Yeah, I'm a little late to this train. In my defence, I did watch most of the first season (after it aired - lack of cable = lots of watching online days/months later), but haven't really been picking up new shows to watch.
But recently, rather than catching up on Fringe, I've been watching season 2 of TVD.
The show has your typically pretty people CW cast. Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder are definitely the acting stars of the show, though there don't seem to be any black holes of talent. Paul Wesley is probably just as good as Somerhalder, but as the good guy, he doesn't get to have as much fun with his part.
The plot of the show flies and I'm still dumbfounded by how much stuff has happened in just under two seasons. It makes it a perfect guilty pleasure show. Fortunately it also hasn't dissolved into all-sex-all-the-time-who-gives-a-crap-about-story-and-logic like Gossip Girl did after about 2/3rds of a season.
The show does suffer a little from the True Blood and Twilight comparisons, but is WAY more fun than the former, and the pro-active girls of TVD would probably kick Bella Swan's whiny butt (not to say I hate Twilight - Bella just gets really annoying). Also, the books on which the show is loosely based were originally published in 1991, a decade before the Sookie Stackhouse books.
My favorite development of season 2 has definitely been the growth of both Tyler Lockwood (played by Michael Trevino) and Caroline Forbes (played by Candice Accola). The addition of supernatural powers (Lockwood as a werewolf, Caroline as a vampire) to these two annoying/frustrating characters has given them material to engage with as actors, as well as given depth to the viewers perception of them as people. I've especially enjoyed the change in Caroline from insecure, competitive, and shallow to confident and self-sufficient.
Here you can read TWOP reasons why TVD might be the most addictive show on TV - seems to have worked on me (in a delayed way, I suppose).
Now that I've started watching the show again, I can't help but think of this ad:
I probably won't inflict it on J, so he doesn't have to worry. But now I want that car.