Category: dan x amy

What's your take on Dan and Amy in '…

What's your take on Dan and Amy in 'Kissing Your Sister'? In particular, the scene where she attempts to ask him out? I still can't read it.

That scene isn’t easy to read, so I don’t blame you.

However, I think it’s actually pretty crucial to understanding what goes wrong in their relationship, so it’s worth unpacking – especially as our understanding of it is slightly distorted by where it comes in the season.

To give a quick timeline review – the interactions between Dan and Amy that we see unfold chronologically as follows:

5.02: They come very, very close to sleeping together, spending all their time together in Nevada, and effectively going on a ‘date’ in the hotel bar (note, that bar was full of journalists, and yet Dan chooses to spend time with Amy).

5.03: Amy finds out about Sophie – they have a passive-aggressive fight about it, in which Dan shows genuine pleasure at Amy being upset. Afterwards, she only talks to him about work.

5.04: Amy has started spending time with Buddy, and her only interactions with Dan (that we see) are work-related.

5.09: Dan comes back to D.C. and Amy fumbles through a suggestion that they do…something, too nervous to look at him, and he brags about her sister constantly calling him.  Amy storms away.

5.05: Amy brings Dan into the White House, snarking about Sophie – to which Dan does not respond, seemingly tired of the whole thing.  He then crashes her Thanksgiving, and walks out of the house when her Dad objects.

5.06: Amy packs him off to New Hampshire, supposedly for his own benefit (but you have to wonder…)

5.07: No interaction.  Amy starts her fling with Buddy

5.08: They talk about work – Amy reacts visibly to the presence of another woman in Dan’s bed, but ignores his jab at her pyjamas and his attempt to remind her that he’s about to have sex.  When Jonah is elected, apparently securing Selina’s success, they are both smiling and happy.

5.10: Dan attempts to brag about his tv offers, and Amy shuts him down.

I mention all of this, because I think the scene has to be put in its right context to be understood.

Now, I am willing to bet that Amy discovered what had happened with the text messages at some point between the scenes in 5.04 and 5.09 – because we see her go from avoiding Dan as much as possible, to asking him out. The only way that makes sense to me is if she had realised what choice Dan had ACTUALLY made. As in, he DIDN’T choose Sophie over her, because he hadn’t known she was an option.

Now, personally, I wouldn’t consider that much of an extenuation, but I’m not Amy. She seems to accept his transactional attitude to sex – and she knows him well enough to know he was telling the truth when he said he slept with Sophie just for a job.

Amy’s very smart after all, and I think she would have been able to work out that if Dan only slept with Sophie for a job, the corollary is that he would only have expressed interest in HER because he WANTED to. She had already got him back into the White House, and realistically there wasn’t anything else she could do for him. He’d also spent considerable time flirting with her – as had Buddy (in his own way) – so I think she was able to scrape up some confidence, and give it a shot. (That said, she’s clearly still nervous – her voice and body language give that away)

The problem, of course, is that Dan is an asshole. And he does not have an overwhelming amount of empathy. So, for instance, it doesn’t appear to cross his mind that Amy might have feelings similar to what his would be, if their positions were reversed.

However, having watched it again – his tone isn’t malicious in the scene. He’s not TRYING to rub it into Amy all over again exactly – it’s almost worse than that. He treats it like a joke, something long in the past that they can both laugh about – and is even crass enough to suggest that Amy dump Sophie FOR him.

All of which is pretty callous, but not out of the common way for Dan. Where it gets kind of ugly is how visibly amused he is by Amy’a reaction, because there’s a kind of grin on his face that indicates he’s quite…pleased that the whole thing still gets to her.

When it comes to Amy, Dan is quite talented at hiding his true motives from himself. As in, he never seems to realise that he’s jealous and pissed off about Ed (and even JONAH knew what was going on there), he would no doubt argue that he tried to get Amy to work with him (three times) purely for professional reasons, it’s a complete coincidence that he felt a burning need to see her the same day Tom James and Ben cut him brutally down to size, and he just HAPPENED to sleep with her the second time they met (and the first time they weren’t interrupted) after she left her fiancé. (And if you believe any of Dan’s rationalisations, I have a nice Nigerian gentleman I think you should meet).

Which I think is where the ugliness comes from. Deep, deep down, he’s pleased that Amy is upset because that means she likes him back (aren’t we all pleased when we get confirmation of such a thing?) but, being himself, he shows it in the most obnoxious way humanly possible. As in, he acts as though Amy’s reaction is FUNNY.

And I think that’s what really sunk him with Amy. She’s hurt and upset and trying to hide all of it, and Dan finds that…entertaining, and doesn’t have the good manners to hide that fact. As a result, I think Amy started to question the whole thing – whether there had ever been any genuine feeling or friendship there at all…and if perhaps Dan had only stuck around because he thought she might get him back into the White House.

It’s a fairly toxic spiral for Amy to fall into, and I don’t think Dan understands that on any level. He’s never been rejected romantically, and he doesn’t seem to grasp what repeated rejection can do to a person’s self-respect. And at this point he has now led Amy down the garden path three times, only to reject and crush her at the crucial moment. I don’t he has any sense of Amy’s insecurities when it comes to him, or that she sees herself as just another woman he’s exploited.

Amy, I think understandably, at this point starts to distance herself from him – pretty noticeably – and Dan doesn’t like that one bit. And I think there’s a weird thing where Amy is so special TO HIM that he completely refuses to acknowledge that he might have hurt her, that his actions with regards to Sophie will have consequences. And any reminder that he has hurt her – which is what her standoffish behaviour is – pisses him off. He doesn’t like feeling guilty, and he doesn’t like the feeling that Amy is drifting away from him, and it all manifests as this increased dickishness.

The one thing Dan wants from Amy – always – whether he’s furious with her or not – is attention. He wants her to notice him and focus on him and give him all of her emotional energy. And, while I suspect he prefers the Amy who is soft and smiling and flirty, he will take her enraged if it’s a choice between that and being ignored.

So he pokes at her weak spots every chance he gets, because that has become the one guaranteed way of getting her attention, which is what he really wants.

It isn’t the healthiest of dynamics, especially when you consider that there was probably more of that behaviour than we saw, which is why I think things would have been a lot better between them if Dan had just let Amy be angry with him, let her tear a strip off him if she felt the need.

It’s also why Dan’s absence in New Hampshire is really kind of crucial, because if they had been spending more time in each other’s company, I think he would have pushed Amy to the point of snapping.

Who knows if that would have done any good, mind you. It’s certainly plausible to me that Amy freezing him out for an entire year and moving cross country (and then doing the exact same thing to another man who had hurt and humiliated her) may have been essential in forcing Dan to acknowledge (to himself) what he’d done and how damaging it actually was.

He may have had to lose her before he could acknowledge that he actually cared about having her in the first place.

I’ve Been Ignored by Prettier Women Than You

Chapter Six

Please enjoy.  There will be – at most – one or two chapters before the end.  (This is why I should always plan in advance).

I’ve Been Ignored by Prettier Women Than You

Chapter Five of I’m still not sure how many, is up.  Please enjoy (and tell me about it).

Regular

I’ve Been Ignored by Prettier Women Than You: Chapter Four

At last!

2, 10, and 15!!

2, 10, and 15!!

who apologizes first? in what way? is it hard for either of them to apologize?

Apologising would mean acknowledging that they had done something wrong to begin with, which they’re both reluctant to do. Amy because she’s generally convinced that she did the right thing, no matter what, and Dan because even when he KNOWS he did something shitty, he doesn’t want to admit that he has a rudimentary conscience and is capable of feeling apologetic.

At least, that’s been the status quo so far. However, we’ve seen Dan adjust his behaviour in season 6 once he realised he’d upset Amy, so I think it’s safe to assume that he would be big on wordless apologies.

if something already happened to tear them apart, what would make them come back together? is it even possible

Depends what broke them apart in the first place, I think. I tend to doubt there’s anything Amy could do that would drive Dan away from her permanently (theoretically cheating on him might be enough – but I think that would be rather out of character for Amy, so it isn’t really worth considering). Amy is absolutely capable of cutting Dan out of her life if she feels it’s necessary – and while I hope he’s learned his lesson in that regard, it’s hard to be sure.

What would bring them together is as simple as we saw in season 6 – they are very attracted to each other and have a strong emotional bond, however reluctant either of them are to acknowledge that fact, so on the most basic level…they don’t want to be away from each other. But depending on how badly Dan had screwed up, I think he would have to be willing to declare his actual feelings – he got very lucky that Buddy was so terrible, because if he hadn’t been, and Dan had persisted in his complacent assumption that Amy would never, ever want anyone as much as she wanted him, Amy wouldn’t have come back to him.

Season 6 leaves us with a kind of blank, as it’s still not clear if Dan has actually had the realisation about Amy’s feelings (and his own) that his actions seem to indicate he must have had – and I think acknowledging those realities to himself would be crucial if Dan was ever to make a romantic declaration that Amy could accept as being sincere. So some level of maturity beyond what we’ve seen (and Dan is quite emotionally immature, what with his inability to recognise that actions have consequences and people are going to react when he treats them badly) would probably be necessary if Dan pushed Amy to the point of cutting him out of her life for a second time.

who misses the other more, or really thinks about them more?

Amy probably consciously misses Dan more – I can very definitely imagine her sternly telling herself not to think about him, and not to miss him, and so on and so forth. Whereas, I doubt Dan articulated his feelings to himself as such, but I think his behaviour indicates that he was missing Amy a LOT. We hear a LOT more about Dan sleeping around in season 6 than ever before, both from him and his co-workers (Jane explicitly mentions that he’s probably diseased), and it’s hard not to think that some part of that was trying to fill the hole left by Amy’s absence. Which is still kind of hilarious to me, that the only way Dan could manage lacking Amy’s companionship was to have casual sex to an almost compulsive degree – if nothing else, it speaks volumes about the true nature of his feelings for her.

I would lean towards Dan here, but in all honesty, they’re so co-dependent that I’m not sure one misses the other more. I think Reid Scott said at one point that “they need each other” and I think the sudden shift in both their demeanours when they’ve finally given in to their desires and started to plan a way to be in each other’s lives 24/7 the way they used to be, illustrates that point quite dramatically.

amy is wearing so many prints in s7 so far, an…

amy is wearing so many prints in s7 so far, and you pointed out that the brighter colors seem to be a good thing… but prints tend to hint at certain emotional turmoil… does that seem conflicting, or exactly where you thought she’d be after the pregnant reveal in the finale?

Do bear in mind at this point, my costume readings are far from being infallible, especially when I don’t have the context of what’s going on in the scene to guide me.  If I seem oddly tentative in what I’m saying, that will be why.

Regarding the colours, based on the previously established Veep Style patterns, there does seem to be a little bit of a story going on.  To whit:

Amy starts off wearing lots of blues, ranging from classic navy blue through to that fabulously bright print dress, as though her mood is gradually shifting.  There’s also a shot of her in the classic Tee Shirt of Sexual Frustration, but in pink.  And remember, pink and red, for Amy, generally signals vulnerability of some kind (usually but, and this is important, not only, romantic in nature).

Because of all the blues, she matches or complements Dan extremely well when she’s in a scene with him – and remember, based on past experience, blue is more Dan’s colour than Amy’s.  She’s also still dressing in the very ‘covered-up’ style she favoured with Buddy (we’re not seeing any of the more body-conscious sheath dresses in bright colours she wore in seasons 3 and 4, when her confidence seems to have been higher), and sporting prints that are, if anything more emphatic than when she was with him.  

So all told, I think your guess that there’s some emotional turmoil going on

and the prints are a sign is probably on the money.

But come episode two, a change has occurred.

Firstly, Amy and Dan don’t match – at all.  Their colours are clashing if anything.  I find the dress Amy’s wearing in the ‘stone-skimming’ scene particularly interesting – it’s got both red and pink in it, as well as blue, and covers her up almost completely, as though the entire dress is summing up all the romantic yearning for Dan that Amy has been trying to hide for such a long time… in a shot where he isn’t looking at her (and if he’s trying to skim stones the whole time, presumably he doesn’t…turn around or something).

Also, look how formally she’s dressed compared to everyone else.  Even Selina is wearing jeans, but there Amy is, in her formal, covered-up shirt and wrap dresses.  Dan and Kent and Ben are wearing comfortable relaxed shirts and jeans (complementing each other rather well, it should be said – and that dark blue is a good colour on Kevin Dunn), in natural blues and greens that tie them in with the landscape, but Amy looks like she could be attending a political meeting in DC.

The only person wearing a colour that matches Amy is Selina, who is adorned in a similar shade of pink.  So, things may not be going well with Dan (if the costume analysis tells us anything, which… take all of this with a large pinch of salt), but perhaps she and Selina are developing a less fractious relationship.  Which would definitely be a good thing.

As for whether this matches what I expected…kind of?

I suspect for Amy there’s a strange kind of doubleness going on.  She is happier, most likely, because she’s finally been able to exert some control over her life – she’s the one who’s chosen to have a baby, she’s the one changing her future – whereas before she was at the mercy of Dan’s or Selina’s or Buddy’s whims.  Lack of control over one’s life can be enormously stressful, so if Amy feels like she’s regained that a little, I don’t think it’s surprisingly that she’s started to dress in a more ‘Look at Me’ fashion, instead of trying to hide all the time.

But at the same time, deciding to have the baby means she has to deal with a lot of changes, really quite quickly, and that she has to deal with Dan and the fact that terrible though he may be, he still gives her so many FEELINGS.  Not only that, but depending on how he handles the situation, that hard-won sense of control may be under threat – I have faith that Dan could make himself extremely hard to ignore, perhaps even insufferably so, if he wanted to.  

She may want to have him in her life,  but the fact that as the father of her baby he can assert the right to at least some interest in her decisions, means that his mere presence undermines her ability to control the situation.  Dan wasn’t wrong when he called her a control-freak.

I don’t claim to know how things are likely to play out between them, but if my costume reading is at all right, I think it’s safe to say that Amy is desperately trying to cover up some pretty intense emotions – hence the seemingly mixed messages of what I call her ‘bad-relationship’ style and all the vibrant colours.

TLDR: Amy both longs for Dan and fears what will happen – what he might do – if she lets him get too close – which has been their status quo for…how long now?

Trying not to get ahead of myself here (especi…

Trying not to get ahead of myself here (especially since there's every chance this scene will be cut), but what do you make of the Dan/Amy camera shot from a couple of days ago? After 6 seasons of very much NOT playing into the height difference, they've leaned full in here. Also, the last (and only) time we had such an obvious 'Tall Dan, Short Amy' shot was outside their hotel rooms in 5×02, and the surroundings of this camera shot very much seem to suggest another hotel scene. Parallels?

I think it’s always wise to manage expectations a little. So often fandoms get really excited by something (understandably) and everyone talks up the potential outcomes and speculates to their heart’s content…and then when the actual episode or book or whatever it is, there can be a backlash. People do not like to be disappointed – hence my urging some caution.

And it’s hard to know what the significance of a particular bit of framing is until we see the actual scene. Now, going by previous patterns, they tend to emphasise the height difference between the two characters when they want to want to play up the romantic aspect of their relationship and/or when they want to make Amy look vulnerable.

So we get these Huge Dan, Tiny Amy shots in 5.03 when he tells her about Sophie and when they argue about it at the end of the day, and in 5.08 when Dan tells her her pyjamas aren’t sexy enough AND emphasises that he’s sleeping with someone else – and that he’d rather have sex with her again than continue to strategise with Amy (he is such a colossal ASS, I swear). We also get them, as you say in 5.02, and a little bit in the bar scene in season 4 (it’s not so much the height difference that’s emphasised there as general size – look at how much space Dan takes up in the shot relative to Amy).

Now, those are the patterns. And it seems reasonable to assume that those patterns will continue. But it is always possible that they could be choosing to emphasise the height difference for another reason, and we won’t know why until we see it. Without knowing the content of the scene, it’s impossible to be certain. (Though, looking at Amy’s demeanour alone, I think it’s safe to say that things are not going WELL).

Bear in mind, there are scenes with other characters – Jonah, Mike and Gary and a couple with Kent – where I think they play up Amy’s relative smallness in order to emphasise how POWERFUL she is – as in, she may be Thumbelina-size, but she still effortlessly dominates the much larger men around her through sheer force of personality. It doesn’t always have to mean the same thing.

casliyn: The cutest™️ Continuing the pattern -…

casliyn:

The cutest™️

Continuing the pattern – the navy in Amy’s dress matches Dan’s suit, but look how covered up she is.  There’s no chance of anyone accidentally brushing against her skin.  The geometric print and the size of the dress (looking at where the shoulder seam is sitting, I think it may be too big) obscure the shape of her body – possibly dressing to conceal a very early stage baby bump?

Reid Scott’s eyebrows in this pic really remind me of Spock for some reason.

Inspired by casliyn’s lovely instagram …

Inspired by casliyn’s lovely instagram edit I’d like to request a prompt where Amy tells Dan about the baby and then proceeds to completely blank him out and frustrate and torture Dan to no extent…I really do love your take on them and it would be lovely to read your thoughts on this

Dear anon – see here: I’ve Been Ignored by Prettier Women Than You

This won’t be a one-chapter fic… I think it’ll stretch to at least three, maybe four.  It won’t be anywhere near as long as You Were Always On My Mind, that’s for sure, but it will be a lot lighter in tone.  (I have only so many pitch-black weepfests in me).

If anyone’s curious, I believe this is the instagram edit the anon was referring to.  It won’t exactly fit what @casliyn set up, but I think it will be fun all the same.

hey i was being a little bit stalkery and goin…

hey i was being a little bit stalkery and going through your veep tags and just love that you notice dan and amys height difference as well- i thought you would be entertained to know that in 4×08 when gary comes to bribe dan and amy that theres a literal shot where amy is about the height of dans shoulder, positively shorter- they dont even show dan's head in the shot its just amy and dans shoulder (IN CASUALS MIGHT I ADD) this has been a psa thank you

I’m just glad the tags are useful! Though I admit my use of them may be somewhat… idiosyncratic. (I wish there was a way to tag asks as I answer them, because I’d probably be more consistent if I wasn’t always adding them retrospectively).

I think Veep has kind of an odd thing where, because we largely see the cast in suits/professional wear, them showing up in casual clothing has the same impact on the audience as, in another show, it does when someone wears a tuxedo.

I think – though I could well be wrong – that that is one of the only scenes we get where the height difference between them is really emphasised for a positive reason. As in, usually they give us shots of ‘huge Dan’ versus ‘tiny Amy’ to make Amy look vulnerable and Dan more intimidating (notice that in season six, when Dan is slowly insinuating his way back into Amy’s life, they’re always shot when sitting down, minimising the height difference – right up until Amy tells him about the pregnancy, at which point they go right back to emphasising Dan’s height as much as possible).

Whereas in this scene, if anything, I think they’re using it to indicate a level of comfort on Amy’s part. As in, we usually see her in tight pencil skirts and sky-high heels, but in this scene she’s wearing jeans, flat shoes and a loose fitting jumper. In the past, Amy had worked hard to project a certain kind of image – and especially around Dan – but here she’s letting go of all of that and allowing herself to be truly comfortable around him.

She’s relaxed in a way we very rarely see her be – and I think it’s notable that the shot that really shows us how much taller Dan is, has him standing BEHIND her. When they want him to look intimidating (see in 5.03, 6.10 and even a little bit in 5.02 in the door scene) they put him in front of Amy, kind of looming over her, overwhelming her in the shot, so that Dan’s body takes up the majority of the screen, crowding Amy into the corners. Whereas here, he’s behind Amy – she’s still the centre of the shot, but Dan takes up the entire background – he is, quite literally, able to catch her if she falls.

Not that Amy is in need of rescuing, necessarily, but Dan is playing that kind of supportive role in her life at this point of the show – unaware of it though they both may be. They’re also extremely well coordinated in this scene – the navy blue of Dan’s hoodie matching the lace on Amy’s jumper, and both wearing jeans – they really do look like a couple out for the afternoon. As much as everything about Gary’s involvement in the scheme is ridiculous (Ben really couldn’t find ANYONE else?) that he jumped to Dan and Amy as parents as the cover story is understandable given how they’re dressed (just how many lines about the two of them as parents have there BEEN over the course of the show?)

On a side note, I love how much of a DICK Dan is to Gary all through this scene – and the way Amy nods along all the way through. I think Anna Chlumsky once said that Dan often says or does things that Amy wants to but can’t, and I think that really shows here. (I’m so curious about the photos Gary sent Dan – of what? And why? And how is Gary surprised that Dan didn’t reply/doesn’t care?)