First of all, I think the casting director was on something. Since when is Elena a brunette? The blonde girl in the first scene should've played Elena. I swear, she looked just like the image of Elena on the cover of the books. Since when is Elena's younger sibling a boy? Since when is their aunt younger and a grad student? Since when is Caroline a blonde? Since when is Bonnie black? I think that last one irritated me the most. Granted, The Vampire Diaries was probably the whitest YA book series ever, but Bonnie's supposed to be a white, red-haired girl of Celtic descent, not a black girl who says she's descended from the witches of Salem. Um, TV Bonnie, unless you're descended from Tituba or are part white, I seriously doubt your ancestors were witches in Salem in the 1690s.
Next, Stefan. Book Stefan was Italian and was changed during the Renaissance. TV Stefan's American and apparently was changed in the 1700s. I don't know who the man TV Stefan's living with is, but I'm guessing he's a mortal descendant. I swear, TV Stefan is Angel and James Dean's bastard love child. Meanwhile, his brother TV Damon is just a bastard, but so damn hot. Of all the characters, TV Damon got the best casting. He's so much like Book Damon that, so far, there's no difference.
Where the hell is Meredith? She was the practical friend, and ended up falling for a vampire hunter. So I guess we won't be seeing either of them. And why isn't TV Elena not the Queen Bee that Book Elena was? I think there was more distance in the books from when Elena's parents died and the start of the story than there is in the show.
TV Matt is second-best casting. He's just like Book Matt, but he's not as cute as TV Damon. :-) But seriously, since when are Matt and Vicky siblings? What the hell? TV Tyler's third-best casting, if only because I never could stand the character. Of course, he's got a supernatural secret of his own, and I can only assume we'll get to see that revealed later.
Love the crow. But I thought the crow was Damon instead of simply being at his command. The fog's a bit much, though.
When I read the first four books in the early '90s, I never dreamed that they would be turned into a TV show. Now that they are, I'm glad it happened, even with all the nitpicks. Maybe this'll get the Twilight fans to read the books and discover there are better-written vampire books out there. LJ Smith > Stephenie Meyer.