Actually, I'm not really excited about Damon/Elena much at all for this season, at least the first half. Why? Because I don't think we're gonna get much. Sure, we'll get moments here and there, but nothing to really make me as a Damon/Elena fan sit up and go OOH! YES! OHMYGOD! And while this doesn't bother me as a fan of the show -- I still think it's totally like the best thing EVAR! -- it does slightly bother me as a fan of the pairing, for a few reasons.
1. In my season two rewatch post, I wrote this: "Damon/Elena fans were really, really, REALLY gypped this season. BIG FUCKING TIME. Knowing that fact as you watch it week by week, with hiatuses and upcoming stuff that sorta highlights some of the Damon/Elena moments isn't the same as watching all twenty-two episodes over a three-day period and really having it driven home."
Because we really, really, REALLY were. (And I say this as someone who can easily put aside the couple-girl in me because I actually think that Elena did forgive him for the Jeremy thing way too easily, or rather it wasn't dealt with well enough. I still think a Jeremy/Elena conversation explaining why he was cool with Damon would have helped enormously, but bygones, I suppose.) So, going into season three -- after the finale -- I did expect that we'd finally begin to really get some Damon/Elena-ness. Alas, I don't think we will now. (Explanation to follow in a bit.)
2. I think there are three factions of fans with regards to Damon/Elena:
a) Those who sorta like them, sorta don't like them, don't care about them and thus don't really think too much about them.
b) Those who are fangirls.
c) Those who hate the very idea of them.
I believe that (b) is by far the biggest faction of the three, with (c) coming in second. The problem is that both factions are quite unhappy with the show to a large enough degree from what I've read regarding Damon/Elena. The first do not like the little bit of Damon/Elena we've gotten, and/or the direction of their storyline -- especially in season two. The latter think that Damon/Elena are being shoved down our throats (how I don't even know, but that's the gist I've gotten from the anti-s). Bottom-line, neither is happy, and these two factions make up a lot of the fanbase. Since the show spent the last season making it really rough for the first (and definitely bigger) faction, I don't think it's crazy to suggest that they try and work on make them happier this year. The other faction is clearly going to pissed no matter what direction they take with Damon/Elena as long as Elena doesn't hate Damon forever -- not gonna happen -- or Damon doesn't give two craps about Elena -- not gonna happen -- (depending on who you're a bigger fan of).
So, yeah, not happy about my belief that (at least the first half) of season three will continue to not be very heavy in the Damon/Elena-ness department. Now the why.
- While Kevin and Julie have been doing the spiel about the Damon/Elena attraction, the exploration of their relationship, the growing bond while they search for Stefan, that is coming across as more hype to get people watching to me. I'm not saying all of the above won't happen, I just don't think that it will be significant enough to please the couple-girls who were beyond frustrated with last season. Because paired with these comments have been the "of course, she still loves Stefan," disclaimer.
And more tellingly, both Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder -- who clearly did not get the line they were supposed to sell -- made it clear at Comic-Con (the first post-premiere shooting opportunity to talk up the season) that nothing much was happening with Damon and Elena at all. (I'm really curious to see if their responses will change post Comic-Con.) Nina flat-out said Elena is not skewing towards Damon. Ian flat-out said that Damon is not going there with Elena because of the Stefan situation. Their entire vibe has been 'nothing's happening, moving right along.' Again, I do think we'll get moments, tension, etc., and obviously this was based on shooting the first episode and having the second script only, but still, I think that it's significant that nothing significant enough has happened in two scripts already to get such a non-Damon/Elena-ness vibe from both actors.
- It's pretty durn obvious from tweets, comments, etc. that Damon is sexing up Andie as a distraction again, and it's not just implied, but very likely that we actually witness some action. In fact, in the infamous 30-second Damon/Elena clip where she spies him in all of his naked glory, soapy and smirking, I'm pretty sure that we're going to either have just seen Damon and Andie getting down and "dirty" in the bathtub before Elena shows up, or Andie will walk in behind Damon a few seconds later.
- Finally, Julie Plec talked of Damon giving Elena an unexpected, but incredibly thoughtful gift for her 18th birthday. As soon as I read that quote, I immediately thought that he would create a dreamscape for her of her and Stefan happy together to give her some peace of mind, some hope to carry on, etc. (as he did for Rose in "The Descent" -- although, obviously, he won't be staking Elena, haha). The recent behind-the-scenes picture in the latest Entertainment Weekly did nothing to dispel me of that notion. If this is the case, on one hand, I do think it shows just how much Damon does love Elena and that he truly is putting her happiness above his own.
On the other hand, it's frustrating because it's the show basically using Damon in a tender Damon/Elena moment to give the Stefan/Elena fans a lovely dose of couple-love for them. Which would be fine and dandy, did the Stefan/Elena fanbase not have such a dose in every. single. episode that has aired thus far. While, again, the Damon/Elena fanbase were majorly gypped last season, and finally - FINALLY! -- when we got a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of their last scenes of season two, we're possibly going to open the season with not nearly enough for the Damon/Elena fanbase, and continued ahhh! Stefan and Elena's love is epic and pure!
I could be wrong. I know this absolutely. And, again, as a fan of the show, I'm fine with all of the above because it can certainly fit storywise. However, as much as I love this show as a whole, I am still able to access my couple-girl self and she knows that those viewers who stopped watching because they primarily watch for Damon/Elena, or are giving next season one more chance (I've read more than one say this season is "make it or break it for me") are not going to be even remotely reassured if I'm right. I hope I'm not, because I don't want the show to lose any more viewers. They lost an alarming 600,000 viewers over the course of last season. Obviously, Damon/Elena fans being pissed off is not the only reason, but there is no way anyone is not going to convince me that such was not a factor -- and likely a fairly significant one -- in that loss.
Anyhoo, again, I hope I'm wrong. But I figure if I have no expectations of significant Damon/Elena-ness and it doesn't happen, the couple-girl in me won't be disappointed. And if something does happen, well ... WOOHOO! And a Damon/Elena WOOHOO! to add to my overall WOOHOO! MY SHOW IS BACK!! SQUEE!! vibe would be awesome-sauce.
ETA: I appreciate all of your comments, but SO do not have time to respond (until after August 14). I will explain in more detail then what's up, but I wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten and am not ignoring any of you. And to make one thing clear. Yes, I don't think we'll get much Damon/Elena in the first half of season three, yes, I do think JP/KW need to get on the ball in actually making the Damon/Elena fanbase happy for a while. HOWEVER, I still firmly, 100% believe that Damon/Elena are endgame and that we will get our time. I just don't think it's going to hit heavily in the first half of season three. :)