Lately, the DE fanbase has been overflowing with fear. 'Will Bamon become a reality? How much of a threat is Katherine? Have the producers dropped DE? Will this new gal Rose mess up DE even more?' Couldn't we have one shred of good news for a change? A nice episode still? A new webclip? Nope. Nothing. Not even the trailer for 2X06/07 had any DE in it. And then came the apparent put-down by Julie Plec to DE fans on Twitter which was stunning in its tactlessness.
Myridehome: I take comfort in knowing that both @kevwilliamson and @julieplec find the ardent Delena following baffling.
Julieplec:@myridehome: thank god for people like u
Clearly, this tweet did nothing to ease the worries of an already troubled fanbase. I was horrified. 'What. Was. She. Thinking??!' I seethed. A remark like that would be par for the course if it had been made by anyone else - but an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER??! What was going on? What was her stance on Delena exactly? How could anything she say about them - good or not - sound credible after this? More to the point, if she didn't like DE or their fans, would DE ever get together in the show? Or was the fate of my beloved couple at the mercy of someone who didn't really care about them?
I don't know about you, but I am continually uneasy by Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson's perspectives on Delena. It's not that they haven't said positive or encouraging things in interviews, because they have. It's just that more often than not, they deliver good news mixed with bad, so I often don't know what to think. When I looked over some of Kevin and Julie's most recent interviews in Zap2it and New York Post's Pop Wrap, I found some of the things they said contradictory as well. Here are some examples:
"The Premiere was our underhanded way of saying that this is the year we have to deal with the relationship between Damon and Elena."
"He has such a long road to haul before he can ever be a viable option in her eyes. He's done so many horrible things - his attack on Jeremy being the worst. I don't know how you ever get over such a deliberately evil move."
"As Katherine said, hate is the beginning of most love stories. It was no surprise we ended the episode with Elena saying 'I hate him.' "
"He screwed up...everyone loves Damon, but he's not worthy of her yet, in my opinion."
"We can...build towards all sorts of romance and love, and we've got a long way to go."
"That's the journey. I don't just want to throw them together tomorrow. I want to see the kiss, I want to see the sweaty palms, I want to see it all go down."
On one hand, Kevin and Julie are saying that they're working towards a relationship and romance between DE. Hurray! But on the other hand, they seem to be saying something else: that what Damon has done to Elena is going to be nearly impossible to forgive, that he's not worthy of her (but hints one day, he might be), and that Elena is right to hate him for the time being. They're saying encouraging things but sowing seeds of doubt at the same time. It made me wonder...how can they build a romantic relationship when Elena 'hates' Damon, and if they've already decided he's unworthy of her anyway? It sort of limits the progress of DE's 'relationship' to say the least, doesn't it??
I know that Kevin and Julie can't tell us everything - but I find the mixed signals they give about Delena in interviews unsettling, and even slightly disingenious.
Let's explore one of the arguments Kevin and Julie use against DE: 'Damon isn't worthy of Elena yet', they claim. Maybe they're right, but the problem with this is that K and J are setting an unspecified length of time before Damon finally becomes 'worthy'. How long will it take, and what does he have to do before he is finally deemed to be 'deserving' of Elena? 6 more weeks? 6 more months? What about years? Damon could arguably spend the rest of eternity trying to 'earn' Elena's love, only to find that whatever he does isn't good enough. Let's be honest here: Damon may never be considered 'good enough' for Elena. He's a vampire who is emotionally damaged, with innumerable issues and an ocean of inner darkness. I wouldn't want Damon to lose all that darkness, because that's part of what makes him who he is. I'm not suggesting that he should stand back and do nothing or that he shouldn't try or want to change, but if Elena only falls in love with Damon for the good things he does, then she doesn't really love HIM. She should love Damon for who he is, and yes, that includes the bad parts as well. She refused to turn away from Stefan when he went through his 'dark' phase. I want to Elena to realise she can't turn away from Damon and shut him out in spite of his many flaws, weaknesses and darkness.
When all is said and done, Damon isn't perfect and he never will be. The idea that he will somehow reach a 'perfect' place when he's atoned for all his sins so Elena will love him is unrealistic and unattainable. Stefan isn't perfect either - Kevin has acknowledged that there is in fact a lot of darkness in Stefan. The difference is, Stefan represses it whereas Damon embraces it: "Damon doesn't want to admit that there's good inside of him because it hurts." We all know however, that there IS good in Damon. Ian Somerhalder said in the L.A. Times that Damon would die for Elena. Kevin and Julie want to turn love into a points system where Damon is concerned: if Damon earns enough good points, then the girl he loves is more likely to love him too. Do you know something? It just doesn't work that way.
I would like to take a moment to state that I am not one of those DE fans who are pro-Damon and is willing to overlook everything he does so he and Elena can be together. And I can understand why Kevin and Julie think that Damon isn't worthy of Elena - but the idea of trying to earn your way into someone's heart isn't my idea of love. I also think it's important to state that forgiving Damon doesn't make Elena soft or weak. Bearing a grudge against someone who has hurt you is easy. Forgiving them for what they've done is much harder.
Kevin doesn't understand the fans' obsession with DE. "It's so interesting. Why? Do they really want them together? Or do they just want to want them together?" Julie ironically, has praised the fans, saying "The community runs very deep, they're very supportive and that's good." (This interview was given before her Twitter debacle.)
Now, I know that we can't expect to be given special treatment just because DE has the biggest fanbase, but I would at least hope that Julie and Kevin love DE as much as they love SE. Until her public relations disaster on Twitter, Julie had the reputation for being the most DE-friendly, and Kevin, not so much. Perhaps it's difficult for them to see how much people love Delena because they're involved in writing and creating the show. But it worries me if they think fans' reactions to Delena is genuinely confusing, because the fact that so many people love DE and are so emotionally invested in their relationship is a good thing for the show and something they should be thankful for.
As much as we love DE, no-one can deny that it's an easy journey. There may be one or two shippers who feel like giving up altogether, but most of us feel that the pain and heartbreak will be worth it in the end, because when DE do get together, it will be all the more rewarding. "Nothing that's worthwhile is ever easy," Garrett's father tells him in Nicholas Sparks' 'Message In A Bottle'. "Remember that."
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