I don't mind Dan being an actual garbage human. I think it's entertaining, but he is becoming irredeemable fast. To the point where watching Amy even be in love with him hurts. It's supposed to be the "he's horrible to everyone but me" trope. That she would be his line, but Mandel has made crystal clear that Dan doesn't have a line. What is going to make him hit rock bottom? Amy is the only thing that gives him any sort of depth/meaning.
Dan is a terrible, terrible human being – I don’t think anyone’s ever been in any doubt about that – he’s just always been terrible in a different way.
I can understand how Amy could fall for Dan in season 4, poor though her judgement may have been. Because while he was pretty scummy, he had…qualities to him that were appealing, intermittent flashes of something warm, and above all, charm. He was the kind of guy who you’d like in spite of yourself – at least, he was when he was around Amy.
A big part of what’s gone wrong here is the starting premise that Amy’s pregnancy is about Amy, and that the pregnancy reveals something new about Amy’s feelings for Dan. Except, I’d argue that over the course of the series as a whole, their relationship was far more revealing of Dan and his nature than it was of hers. He’s introduced to us as ruthless, snarky and dangerously assured – and those are the characteristics we see with Selina, Gary, Mike, Jonah and basically every other human being he’s interacted with over the course of the series. It was only with Amy that we got a sense that there was anything more to him (and only very, very occasionally), that he was actually capable of being more than a one hundred pure, triple distilled douchebag.
I don’t think Amy’s interactions with Dan ever revealed her character – showed us something new about her – in the same way. (Selina on the other hand). So part of what makes the way this has played out so frustrating is that we come out of three episodes of Amy being mistreated without really knowing anything about anyone that we didn’t know before – Amy is ambitious and driven, but also has a heart, Dan is a prick and likes to sleep around…there’s nothing new there. And absurdism in narrative terms is just never going to be all that satisfying.
I really want to know – where did Dan’s “five percent that still needs to be loved” go? Because I genuinely don’t get how she can still be ‘in love’ with him now, or even enjoy spending time with him, when he’s so uniformly unpleasant to be around – and the show trying to string the tension out further after all of this is just distasteful. It’s beneath her.