Reid Scott emphasizes that Dan does terrible things and should probably get punished in the end, possibly with death. Anna Chlumsky talks about liking Amy as a person and hoping for some kind of success in the end. In your opinion what would an ending where both actors get what they say they want for their characters look like?
See, I think this is as simple as… Anna Chlumsky likes Amy, because Amy is fundamentally likeable. Which isn’t to say she doesn’t have glaring personal flaws, (because boy does she), but they aren’t the kind that engender contempt.
Whereas I’m not sure Reid Scott has ever liked Dan. He clearly has great fun playing him (it’s always fun to play a villain), but, as by all accounts Reid Scott is not a toxic waste dump of a human being (or if he is, his castmates are remarkably nice about him), I imagine he finds Dan pretty despicable.
Now, if the fandom for Veep demonstrates one thing, it’s that, irrespective of his personal worthlessness, Dan as a character is wildly attractive, especially to a female audience. (I won’t speculate as to why that is – though I often think there’s an unacknowledged power element in a lot of romance writing, as in, the worse Dan is the more impressive a feat it is for Amy to break him by forcing him to develop human feelings. People don’t often perceive the ‘bad boy’ fantasy as being about female dominance, but I think that’s definitely at least a factor). So, I’ve occasionally wondered if Reid Scott has like… a low-level discomfort with the audience’s reaction to the character, which is why he so often emphasises “No. Dan is terrible” in interviews. I believe he’s, on at least one occasion, questioned why anyone would even want Amy to end up with Dan (the implication being that she’s far too good for him, which… he ain’t wrong there).
There are two possibilities I can see that would give both actors the ending they want, though I have to say I’m not terribly fond of either of them.
One, have Amy and Dan end up together, because Dan has been boxed in somehow (by the kid, by politics…whatever), giving Amy an illusory ‘happy’ ending, and trapping Dan in a committed relationship he has to at least pretend to respect. Have him convince Amy to go along with a sham engagement for political reasons or something, and then wind up so entangled he can’t feasibly back out of it. Which seems rather miserable to me, as I’d rather avoid an ending that implies Amy, like Selina before her, has settled for a longterm relationship with a man who doesn’t respect or love her and is only using her for his own personal benefit.
I would hate that ending, but it does seem at least a possibility to me. But it would be very brutal for Amy, who seems to want love or something like it in her life (however difficult she may find it to express that desire), and given how toxic the relationship would almost certainly become, it would also have some pretty dark implications for their child.
The other possibility is Dan being well and truly hoist by his own petard, and losing Amy to another man permanently. Just like Selina, he would destroy the only relationship he’s ever valued, even if he would never admit it, by indulging his narcissism and short-termism just a little bit too long. It’s not quite as dramatic as Dan actually being murdered in the show, but it might qualify as a punishment. Admittedly, for that to work, the show would have to give us some incontrovertible evidence that Dan does actually want and value Amy, and a sense that losing her would hurt him – which is something they’ve steered clear of as much as possible, at least so far. And it would certainly be karmically fitting.
Which comes back to what I’ve said before – I think it’s possible to write an ending where Amy falls for someone not-Dan and rides off in to the sunset with him. I tend to doubt the show will give us that ending, because I doubt they’ll have the time to spare to set up a convincing love interest for her, but it is possible.