I’m still feeling pretty terrible, but thankfully, someone recommended co-codamol, which is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I had no idea you could get painkillers that strong over the counter!
As for Dan and Amy, I think for me it’s the constant power struggle between them, and the different levels on which it plays out. There’s obviously the professional aspect, with the two of them vying for status, but there’s also… put it this way, on the surface, there’s a clear power imbalance, with Amy having unrequited feelings for Dan, and yet… when you dig into their interactions, it becomes incredibly clear that in many ways Dan is the one longing for her attention, demanding her affection, and the one who is quietly, but constantly, pursuing her and trying to get her to soften towards him. The two of them trade roles constantly, which is what makes them so interesting to watch – they’re dynamic in a very literal sense of the term.
I give a lot of credit to Reid Scott for that – not because I think he’s a better actor (he’s not one tenth as expressive as Anna Chlumsky, for one, though not many actors are), but because it’s his performance that does a lot to make that work. If he didn’t include those layers of complexity in his performance, and we only had a sense of Amy’s side of things, their relationship would rapidly become intolerable to watch. (Note, from the Thanksgiving episode through to 6.10, we’re quite shut out from Dan’s perspective on Amy, far more than we were earlier in the show, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that that’s when people started to get frustrated with the dynamic – I know why they did it, they wanted to have the ‘gotcha’ moment with the pregnancy, but I think it would be a mistake to continue things that way in season 7).
But I think that’s what Anna Chlumsky was talking about when she said they had a rich relationship – in virtually every scene with them there are multiple things happening simultaneously, and that… makes them interesting to write.
I also love writing dialogue, and my god Dan and Amy are a gift for that. In particular, I love that they have distinctive voices that I can write a page or two that’s just back and forth between them, often without identifying the speakers, and yet it’s very obvious who’s saying what (at least, I hope it is… don’t tell me if I’m wrong). They’re both hyperverbal – especially Dan – which makes writing their dialogue an absolute pleasure.