The Vampire Diaries -- I Find Julie Plec's Idea Of Romance Disturbing
You know, hearing that Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec had Damon break Jeremy's neck in another attempt to manipulate viewers to hate Damon was an eye opening moment for me. That they were so shortsighted in doing that so early in the game when they planned some big triangle between Damon/Elena/Stefan and didn't even consider that having Damon do that totally made the Damon/Elena side of the triangle not viable or believable after that is stunning. It tells you just how they were writing the whole body of the show. And that goes to the romances on the show.
You don't want to know how many hours I spent analyzing and coming up theories in the belief Plec and Williamson put all this subtext in writing Damon and Katherine. I foolishly thought they had Damon snap Jeremy's neck so it would parallel Katherine murdering Caroline at the same moment. Only for the truth to come out that it was just a coincidence as they didn't like Damon was so well-liked so they wanted to turn fans on Damon by having him snap Jeremy's neck. It's made me see there is absolutely no subtext to the writing on the show and what you see on the surface is what they're going for. Unfortunately, what they're going for on a romantic level is rather scary, as most of their romances bathe in an abundance of unromantic ugliness.
Both Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec have said ad nauseam that Stefan and Elena are their epic romance, but there's really nothing epic or romantic about this pairing. Stefan was home for one of his sentimental visits to Mystic Falls when he heard a car accident and rushed to save the day. The father told Stefan to save his daughter, and that's how he met Elena. After that is where the whole thing begins to nosedive.
Stefan immediately notices that Elena looks just like the vampire who turned him into a vampire. He begins stalking her to see if it wasn't really Katherine, his ex-lover. When he stalks her long enough to be sure that this isn't Katherine, he decides he has to meet her. Let's be clear, he didn't want to meet her to become her new BFF, he wanted to have a romantic relationship with her. So he compels the school secretary to put him in all of her classes. He uses his super vamp hearing so he can show up at any restaurant or party she happens to attend. He even joined the football team because he thought she was going to be a cheerleader. And this was a girl that was grieving for her parents that just died.
Stefan's hard work paid off when his target fell into bed with him, but there was no basking in the afterglow for this duo. She found a picture of his ex, Katherine, and freaked out when she discovered she looked just like her. She was so freaked she got into a car accident. Afterwards Stefan pulled out the "I saved your life" reveal and all was forgiven, as long as Stefan didn't lie to her, again.
That's not to say this stalkermance hasn't had it's romantic moments. The two riding in an empty amusement park on the ferris wheel and going for a hike in the woods a la Bella and Edward of Twilight fame. And Stefan giving a necklace she cherished. Of course, when they revealed the origins of how Stefan got his hands on that necklace, it proved to be more icky than romantic. Stefan didn't remember it belonged to his ex-girlfriend, Rebekah, but he did remember picking it up off the floor of a speakeasy during his Ripper days. Yeah, that's the kind of gift you'd give to the one you love. Something you picked up off a barroom floor. Is Stefan so cheap he couldn't go to a jewelry store and buy something nice?
Of course that wasn't the worst thing Stefan did to Elena in season three. He was involved in a pissing contest with Klaus, so he kidnapped Klaus' hybrid making machine, Elena, shoved his blood down her throat and terrorized her by making her think he was going to drive off the same bridge her parents drove off and murder her. You'd think that would be enough for Elena, but Stefan told a sniveling lie afterwards that he lost her when he left Mystic Fall, she bought it and he got another free pass.
I say lie because Elena was chasing after him in Chicago and he told her to go away. So how does he figure he lost her the minute he left town? And what about Elena kidnapping him and trying to detox him? And that was after he returned to town. So how could he say with a straight face he lost her when he left town? He even had the choice to go back to Elena and try to pick things up with her or steal Klaus' coffins and he opted to steal Klaus' coffins.
Stefan only came back when he learned Elena kissed Damon, and he suddenly wanted her back. But if you expected him to try and make it up to Elena for all he did to her, you got a surprise. No, Stefan wouldn't take her back unless she could define for him what she felt for Damon.
I suppose if you compare Stefan and Elena to the even bigger nightmare that is Damon and Elena then maybe you could consider them an epic romance.
Plec stuck in a scene that Damon met Elena first and then compelled her not to remember to appease shippers upset that Elena had chosen Stefan over Damon and to give them hope it wasn't all over. Unfortunately, if you take this scene into consideration with the pilot, then it makes the whole Damon and Elena thing even more disturbing.
Supposedly, after having this nice first meeting with Elena where he wished her only good things for her future, he had his crow dive-bomb her car and nearly cause her to get into a car accident and terrorized her in the cemetery, causing her to fall and hurt her leg. Can you feel the love tonight?
Adding to that we have the fact Damon has either killed and/or had sex with nearly every member of Elena's family. He had sex with and murdered her bio mother, Isobel. He tried to murder her bio dad, John Gilbert. He snapped her brother, Jeremy's, neck. So anything romantic happening between them after all that carnage of her family members is just sick.
Then there's Damon's habit to become romantically involved with women who have either kidnapped or tried to murder Elena. Yet we're supposed to believe Damon loves Elena. Sorry, I don't buy Damon having sex with women who harmed the woman he loves anymore believable than Stefan doing nothing to stop Elena from dying because he's respected her choices. Both are pretty bogus and make neither Salvatore brother seem like they really loved this woman.
On Elena's side of things, she's constantly trying to turn him into Stefan 2.0. If he doesn't behave the way she wants him to behave she castigates him and makes him feel bad about himself. When Stefan killed Andie in front of Damon she gave Damon two seconds of comfort before turning the conversation to talk about Stefan. She put a big guilt trip on him for not being there to protect her when Klaus came to town, but when he tried to do what she claimed she wanted, she got Stefan to break his neck and then told him if he was upset to get over it. Then when Stefan demanded she define what she felt for Damon, she kissed Damon to experiment with him like he was a lab rat without even telling him what she was doing, then later was cold to him, claiming he always ruins things between them. A patent lie to free pass herself for her own actions.
The reason things don't work out between them is because Elena always chooses Stefan over Damon. Trying to make Damon believe he messes up is a way to make herself look innocent and blameless. It's just another of her head games she plays with Damon.
Anyway you cut it, this is a sick relationship.
In the less noxious line is Tyler and Caroline. After she helped Tyler during his first transition into a werewolf, when his wolf buddies came to town he did nothing when they kidnapped and tortured Caroline. Afterwards she was mad at him, but when he left town for a couple of episodes, she forgot that it even happened when he returned. After the first time she slept with Tyler, she snuck out of his bed like she regretted what happened and got shot by his mother and kidnapped. When Tyler was murdered by Klaus and turned into a hybrid she gave him no help or support to adjust to being a vampire, and when she learned he was sired to Klaus by no fault of his own, she dumped him. In short, there's really nothing truly romantic about this relationship.
An even uglier relationship is this Klaus and Caroline relationship Plec is trying to sell as viable. Klaus kidnapped Caroline and planned to use her for his vampire sacrifice. Then when he and Stefan were in a pissing contest he ordered Tyler to bite Caroline, which would cause her death. Afterwards, after getting Liz to promise not to bother him, he went up to Caroline acting like he was saving her life out of the goodness of his heart. What followed is him crushing on her and Plec putting the blame on Tyler for Klaus trying to romance his girlfriend.
Stefan and Katherine are another of Plec's ugly ideas of romance. She harvested Stefan for food and compelled him so he was her mindless puppet, while declaring she loved him multiple times. Then she spent years stalking him, but never letting him know she was alive. When she returned to town she physically injured him several times, she put fake dreams in his head trying to control his mind and threatened to murder his girlfriend. On Stefan's part, when his father told him to get the men who would take Katherine away and kill her, he did it without a peep and only went to rescue her because Damon was mad at him for betraying him by telling their father about Katherine.
Meanwhile, Damon, the guy that Katherine was just using, she never fed on or compelled. She took Damon out to show him what a vampire really was to see if he really wanted to become one. She even involved him in her vampire meetings. But she ignored him when he was laying dead on the ground to kiss all over Dead Stefan, declaring her undying love for him. When she returned, she spent a lot of time trying to seduce Damon, but she never physically harmed him the way she did her true love, Stefan, or tried to play with his mind.
So, in Julie Plec's mind the guy Katherine had a real relationship with and who she never fed on was the guy she was using, and the one she truly loved was the guy she was using and abusing. And Damon is sick and obsessed because he continued to love Katherine when she died and was trying to rescue her from the tomb, while Stefan who seemed to get over Katherine as soon as she wasn't around is the proper way to love someone.
See, most people want someone who will love us forever and who wouldn't stop trying to save us if we were trapped somewhere. We wouldn't consider them sick and obsessed. Most people would call a guy that stalked a young woman grieving for her dead parents the sick one. Then most people aren't Julie Plec who thinks a guy letting the woman he supposedly loves die because she told him to leave her to drown is something to be lauded because he respected her choice.