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09 December 2010 @ 10:34 am
Vampire Diaries thoughts  
So apparently some fan was rather awful to Julie Plec yesterday over tonight's episode, and while that's never okay (Get off my side!), at the same time, I have to agree with the general feeling. The wheels are coming off this ride. And I figured out why yesterday.

Look, it's not that Damon's a psycho jerk. I couldn't care less about that part or that fandom's in love with him. He's not a character type that does anything for me, but Damon, himself, as a character, is not my problem.

My problem is that I already know the end of the story and it's a place I want to go less and less. And that has a LOT to do with Damon.

Personally, it's the constant refrain of Damon/Elena are going to be together SOMEDAY is my problem, and I think it's a problem that's begun to overtake the show. When you have a future end point, that's not an organic outgrowth, that's a design. Generally audiences approve of 'end points', but this is not a case of 'we'll bring everyone back to the Island and this stuff will happen' or 'we'll get to Earth and it'll suck'. This isn't a secret held only by the producers for what's going to happen at the end of the year or next season. This is a goal that's known by EVERYONE EVER, and fans therefore pore every little thing looking for evidence of it (both pro and con). There's no mystery in who Elena's going to 'choose' - we KNOW she's going to get to Damon eventually. That makes all the interactions in the triangle (Quad, if you count Katherine in there) awash in anvils. I believe they're generally not intended as such by the writers, but it feels that way to me, because if I know where the train's going, I can't help but see the landmarks on the way, y'know? Even if I have to squint at them through the window.

Half the things Damon does are there to SLOW that train down - but that has the corresponding effect of making that eventual pairing that much less believable or desirable. (Damon has no impulse control? Responds to challenges and self-esteem issues with violence? People are expected to walk on eggshells around him because otherwise he kills people? and I'm supposed to WANT this pairing?) But after all the ship baiting, it's also inevitable that show WILL get there eventually, no matter what Damon does. This is also part of the reason why some fans are so eager to say he's 'not that bad' or forgive him in advance - because they know the end point too. They know every bad deed is going to be paid with a good deed or woobie backstory or whatever, so why not jump past all that? Most Damon and even most Damon/Elena fans admit that he's got a ways to go to be worthy of Elena -- they just don't think it's as far as I do (which is pretty much infinity).

And the reason that someone was virulently opposed to tonight's episode based only on the trailer, is that tonight's episode is clearly the first big step down that track. Even if it's a dream or something (which I don't think it is), it's STILL that step. And I know that's true because last week's episode was horribly contrived to set it up. (Damon just dashes off without Stefan, even though Stefan is right there? the door is abruptly SO heavy that it takes the two of them to move it, even though Caroline could do it herself? c'mon, that's so someone can see. Cage sex doesn't count unless someone sees it and can tattle) It's a case of end result (Stefan trapped in tomb for hate!sex with Katherine) coming before the set up -- which wouldn't be as obvious if I didn't also know that Stefan HAS to be tarnished in Elena's eyes for Damon to even seem remotely viable.

And yeah, I know, it's dumb to complain about a triangle, when that's basically the entire BASIS of the show. And maybe it's unfair to examine the show on the basis of something which hasn't happened yet. But at the same time, they've done such a good job showing me why that eventual result is such a horrible idea, and they've put Damon down such a deep hole, that I'm not sure I'm interested in seeing his climb, especially since it seems as if it'll have to come at Stefan and Elena's expense.

So, to crib a line from a show that never planned a damn thing in advance:

'Anyway I'm sorry but that just happens to be how I feel about it. What do you think?'
(Deleted comment)
lizardbeth: Elena-Stefanlizardbeth_j on December 9th, 2010 11:53 pm (UTC)
Right, it's not like I'm opposed to a Damon growth arc. I actually would LIKE it if Damon could find someone who could help him grow and be less a petulant child. I just don't think Elena works because nobody, except maybe serial killer groupies, would ever want to be with the guy who killed her brother because he didn't like the answer he got.

hee, and never truer facts were spoken. I wonder if we're not all a bit too meta these days.
karate0katkarate0kat on December 9th, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, pretty much what you said.

And see, usually I love the bad boy/good girl pairings and hate the boyscout good guys. I went in to this series expecting to love Damon/Elena and hate Stefan/Elena, because that fit. And for awhile, I did. Well, I never hated S/E but I liked D/E for a time. And I think that has everything to do with the actors, who really are doing everything they can to sell it. They work well together.

But acting can't outweigh storytelling forever, and the way they're going about forcing these two together...bleh. I don't really get why they need to throw in things like Damon killing Jeremy, which makes him look completely psycho and out of control, to put off Damon/Elena. Couldn't they just not get together yet because, maybe, Elena really does love Stefan? Like, why isn't that enough? Why does Damon have to be such a goddamn prick to keep her away? That rubs me the wrong way, like Elena would be incapable of being monogamously in love with Stefan if Damon wasn't evil at least once an episode.

Because then, even if it was still painfully obvious they were going to go with D/E eventually (at least for awhile), it wouldn't feel so inorganic. Elena being able to love Damon because he's actually a good guy, or at least a guy sincerely trying to gain redemption and become a good guy, is a lot more convincing and less *headdesk* then her being made to hate him to keep him away, until all of the sudden she doesn't.

Edited at 2010-12-09 07:09 pm (UTC)
M: SG1 - Does Vala have to cut a b!tch?mfirefly10 on December 9th, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC)
Rambly but what else is new? :)
I would quote this whole thing but that'd be a bit ridiculous :)

Ian & Nina have definitely been working overtime to try and sell this relationship and it worked for me a few times last season. But ever since Damon KILLED HER BROTHER I've been completely off that train and every instance of Damon's asshattery only drives me furthur away from liking this couple.

But that's not even the worst part! In order to make Damon less evil, they basically have to destroy Stefan and everything he had with Elena. And that's SO NOT COOL! I could've bought into the Stefan/Katherine thing if it happened at the end of the season, after a year of Katherine pushing Stefan over the edge and Stefan slipping little-by-little into that dark place. And I think that would be a very interesting story to see unfold.

HOWEVER, there is no WAY they'd be able to sell me on that this soon (as in tonight's episode) while Stefan & Elena are still on good terms. I'd rather see them officially break up many episodes from now when Elena sees that Stefan is falling into that dark place and she doesn't want to go there with him. THAT I would believe and it wouldn't really be character destruction. If anything even remotely close to that happens now, it would ruin Stefan and I'd hate it like burning! And all of this just so they can justify Damon/Elena? I don't think so.
the_jackalopethe_jackalope on December 9th, 2010 08:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Rambly but what else is new? :)
Yep, it's the vilifying of Stephan that kills me about this potential plot thread. It's an extension of the belief that you can only have one true love in your life and eveyone else was just a mistake. I really hope the writers don't go in that direction, but when you have Damon so far down the villian hole how can you make it reasonable for D/E to be together if Stephan is so awesome?
lizardbeth: Elena-Carolinelizardbeth_j on December 10th, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
Re: Rambly but what else is new? :)
Right. I 'm trying very hard not to let promo monkeys piss me off, but, in a way it doesn't matter if they're tricking me or if there's some plausible way it's going to happen. The contrivances to get there have already made me resent it. :/
lizardbeth: Elena-Stefanlizardbeth_j on December 10th, 2010 12:37 am (UTC)
I think they realized after S1 that they had a problem in how overwhelming the D/E contingent had become, and THAT's why they needed something dramatic to put the brakes on it. But it went too far for some of us. so now instead of hoping for the best with the dreaded triangle, at least some of us find it actively repulsive and wrong.

Thinking about it, I don't know how much the 'triangle' figured into their general plans. As I understand it, the D/E part of the books is pretty tame. So maybe they intended more of an unrequited UST ship that took on a life of its own. Certainly they seemed kind of taken back by how willing some fans were to write off everything Damon did to Caroline and Vicki as nothing important. So one hand, the show may end before there's any actual D/E and I'm just borrowing trouble -- but on the other, they keep shoving it at us, so how can I not see it?

Ah well, new ep is soon, we'll see how it goes.
cujoy on December 9th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
I have only been getting into this fandom in the last month or so. I recently mainlined the season 1 DVD's and have been catching up on Season 2.

And I find it amazing and pleasing that almost everyone on my f-list came to the same conclusion I did regarding Elena & Stefan vs. Elena & Damon. And that is against the mainstream of the fandom.

Bummer if they have to dirty up Stefan to make the triangle viable.
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders  Resistancelizardbeth_j on December 10th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)
heh, well, I don't know about the rest of your flist, but certainly I can see why the Sam-Kara contingent is against Deranged Killers being good boyfriends. Sam fans like nice guys. ;)
and also, bingo is more fun on this side!
cujoy on December 10th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
Yes. Sam & Stefan are probably the two best TV husband/boyfriends EVER. Of course, I'm prejudice.

And our bingo games are fabulous. Hee!
noybusiness on December 9th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
Personally, it's the constant refrain of Damon/Elena are going to be together SOMEDAY is my problem, and I think it's a problem that's begun to overtake the show.

Really? Why would she choose him over Stefan?

Have you seen my posts about the petition to free Tony the tiger from being a truck stop attraction? The deadline is today.
lizardbeth: Elena-Stefanlizardbeth_j on December 10th, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)
beats the hell out of me, but since that's the direction it's heading, and that is Word of God, then that's where it's going.

aw, I know. Poor kitty. :(