in The Return (S02E01) from internal bleeding is labelled as miraculous, but really this happens because Damon gives her some of his blood to heal her.

A newly bright and sparky Caroline is visited by Matt and Bonnie in the hospital, with Bonnie tearing up because happy she is so happy she is okay. I think that Elena’s absence from this sweet scene was telling of just how far her involvement in the vampire world had cut her off from her ordinary human life.

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Matt even tells Caroline he loves her for the first time in Brave New World (S02E02). It is sad this sentiment she longed for came just Katherine Pierce had stolen her humanity, killing her with Damon’s blood in her still in her system, thus causing her to transition into a vamp. 

Mixtape Track # 4 – Supernatural Supergirl – Josh Kramon

Lyrics:

Summer time and I’m goin’ home.
Why do I have to be all alone?

Where ya goin’ little supergirl?
I will say that I can rock your world.
Cuz it’s a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,
All I got is time for you, baby.

Every day is like a summer day
when you’re here with me.
And everything brings a summer breeze
You’re my supernatural supergirl.
A supernatural supergirl.
Take me away to another world

All of my friends come down on a Sunday,
lookin’ for love and the wrong way to Monday.

Come with me and we’ll rock till the sun sets,
up until dawn, I don’t care where the time went
Cuz every day brings a summer breeze when you’re here with me.
And all of the time seems to pass me by with…

With my supernatural supergirl
A supernatural supergirl.
Supernatural supergirl.
So take me away to another world.
Every day is a summer day.

Come away.
We got time.
Sail away.
Let it shine.

And every breeze is a summer breeze.

A supernatual supergirl.
A supernatural supergirl.

Every day is a summer day.

A supernatural supergirl.
A supernatural supergirl.

Every day brings a summer breeze.

A supernatural supergirl.
A supernatural supergirl.

Caroline Connection:

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Jesse, I snuck in a little Stefan just for you!

The traits a vampire had as a human are magnified when they transition. Ironically, the Type A, control freak personality Caroline had as a human, evident in her military precision planning of Mystic Falls’ seemingly never-ending stream of town events, which used to bug everyone around her ends up being the reason why she thrives so much after her vampire transformation.

Her heightened self-control is shown when she resists the urge to feed on Matt after Stefan teaches her how to dampen her impulses. So I kind of like to think of her as a “Supernatural supergirl”. 

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She is also a supergirl in the sense that she becomes a self-sacrificing person to protect those she loves, in the tradition of Spidey Clark Kent himself with love Lois Lane, who he keeps at arm’s length. Despite being able to reign in her vamp impulses most of the time around Matt, after one slip up that almost kills him she orchestrates a break up with him, to keep him safe from herself.

There is another reason why Matt and Caroline are pretty much doomed post-vamping.

vampirediaries-fans:  i actually kinda like them

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As newly wise Werewolf Sex God Tyler Lockwood puts it:

“It’s not really fair to be with someone and not really let them know who you are.”

My panties were padlocked after my latest Tingling Trevino Tuesdays post, so that is the ONLY reason why they didn’t immediately drop to the floor after hearing this insight into his sexy, sexy mind. 

Oh c’mon, like yours didn’t too!

Mixtape Track #5 – Buses and Trains – Bachelor Girl

Lyrics:

Hey Mom
Why didn’t you tell me
Why didn’t you teach me a thing or two
You just let me go
Out into the World
You never thought to share what you knew

So I walked under a bus
I got hit by a train
Keep falling in love
Which is kinda the same
I’ve sunk out at sea
Crashed my car, gone insane
And it felt so good
I want to do it again

Hey Mom
Why didn’t you warn me
Coz about boys is something i should have known
They’re like chocolate cake
Like cigarettes
I know they’re bad for me
But I just can’t leave ’em alone

Chorus

I wanna do it again
Oh, felt so good

Hey Mom
Since we’re talking
What was it like when you where young
Has the world changed
Or is it still the same
A man can kill and still be the sweetest fun

Caroline Connection:

The irony fairy was sprinkling her magic dust again when it comes to another part of Caroline’s undead life: the fact that her mother Liz just happens to be Mystic Falls’ resident vamp-hating sheriff and an integral part of the town council working to rid the town of vamps.

Hey Mom
Why didn’t you tell me
Why didn’t you teach me a thing or two
You just let me go
Out into the World
You never thought to share what you knew

Caroline and her mother were estranged long before Care even knew that vampires existed. Her parents are divorced and her mother’s secret vamp-killing lifestyle kept her away from home a lot of the time. Even if she had had more time to spend with Caroline, they were polar opposites. It was a telling moment for me in Miss Mystic Falls that Liz is absent in the dressing room where the girls are getting ready, as this is clearly a mother-daughter bonding moment. Hell, Useless Aunt Jenna, in one of her few displays of NON-uselessness, even manages to turn up to support Elena.

Caroline not only lacked a strong mother figure in the normal sense, but her mother “never thought to share” what she knew about the vamp guys and girls shacking up in Mystic Falls. Caroline is completely unprepared for the turn in Brave New World (S02E02) and kills people because she has no understanding of, or control over, her urges.

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It is only when Papa Stefan steps in that Caroline finally learns how to become the kickass vamp she eventually is. I’m not saying anything can really prepare you for being a vamp, but maybe if Liz hadn’t sent her out into the world completely unguarded and oblivious to the truth, Care’s transition might have been a little easier.

Has the world changed
Or is it still the same
A man can kill and still be the sweetest fun

And maybe she wouldn’t have been so vulnerable to Damon’s predatory impulses if her self-esteem was healthier due to a happier home life. Let’s face it, though, that man kills and kills and kills AGAIN, and he is still the sweetest fun for me on this show.

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Anyway, Liz eventually discovers what her daughter has become, after Caroline comes out to her with a blood beard, and is naturally horrified. Yet amazingly enough, the strong person Caroline has become as a vampire impresses Liz so much that they are finally able to force a mother-daughter connection. Liz even asks Caroline not to compel her, saying that she will be there for her.

But Caroline knows that even if her mother is able to accept her, she never will be able to do the same for her supernatural friends and frenemies, like Stefan and Damon, and compels her anyway in an extremely poignant scene. If my Ice Eyes tear ducts weren’t abnormally dry most of the time, I swear I would have cried.

So I walked under a bus
I got hit by a train
Keep falling in love
Which is kinda the same
I’ve sunk out at sea
Crashed my car, gone insane
And it felt so good
I want to do it again

One thing I admire about Caroline is that despite all the crap she has dealt with in her relationships, she is willing to get back on the horse. Or in Tyler Lockwood’s case, get back on the werewolf.

 TYLER: Get out. CAROLINE: No! TYLER: Get out! I don’t wanna hurt you!

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It’s only a matter of time now that she’s seen Ride Him Like a Pony Tyler (TM Evil Vamp Willow & KJewls)!

I’ve done a full Forwood post, but all you need to know is that I’m gonna party like it’s my birthday when the Forwood Ambush Kiss (TM KJewls) happens in The Descent, the first episode back after hiatus.

r-mcweird:  YESSSSSSS, NOW!!!! NOW! NOOOOW!  January 27th, come fasterrrrrr.

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Can I get a WOO and a HOO?

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About Spidey Sense

Pop culture junkie, fangirl, arts and theatre lover, and The Vampire Diaries, True Blood and The Walking Dead obsessive. View all posts by Spidey Sense

5 responses to “Mixtape Mondays – Spidette Caroline – The Vampire Diaries

  • imaginarymen

    I’ve loved this twist and the inclusion of Caroline into the Vamp storyline. CA has really shone and proved she was a much better actress than I previously thought. Plus whatever they are doing to her make-up to make her “vamp-ier” is totally working – she looks fab!

    I’m hoping for more PapaStefan/BabyVampCaroline interactions. I feel like Stefan sees helping her become a “better vampire” is in some way how he can atone for not taking care of Damon after forcing him to transition – and therefore letting Damon run wild with all the killing and tormenting and terror that has so haunted Stefan all this time. Like mb if he can guide her and take care of her, he’ll have in some way set right a wrong that he created.

    Plus they have hella good chemistry together. He’s protective of her, but a little bit playful too. I do love me some PlayfulStefan!

    • Spidey Sense

      You know, I was chatting to a recent new TVD addict in my RL today (any guesses who converted them?! ;)), and they said that Caroline reminded them of Cordelia.

      Now, they are equals in awesomeness, yes, and the superficial Queen Bee aspect was evident in Caroline at first. But I think where they differ strongly is that Caroline was always trying to get people to like her, whereas Cordy (with the exception of a few Buffy episodes like The Wish) never actually cared what anyone thought. Or at least wasn’t prepared to spare anyone’s feelings in the quest for popularity.

      Isn’t it funny how we can be attracted to charismatic people who are mean to us? Either we are drawn like moths to a flame by Alpha presences, or are masochists!

      I too think that Candice looks amazing this season! I think they are playing up the “vamp” part more than the girly “Barbie” part, and found a nice balance of her Goldilocks charm and her new badass streak. The girl can truly rock dark eyeliner!

      The point you make about the Caroline and Stefan dynamic almost being like Stefan’s form of reparation for Damon’s actions is so incredibly insightful I had a *facepalm* moment that this hadn’t occurred to me yet. I was so focused on him being a paternal figure in general due to his real vampiric age, that I hadn’t considered the obvious! So thank you for giving me a nice slap (hey! Michael Trevino likes them, so who am I to judge ;))

      And PlayfulStefan needs to … ahem … come out to play again! His reaction to Caroline’s “Serious Vampire Face” make me crack up and question my undying love for Damon for just a split second. Of Stefan, I love you too! Yes, this show makes me whore out my fangirl heart 🙂

  • kjewls

    You’ve done it again, Cherie! This mixtape is absolutely fabulous! You are like a Professional Music Mixologist (Music Memoirist?) These songs perfectly embody the journey and transformation (both literal and metaphorical) that Caroline has experienced since the pilot episode.

    I must admit that I forgot a lot of the early Caroline moments you mentioned here. (I know, SHAME ON ME!) So, this post actually acted as a good refresher course for me on the character’s background, just in time for the upcoming Caroline-centric (well, at least partially character centric) episode, The Descent. Thanks so much for that, my Patient TVD Professor! 🙂

    By the way, speaking of Clueless (as you mentioned it in your Trevino post), isn’t that song “Change” by the “Lightning Seeds” from that movie’s soundtrack? 😉 I KNEW it sounded familiar!

    (True Story: About a year ago, I actually purchased the Clueless Soundtrack for a dollar at a used CD store in my town. I had been searching for it for ages, prior to that point! “Change” is still on high rotation on my iPOD. Talk about a sweet deal!)

    • Spidey Sense

      Music Mixologist! I like it! *rushes to add to her blogger CV*

      What is your title then? Recapper extraordinaire? ARGH! For all the nicknames I can normally come up with, this sounds decidedly lame.

      I will anoint you and Amy with great titles soon (Jesse will always be my little SEster after all this time! I saw she spread some Stelena love on your speculation post because she love chipping away at Delena-loving hearts!).

      I’m always so excited when you guys get something out of my mixtape posts, whether it is a cool new or old, as the case may be, song, or a reminder about episodes past. Believe me, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet when it comes to my music collection!

      And I am guilty as charged of sneaking in a Clueless song. My TTT post inspired me! Remember how amazing Brittany Murphy’s voice was when she sang part of “Rollin’ with the homies” in the movie? I was always disappointed that her music career never came off. She may have been a hate her or love her star, but my Clueless bunch can do no wrong in my eyes. Hence my glee at Paul Rudd’s resurgence as a comedy anti-hero!

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