Hi – it's that anon again, responding to …

Hi – it's that anon again, responding to the mystery of Dan's potential offer (I should probably just get a Tumblr account). I think Dan is in the cab is the night after the second bar meeting, so probably still too quick a turnaround time to film something new. Still, it definitely seems to wake him up to the pathetic reality of his broadcasting career. But I agree that his general stress is Amy-related! she's definitely ghosting him in the immediate aftermath of their night together.

It’s probably worth walking through what I think the likely sequence of events was, to clarify my thinking here (I hadn’t realised there was a day between Dan’s scenes in the bar and the taxi, but it doesn’t change things substantially).

Amy’s costuming would seem to indicate that they spent the night at Dan’s place – which is why she ends up wearing the black dress she didn’t wear for their ‘not-a-date’ earlier in the season (which presumably she had left in her desk drawer somewhere).

When Amy introduces the subject of the night they slept together, she does it in a slightly odd way, asking Dan “Do you remember…?”  Setting aside the question of whether it’s at all likely that Dan would forget the two of them having sex, the way she phrases it strongly suggests that they hadn’t discussed the night they spent together at any point before Amy brought it up in 6.10.

So, what I think happened is that Amy left before Dan woke up – we know she’s back in the office by 8.30 in the morning from the time stamps in the episode.  (Bear in mind, he would have been getting up very early every morning to go to work, so getting an opportunity to sleep in wouldn’t happen often).  Given how big a city New York is, it seems unlikely to me that Amy would have had time to go home (for a shower or whatever) before heading into work – which is why she puts on her ‘spare’ dress.

Of course, that same night Dan goes back to the bar to meet Kent and Ben, and nopes out of there at surprising speed, because, he says, he has a job offer and isn’t interested in the possible consultancy.  Which… if he didn’t go to the bar for a potential professional opportunity, why did he go?  This is Dan we’re talking about.

I think he wanted to run into Amy again, and decided to leave when it became clear she wasn’t going to show up.

Now, I don’t think Amy was ghosting him, exactly.  She definitely ghosted him after they left the White House – I am absolutely certain that she would have been the first person Dan wanted to tell that he’d been offered a job at CBS, and equally certain that he got pissed off and petulant and grumpy when she ignored him.

I think for Amy, after they’d had sex, it was more of a… not really knowing how or if to proceed?  She probably assumed that sex was all Dan wanted, that he wouldn’t want to hear from her afterwards, that if she did put herself out there again, he’d only make fun of her.  You can’t ghost someone who doesn’t actually want you, you know?

From what we’ve seen in the show, Amy’s not particularly adept at navigating casual sexual relationships – she winds up engaged to Buddy, and I can’t imagine that was her aim when she invited him home with her – and Dan… knowing Dan as well as she does, and how easily he disregards women (especially women who’ve made the mistake of developing feelings for him)…it probably wouldn’t have crossed her mind to try communicating with him first.

But on Dan’s side of things, I think there was an element maybe of his…finally running out of patience?  He’d had to do without Amy for nearly two years, he’d been lonely and low-level miserable without her, now they’ve finally been somewhat honest about what they want… and she pulls her disappearing act, again.  (Hence the temper tantrum in the cab – it is probably more about broadcasting being so profoundly disappointing, but I think Amy being stand-offish definitely didn’t help – Dan had something that made him happy, and now it seems like she’s taking it away).

In other words, I suspect he hatched his ‘bring Amy back to work with me’ plan very, very shortly after telling Ben he was in.  Which would also explain why he didn’t try to sleep with her again (that we know of) – he was holding off so he didn’t give her an excuse to ditch him all over again.

Dan may be lacking in empathy, but he is very intelligent, and I think he realised that Amy’s go-to move when she’s nervous or upset or angry at him is to hide.  He also knows that 1) his sexual relationships tend to end badly (to put it mildly), and that 2) Amy is only able to pull off her disappearing act if he lets her.  (Note, she starts to distance herself from him in season 5 when he’s in New Hampshire – physical separation makes it a hell of a lot easier for Amy to put him off.  If he’d stayed in D.C. I think things would have played out very differently – I can’t see Dan standing by and watching Amy leave the Congressional Ball with Buddy).

So, I think for Dan, getting Amy to come work with him was a kind of stepping stone to getting the ongoing relationship with her he actually wants (which, to be clear, would still be casual and undefined and wouldn’t involve Dan ever expressing his actual feelings in any way).  Once they work together, they’ll be around each other all the time – and the mere fact that Amy’s default response to Dan hurting her is to cut him out of her life indicates that she feels she can’t resist his actual presence.

My guess would be that he started to pressure her regarding the BKD job very soon after he committed to it himself – it gave him an excuse to talk to her that wouldn’t have anything to do with That Night (which would be bound to get Amy’s defences up), and thus an opportunity to slowly wear down her resistance.

But he almost certainly didn’t try to sleep with her again, because he wouldn’t want to run the risk of spooking her and having her vanish for a third time.  From his perspective it’s much better to wait until Amy is working with him properly, they’re together all the time, and she won’t have a choice about whether to see him or not.  At that point, any fuck-up Dan makes with her becomes a lot easier to solve (and as mentioned above, his relationships end badly, so some kind of fuck-up was more than likely).

In other words, if Amy hadn’t brought up the pregnancy, I think it is very, very likely that Dan would have made a move that night in Omaha – they’d be on a high from Selina’s successful speech, chances are the team would go for drinks afterwards, Amy would be trying to avoid Leon and her defences go down when she’s had a drink or two…  

Hi! Reading your musings on a "sequel&quo…

Hi! Reading your musings on a "sequel" to your great what-if "All's Well That Ends Well", isn't the "offer" Dan mentions the CBS mini tv thing that shows in the taxi cab? His extremely strong reaction to it–clearly he finds it humiliating to watch–and his call to Ben immediately afterward make it seem like seeing himself in a cab prompted him to realize the "offer" is not worth it. Just a thought! Love your Dan/Amy what-ifs 🙂

Hmmm.

It’s been a while since I’ve watched that episode, so I may be entirely wrong, but I think Dan mentions something about MSNBC?

In any case, I am reasonably positive that the offer can’t be for the cab video, for the simple reason that Dan has already recorded it. He’d hardly be going to a meeting about an opportunity he’d already taken advantage of?

Though, what gives me pause here is that I have a feeling that episode was chopped up a lot in the editing room. When I was writing the costume analysis, I noticed a continuity…goof, I guess. Amy wears a dark blue dress with a red pattern when she tells Selina about the diary being published, when they try to work out a way to manipulate Leon, and, of course, when she meets Dan and Ben in the bar.

But there’s a scene in the middle of that, where they’re backstage at the Tonight Show, and Amy wears a different outfit. Now either Amy got changed in the middle of the day before going to the studio, and then changed again when they went back to the office, (all of which seems rather unlikely), or the order of events in the episode was changed and the showrunners hoped we wouldn’t notice.

So, it’s possible that their original intent was to imply that Dan’s meeting was about the taxi-gig, but on balance, I think it’s unlikely. I just can’t see Dan turning down Ben and Kent for THAT job. It seems more likely to me that the taxi job was part of Dan’s demotion at CBS – Jane was banished to the website, but he was sent somewhere even worse.

That said, I do also wonder if part of his frustration that evening had to do with Amy – because she didn’t show up at the bar for a possible second round (which we know he would have wanted) – and so he was already in a…wound-up state when he got into the cab.

For the asks, numbers 1, 40 & 49.

For the asks, numbers 1, 40 & 49.

1) How old were you when you first starting writing fanfiction?

Oh…late teens, I think?  There is quite a lot of my Harry Potter fic around the internet (like everyone else from that period).  Mind you, I didn’t write fic for a long, long time – ten years or more – and only re-started because I was horrifically blocked on an original piece, Dan and Amy kind of ate my brain… and there was so little fic for them.

40) Do people know you write fanfiction?

Virtually none of my friends are ‘fandom’y people, so no – they don’t understand why I enjoy analysing a story to death.  I think fanfiction is probably more socially acceptable now than it was when I started writing it, though that may just be a sign that I move in different circles now.  

49) Can you remember the first fic you read? What was it about?

No idea, not the slightest clue.  Chance’s are it was probably a Lord of the Rings fic though, as that was the first story where I was really and truly dissatisfied with a plot element.  (I don’t care how much sense the Arwen-Aragorn love story supposedly makes when you’ve read the Simarillion, having your hero end up with a character he has never had a significant conversation with within the story is terrible narrative construction).

46) I really loved your what might have been -…

46) I really loved your what might have been – ch 4. All's Well That Ends Well !!! If you were ever to do a sequel, what do you think might happen in it? lots of love!!

I hadn’t really thought of that, but…

Well, I guess it depends what happens with Dan and CBS.  Amy being married to Dan would probably not affect the way Selina’s plotline – such as it is – in season 6 unfolds, although having Amy involved from the get-go might have meant things like the book and the foundation progressed faster (or not.  There were a lot of external factors that kept Selina spinning her wheels).  

Of course, in All’s Well, I had Amy go to work for a consultancy, which it’s possible she might have genuinely enjoyed – but it seems likely to me that she would go back to Selina for a Presidential run, if she was asked (and Selina’s so dependent on her staff, and so fond of familiarity, that I think that was the likely outcome).  

Now, if Dan was happily married, after a very public elopement, I’m not sure he’d have been anywhere near as useful for Jane’s purposes, though who knows… seducing him away from his younger wife may well have been a better story, from Jane’s point of view.

At the end of season 6, it seems like Dan could have stayed in broadcasting if he’d wanted to – he tells Ben he has an offer, and the show doesn’t give us any reason to doubt that – so even if Jane eventually had him sacked (in this AU timeline), he probably could have gone somewhere else if he’d wanted to. 

It’s just…would he want to?  We’re not given a huge amount of information about why Dan chooses to go in with Ben and Kent, but I can’t help but think that power has a lot to do with it.  Because, odd though it might seem, Dan spends most of season 6 effectively powerless – Jane being fired and Jane returning both happen because of decisions that are made well over his head.  (Oh, and on a personal level, Amy abandoned him and only started talking to him again when she felt like it, and not before).  

As much as Dan’s time in D.C. was spent in a perpetual panic of relentless fuck-up-ery, he at least had the sense of exerting power over his professional life.  You know, he chose to run Jonah’s campaign for Congress, he manipulated Congressmen into voting against the Families First Bill and so on and so forth.  He had leverage, and at CBS he never really had any.  

And it seems unlikely to me that he ever would have reached a position where he got the kind of power Jane has.  Because one quality that Dan is almost entirely lacking is warmth, and I can’t help but suspect that the audiences watching him on CBS This Morning picked up on that.  You know the best TV anchors – the ones people remember as reassuring, comforting presences, even in the midst of dreadful events – have the ability to…I don’t know, embody the audience’s horror.  Think of Rachel Maddow tearing up over imprisoned children, or Seth Myers’ speech the day after Trump’s election, or Trevor Noah after the Access Hollywood tape came out (Noah mostly doesn’t work for me, because he generally seems quite detached, but I thought he was quite effective on that issue).

Jane sparked a bit of emotion out of him because he disliked her so much, but absent of that, I think he was probably a bit of dud on-screen – he apparently didn’t have any chemistry with Brie on-air (or really off-air, as far as we saw) (which…does not speak well of Dan’s personality, if even a woman he’s in an ongoing sexual relationship with can’t seem emotionally engaged with him).  Quite likely, the one moment in his whole time at CBS where Dan seemed relatabley human was when interviewed Amy and Buddy.

So, if the offer came up again, to get back into politics and work for Selina, I can see Dan going for it for very similar reasons as he did in the show itself – it would allow him to work with Amy again, and… well, for all they’re both so abrasive and supposedly lacking in emotion… they really do enjoy spending a lot of time together.

46) I really loved your what might have been -…

46) I really loved your what might have been – ch 4. All's Well That Ends Well !!! If you were ever to do a sequel, what do you think might happen in it? lots of love!!

I hadn’t really thought of that, but…

Well, I guess it depends what happens with Dan and CBS.  Amy being married to Dan would probably not affect the way Selina’s plotline – such as it is – in season 6 unfolds, although having Amy involved from the get-go might have meant things like the book and the foundation progressed faster (or not.  There were a lot of external factors that kept Selina spinning her wheels).  

Of course, in All’s Well, I had Amy go to work for a consultancy, which it’s possible she might have genuinely enjoyed – but it seems likely to me that she would go back to Selina for a Presidential run, if she was asked (and Selina’s so dependent on her staff, and so fond of familiarity, that I think that was the likely outcome).  

Now, if Dan was happily married, after a very public elopement, I’m not sure he’d have been anywhere near as useful for Jane’s purposes, though who knows… seducing him away from his younger wife may well have been a better story, from Jane’s point of view.

At the end of season 6, it seems like Dan could have stayed in broadcasting if he’d wanted to – he tells Ben he has an offer, and the show doesn’t give us any reason to doubt that – so even if Jane eventually had him sacked (in this AU timeline), he probably could have gone somewhere else if he’d wanted to. 

It’s just…would he want to?  We’re not given a huge amount of information about why Dan chooses to go in with Ben and Kent, but I can’t help but think that power has a lot to do with it.  Because, odd though it might seem, Dan spends most of season 6 effectively powerless – Jane being fired and Jane returning both happen because of decisions that are made well over his head.  (Oh, and on a personal level, Amy abandoned him and only started talking to him again when she felt like it, and not before).  

As much as Dan’s time in D.C. was spent in a perpetual panic of relentless fuck-up-ery, he at least had the sense of exerting power over his professional life.  You know, he chose to run Jonah’s campaign for Congress, he manipulated Congressmen into voting against the Families First Bill and so on and so forth.  He had leverage, and at CBS he never really had any.  

And it seems unlikely to me that he ever would have reached a position where he got the kind of power Jane has.  Because one quality that Dan is almost entirely lacking is warmth, and I can’t help but suspect that the audiences watching him on CBS This Morning picked up on that.  You know the best TV anchors – the ones people remember as reassuring, comforting presences, even in the midst of dreadful events – have the ability to…I don’t know, embody the audience’s horror.  Think of Rachel Maddow tearing up over imprisoned children, or Seth Myers’ speech the day after Trump’s election, or Trevor Noah after the Access Hollywood tape came out (Noah mostly doesn’t work for me, because he generally seems quite detached, but I thought he was quite effective on that issue).

Jane sparked a bit of emotion out of him because he disliked her so much, but absent of that, I think he was probably a bit of dud on-screen – he apparently didn’t have any chemistry with Brie on-air (or really off-air, as far as we saw) (which…does not speak well of Dan’s personality, if even a woman he’s in an ongoing sexual relationship with can’t seem emotionally engaged with him).  Quite likely, the one moment in his whole time at CBS where Dan seemed relatabley human was when interviewed Amy and Buddy.

So, if the offer came up again, to get back into politics and work for Selina, I can see Dan going for it for very similar reasons as he did in the show itself – it would allow him to work with Amy again, and… well, for all they’re both so abrasive and supposedly lacking in emotion… they really do enjoy spending a lot of time together.

Thoughts on Bradley Whitford’s on screen…

Thoughts on Bradley Whitford’s on screen persona? Are his current roles personifying toxic white masculinity a continuation of the douches he played in his pre-THE WEST EING days? (See SCENT OF A WOMAN, or ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING). Is TWW an aberration despite being his most well known role? How would you fit his two roles on TRANSPARENT with all this? (Or for that matter TROPHY WIFE.) (Feel free to ignore examples you haven’t seen.)

Oh dear, other than The West Wing, I have seen precisely none of these.  But I do remember joking sometime in the last few years that Bradley Whitford seemed to be the go-to guy for obnoxious white privileged dickery – maybe it was when I saw him in Cabin in the Woods?  (He also played that role with distinction in The Post, the Agent Carter short and Get Out, so all credit to him – he is very, very good at it).

I think The West Wing was a little bit of an aberration, because from what I remember hearing about it, Josh was never intended to be the ‘hero’, Sam was.  And I can’t help but think that chemistry had a lot to do with that – Whitford was just a lot more fun bouncing off Allison Janney and John Spencer and Janel Moloney and Martin Sheen – whereas, I don’t think Rob Lowe had blinding chemistry with any of them.  (Compare Rob Lowe in Parks and Rec – he just seems to fit better there, and I think the personal chemistry was the cause).

And I hate to say it – because I always feel super-mean when I write these things – but I think a lot of it comes down to his looks.  Because, while Bradley Whitford is a good-looking man (and he looks much better with the white beard than I would ever have expected), he is not the kind of drop-dead stop you on the street handsome that usually gets cast as the hero.  

I mention this, because when thinking about both Veep and Mad Men, it’s noticeable that the embodiment of obnoxious male privilege, the character we are all encouraged to despise…well, it’s never the unequivocally beautiful man.  The audience is given permission to loathe Jonah and Pete Campbell – the narrative actually leans into their awfulness, showcasing it for – but Don and Dan never really receive that treatment.  (Again, I feel really mean writing this down – I think Timothy Simmons is very handsome – outside of whatever the Veep costume and make-up department does to him – and, while he’s not my personal type, Vincent Kartheiser has very pretty eyes, and was quite obviously ‘uglied’ up for Mad Men).  (This is all paranoia that some day one of these actors will come across a post of mine and be hurt because I insulted their looks – which, I do know that that is tremendously unlikely…but still).  We don’t want our despicable white males to be too good-looking apparently – perhaps because if they’re too handsome it ends up distracting from the point being made?

I think it’s also somewhat down to the…type of charisma Whitford has.  People talk about big and small screen actors as though there are clear-cut distinctions, when really it’s more of a spectrum.  Some actors have a kind of screen-eating quality that doesn’t seem to have much of anything to do with their actual talent or skill – Angelina Jolie for instance, or Will Smith, neither of whom I would consider particularly impressive or nuanced actors, both have this.  They draw the eye.  Whereas others have a charisma that thrives on intimacy, on the small moments – Julia Louis-Dreyfus seems the perfect example of that to me, because it’s long been clear film-makers don’t have the faintest idea what to do with her (women aren’t supposed to be pretty and funny), but on television, where she can create a character over years, she thrives.  

He’s also very good at playing a loveable asshole, which has to be a factor.  It’s no small skill, playing someone who really is obnoxious in just about every way, and still managing to keep the audience with the character.  The actor needs to have a lot of charm to counterbalance all the awful things the character is doing – there is a very fine line between a rogue and a dick, and not all actors are able to dance along it for a prolonged period.  

As in, Whitford may keep getting cast as these awful men precisely because he himself is so likeable, and so there’s a kind of counterweight that ensures the characters remain human.  (As much as all the characters in Veep are terrible people, I think Reid Scott is the only one who has to deal with this particular challenge – or maybe…Dan Bakkedahl as Furlong also has it to a lesser extent?  Gary and Mike and Kent and Amy and Ben are each dreadful people, but I don’t think the audience’s relationship with them has the kind of love-to-hate-hate-to-love quality that it does with Dan, and, to a lesser extent, because her complexities are so much greater, Selina). 

juliaslouisdreyfus:

juliaslouisdreyfus:

july mood

Regular

Croatia are 4-2 down, and I am nervous as hell hoping they’ll manage to even the score.

I know the odds are not in their favour, but man…I’m rooting for them.

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