By People Staff
Updated December 14, 2009 12:00 AM
Credit: Andrew Eccles/The CW

While the show is on winter hiatus, The CW is resurrecting The Vampire Diaries‘ first ten episodes with a week-long marathon, airing two episodes each night, starting Monday (8 p.m. EST).

Based on the 1991 book series by L.J. Smith, the show centers on feuding vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore as they vie for the love of mortal beauty Elena Gilbert. Developed for the small screen by Dawson’s Creek and Scream scribe Kevin Williamson, the drama has proved to be one of fall’s breakout hits, making this week’s marathon the perfect time to get caught up before the show’s January return.

Unsure about taking on another supernatural saga? Here are three reasons to sink your teeth into The Vampire Diaries:

1. Supernatural Sex Appeal: There’s a new crop of vampires in town, and these boys will leave you thirsting for more! With Paul Wesley playing repentant vamp Stefan and Ian Somerhalder portraying his bad boy brother Damon, it’s no wonder Elena (Nina Dobrev) can’t make up her mind. The actors, who were recently named to PEOPLE’s Sexiest Men Alive list, are not shy about showing off their assets onscreen either, so look for the brothers Salvatore to lose their shirts as much as possible. As the show reached its fall finale, Legally Blonde hunk Matthew Davis also joined the cast as high school teacher Alaric Saltzman, and Never Back Down star Sean Faris is reportedly set to appear in future episodes, proving life in the town of Mystic Falls is about to get hotter.

2. More Bite than Twilight: Though Stefan, like the Cullens, chooses not to drink human blood, he is not above getting his fangs dirty, especially when dealing with Damon, an unrepentant killer with no regard for human life. The brothers’ bloody battles have already led to a sizable body count, and with the towns beginning to fight back, the threat of danger is continuing to grow. Equally as intense are the show’s love scenes. Whereas Bella and Edward’s relationship remained chaste, Stefan and Elena’s romance is hot and heavy — keeping up with CW dramas like Gossip Girl. For fans seeking something darker than Twilight but less graphic than, say, HBO’s True Blood, Vampire Diaries is the perfect middle-ground.

3. Magic in the Mix: There’s a supernatural creature for everyone in Mystic Falls. In addition to the vampires running wild, Elena’s best friend Bonnie Bennett (Katerina Graham) discovers she’s a witch. As Bonnie comes to terms with her powers, she also comes to blows with Damon, forcing a vampire-witch showdown that marked one of the series’ creepier episodes. Fans paying close attention towards the end of the show’s fall run were also left wondering if a werewolf would soon be joining the ranks of Vampire Diaries growing list of mythical creatures. Curious to know which character’s going to make the switch? Tune in this week to find out. –Kiran HefaAndrew Eccles/The CW