Friday, May 11, 2012

One Shipper's Perspective


Part two of my Season 3 Finale comments.....


An Open Letter to Julie Plec, Kevin Williamson, and the TVD Writing Staff –

I know that you’re likely besieged by comments about the season 3 finale right now.  I truly doubt if you’ll ever actually see this, but I feel I’d be doing my fellow fans a disservice if I didn’t at least take a moment to try to put my feelings into words.

Before I’m dismissed as a naïve teenager please allow me to take a moment to introduce myself.  I’m just shy of 40 years old.  I’m a happily married mom of two.  I’m a graduate of a well-known university, and I have a degree in education with advanced training in the craft of teaching writing. 

I’m also a shipper.  I make no apologies.  Just like the men in my neck of the woods live and die by if the Cowboys win the playoffs, I’ve found myself cheering for a “team” in this show.  That’s a first for me.  I’ve never been drawn to a show where the “winner” of the relationship was unclear.  I’m a Delena fan, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

When I first watched the show, I assumed it would follow the pattern of the books.  But with each passing interview, I heard the message that y’all were choosing your own path – and not to assume if we read it on the page that we’d see it on the screen.

As time went on, I could see that was true in the relationship aspects of the show as well.  While I initially felt Stefan was the better fit for Elena, the more I watched…the more I questioned my judgment. 

By the time the middle of the second season rolled around, I was fully converted.  Watching the friendship, trust, and respect build as the third season continued on, I could see your team was laying the foundation for a beautiful and meaningful relationship between Damon and Elena.

“Then we’ll let him go”.  – Elena to Damon, Homecoming
“I don’t know what I’d do if you weren’t here.” – Elena to Damon, Our Town
“We always survive.” – Elena to Damon, Homecoming

I loved analyzing the depth an nuances you were building into this incredible pairing as it so delicately unfolded on the screen.

Until suddenly you weren’t.

Time and time again, we watched as Stefan’s behavior had no consequences while none of Damon’s good deeds went unpunished.  When Elena stood on her porch and begged Stefan to feel again – I watched all the growth and development in Elena’s character we’d seen this season crumble away.

Also gone was the rapport we’d seen between Damon and Elena – only to be pulled out as a “tease” to fans to show what incredible chemistry Damon and Elena could have.  But the minute Caroline uttered the words “it’s Stefan’s turn,” I realized the potential of Damon and Elena having a relationship on the show was a very cruel joke you’ve played on many of your most invested fans.

Like many of my TVD family members, I feel used and betrayed by the teases of this season.  I would have been content to let “the triangle” continue on, but by forcing Elena’s choice at this point in the series…you’ve made it abundantly clear that we’re important for ratings – but you don’t truly respect your audience members.

Thank you for your time.  Your cast and crew has my utmost respect.  I wish you all success, but I’m afraid that your choices in this finale may have cost you a great number of your most devoted fans. 

21 comments:

  1. I couldn't disagree with your analysis more. I firmly believe that, by having Elena choose Stefan NOW -- midway through the series -- it's far MORE likely that Damon is endgame. Her choice made sense given the present context. But now, with Elena turning, and remembering things Damon has compelled her to forget, next season is a whole new thing. Just because Stefan is right for her now doesn't mean he always will be. Give up now, you may miss the best part.

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    1. what best part would we be missing? Damon could have been dead and all Elena told him was she chooses Stefan! I can't think of worse way to sabotage Delena as a couple. After everything he's done for her, she'd let him die alone, knowing she'd choose Stefan. I honestly couldn't care less about endgame if they keep pushing Damon around and making him look the worst. but yea, Stelena, epic lovestory.... who cares!!!
      totally agree with your post.

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    2. The writers had an opportunity that they willfully and casually threw away. That opportunity was to show that Elena loved Damon while she was still human. The D/E fans feel robbed of that. The majority of D/E fans wanted a human Elena to tell Damon she loved him, to choose Damon over Stefan and to see their relationship together, at least for a little while BEFORE she turned. Now it's too late, what we have been watching and caring about for the past three years, the D/E build up, toward what? Just to hear the tired old line for yet for 1,000 time in the season finale, "I care about you Damon BUT......... Sorry writers but you've lost me now as a viewer, you can't unscramble this bad egg.

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    3. Thanks Helen and Unknown -

      From what I've seen around the Twitter world and Tumblr today, y'all have touched on points that I believe I overlooked. The way Elena ended the call with Damon "I care about you BUT..." seemed so out of character in regard to the relationship they'd developed this season.

      I appreciate your comments. Thank you for sharing as well.

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  2. Thanks for reading. You're free to your opinions just as I'm free to mine.

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  3. Thanks for writing this! While I too want to believe, like Dayna, that they are setting up for a payoff, I have to also agree with Unknown that it will be bittersweet because it took her being vamped for it to happen. The writers may get me back into D/E later, but S3 will always seem like a big tease just to be kicked in the junk at the end.

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    1. I'll admit that watching the conclusion of this season (with it being so reminiscent of events in earlier seasons) made me wonder what on earth we'd been watching if it was intended simply as "filler" to later be overlooked in the most crucial moments leading to what everyone assumed was about to be Damon's death.

      I've said it seems like Bobby stepping out of the shower on Dallas all over again - and I hated the way that show treated its fans.

      Thanks for your comment!

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  4. Ugh, I love it so much D'ann. And I agree with everything you wrote.

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  5. Great post.

    Agree with what you said 100%.

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    1. Thanks for reading and leaving a response.

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  6. I can see why you're upset. I'm not even invested in the triangle anymore, to be honest, but I did think they dropped the ball with the phone call. And I don't think she needed to make a choice yet. I think she should have told Damon she loved him, and maybe refused to answer the question on account of that. Jesus, she kissed him when she thought he was going to die from the werewolf bite and he'd just tried to turn her and she was pissed with him. So this, after they made out a few eps back, after she admitted he consumed her - it just didn't make sense. She really should have just let it be, said that she didn't know because that while she loved him, she never unfell out of love with Stefan, and left it at that. It would have been more acceptable, to me.

    And it broke my heart that Damon might die there alone, too. I'm not saying Elena had to be the one to go back to him - I really think Stefan should have tried, before Bex called, to be honest, because he already said his goodbye to Elena, and then she would have been going back to say her goodbyes to Caroline and Tyler, and I would have been ok with that. I wouldn't have expected Stefan to go to Damon once Bex called, of course, but his intent of spending his last moments with his brother... it would have been more poetic. They've been in this together since the beginning... it should have "ended" together too. And that they didn't tell each other they loved each other, either - that really bothered me, too. But that's just me.

    And yes, there have been excellent aspects to this season but they've been lost in the muddling of the rest of it. As much as I love the Originals, I even think they did them a disservice. But I'll save that rant because it's not really crucial right now.

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    1. I should add that overall, I *loved* the last two episodes. They were some of my favorites of the season. Up above were probably my only nitpicks with last night's ep, because overall I was satisfied with how things turned out (if we had to lose Alaric - that's still a gaping wound).

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    2. I totally agree with both your posts. (Honestly, there are elements of the finale I really thought were done well.) However, I think it's been the "tease" element when it was clear neither Elena (nor the writers) were ready to truly venture into DE territory that upset me the most.

      No decision had to be made at this point. Having Elena tell Damon basically the same thing that she and Katherine have said all along just seemed cold and unfeeling...and that's not the relationship we've seen established between these two. Elena should have said something...ANYTHING at that point. He was dying - alone - knowing she was choosing his brother over him. By voicing it, that was just really too painful for him to have to hear (even if he did ask for the truth at that point). There really needed to be another way.

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful response!

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  7. I agree with what you wrote. This second half of the season went extremely downhill when it came to Damon and Elena's relationship. Suddenly, with Stefan back in the picture, the entire foundation, that the writer's so beautifully built through the course of the first half of the season as well as much of the 1st and 2nd, was just attacked with a sledgehammer. Or better yet, completely ignored. All of the growth we watched, not just with the relationship, but Elena as an individual character, no longer existed. She reverted back to the same person she was before Stefan left and I firmly believe it's a reason so many viewers have a difficult time understanding and accepting her choice... with either brother.

    However, I have come to terms with what the finale ultimately gave us. And that is these scenes where it only re-enforced the notion that Damon is going to be her choice once she transitions. He's the silent hero, we've known it for so long now and finally, hopefully, Elena will get the chance to see this as memories and crucial moments finally come into focus.

    So, Im just hoping this was the writer's way of paying respects and throwing a bone to the SE fans one last time before really driving the point that Damon is the better choice for Elena's new life and who she is now. That's what Im keeping my fingers crossed for when we enter the beginning of season 4 and the revisit of SEs relationship.

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    1. Hee hee! You're way more optimistic than I am. I do hope your theory plays out.

      Watching Elena revert back to who she was in season one and two once Stefan came back into her life was painful to watch, I very much agree with you.

      Thanks for your comments!

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    2. That's why Damon's better for her, "he changes her, too" Stefan doesn't change elena.

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  8. I agree so much with everything you wrote here. I feel so betrayed by the writers for what they did to our 'ship in this finale. They keep talking about this "love triangle between two vampires and a HUMAN girl" and how it will always be a part of the show, but it has never been a triangle, and after this, it will now never have the chance to be. All those things that the SE side of the triangle had, the dating, the making love, the fighting for each other, the blood-sharing, the list goes on, DE will never be able to have those things, and so the triangle will never truly be equal.

    That flashback, which, in itself was a nice little scene to watch, took away everything that was "real" about the DE relationship that so many of us have connected with, removed the basic tenets of the reason why people love this 'ship so much. The phone call, to me, was just a way for the writers to tell us that SE always was, and always will be, endgame. I don't know about anybody else, but I certainly heard JP's views in Elena's words.

    I feel betrayed, and cheated, and all out used by this show. I won't be back for season 4. I may try to watch a few episodes here and there, depending on what my friends who are brave enough to continue to put themselves through this tell me about them, but I won't be buying the DVDs, and I won't be spending as much time thinking about TVD as I used to do. I'm going to cry some, vent a lot, and slowly but surely, remove the thorn that is DE that has taken up residence within my heart. I am just utterly devastated.

    Much love to you for putting into words what I am currently incapable of expressing. <3 Lauren

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    1. yeah, I feel betrayed, used and cheated. I don't really mind it was a phone call, I just disliked that they reset the whole story. They robbed DE of a chance of "a vampire and a human girl" in love. The cemented SE is the epic love of the show by giving no reason (or a ridiculous one if you treated it seriously - SE met first!)

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  9. Thank you for writing this. I think it encompasses how a lot of fans feel at this point. While Elena's choosing of Stefan did not make a lot of sense to me, considering her journey this season, I probably would not have been as upset if she simply admitted to Damon that she also loved him. Instead, we get another "I care about you" line while Damon was probably dying, ALONE, after watching his best friend die in front of him. That phone call just seemed so cavalier, and out of character, said by a person to someone who supposedly consumes her.

    And Julie's interviews after the season finale aired are not helping. She keeps insisting that Elena loves Damon in some way, but if we don't hear her say it, if we don't see her admitting it, how are we supposed to believe it? Now Julie even says that Elena and Stefan are back together next season, and Elena's transitioning as a vampire and remembering of the times Damon compelled her will only lead to confusion, but not to Elena's saying she made a mistake that she chose Stefan. So for those who hope for Damon to be even given a CHANCE to be with Elena, to be, for once in his dead and undead life, be chosen by someone he loves, then what is there to look forward to next season? Rightly or wrongly, it just seems that Damon is an obstacle to Stefan and Elena's "epic" relationship, and I am not sure I can keep watching that.

    Again, thanks for taking time to write this and put into words what a lot of people felt after watching the season finale. --- magsdey

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  10. I completely second you here... nice post. I've been feeling so down and depressed lately that I have to remind myself over and over that Damon Salvatore is a fictional character. yes. We are all emotionally invested in this show. All of the DE fans on my TL feel used... and Julie Plec has some nerve to come up and say that if we're watching for only DE then stop.
    I never thought they'd give us a finale before a 4 month long hiatus which is so insensitive to our favourite character.

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