I'm going in to this with very low expectations. I've never read the books, but I have taken a quick look at the wiki. So one of the more immediate reveals is already known to me.
The first scene did not do much to help that. Running a guy down on a lonely road, the Lost Boys style lifting of the nameless female victim, it was very predictable. Body count 2. Animal Attack.
Before the first commercial break we have a scene in a cemetary with thick fog rolling in in bright sunlight, and of course a damn crow. Raven maybe?
It's not all bad though. The main character, Elena, has some screen presence, very pretty and believable. The vampire obviously has at least a couple of ranks of Dominate, and I have to say that the effect with his eyes is nice. Rather than the Buffy-verse scrunchy face or glowing red eyes the veins around the eyes go dark and everything gets cast in shadows. Very cool looking really.
I'm liking the soundtrack actually. It's a nice mix of supposedly edgy euro-style rock, but anything is better than the usual music in these 90210 style shows.
Stefan is played by Paul Wesley who I really thought was good on Wolf Lake. I haven't seen him in much else but he blends thoughtful and badboy well.
That Salvator has a descendant in the town that knows his secret is nice. There could be some intersting interactions between an older looking descendant playing the part of uncle, when of course the vampire is really the elder in the relationship. Of course we get to see a locket with a picture that looks a lot like Elena. JUst have to have the old reincarnated love don't we? It's fine in a RPG but it's been done way to much. A similar looking woman would have been fine, especially if they make it out so that she was a descendant of the original.
The cute friend who apparently is a psychic is kind of cool, as long as they don't bring in a new supernatural phenomena every week it would be nice to see a world where there is a not a single instance of the paranormal.
Matt, the brother is a druggie, but one with a heart of gold. He has a thing for the town slut. Unfortunately she goes for a walk alone in the woods after her boyfriend tries to force himself on her. So, fog rolls in and body number 3. I hope Mystic Falls has a high enough population to last the season. Oh turns out she isn't dead. Our first spawn?
Ah the brother get's revealed the first episode. Mrs. Doombringer exclaims "look! more pretty vampire boys!" He's played by Ian Somerhalder who I liked in Lost, so it's not all bad.
I kind of like the honesty of the blonde. Not sure on her name. I can appreciate that she recognizes that her life is basically a competition to gain approval and acceptance, that she can voice the insecurity she feels at being seen as nothing more than a pretty, very friendly girl.
Ah crap. The music reverted to something that sounds like the Fray. And overlaid with narration. I'm really not a fan of narration, but with diaries in the title you just can't get away from it. Elena invited him in without any preamble, I wonder if he would not have been able to otherwise?
Check this comparison of True Blood, Twilight and Vampire Diaries.