So anyone who knows anything about my taste in characters knows I've got a bit of a thing for anti-heroes. They're just fun. With a hero, you know what you're in for. Good is good, right? But an anti-hero? Who knows! Sometimes they're good, sometimes evil. Sometimes they're good for bad reasons or bad for good reasons, or both for no reason at all. I love surprises, and no type of character can pull that off the way anti-heroes can.
Lately this 'thing' is manifesting in a *slight* obsession with The Vampire Diaries. (I blame Anthony for this, by the way. He's completely responsible!) Specifically, the character of Damon Salvatore.
Now, this isn't because Ian Somerhalder is sexy. I mean, yeah, he totally is. Won't even pretend otherwise. That's why he got the gig, right? At least partly, anyway. But even if he was gross, I'd still be pretty fascinated with Damon. Aside from the fact that the character's role in the series wouldn't work at all if he was ugly, that is.
He's really just terribly interesting. Everyone he's ever loved has disappointed and/or rejected him. Often times more than once. Occasionally to the point of doing him great physical and emotional damage. Once it even killed him. To deal with this, he's built this terrific defense: he's cast himself as the villain. He'll go to extraordinary lengths to prove to everyone around him that it's who he really is. Despite heaps of evidence to the contrary, those actions he takes are typically so extreme that the people in his life can't help but to believe the act. Call it self-destructive if you want, I'm intrigued by his flair for the arguably evil.
Despite, or maybe because of this, I think he actually hates himself more than anyone else ever could. Normally this would lead to a bunch of stupid emo bs (Stefan? What?) but instead he channels it into a very amusing cockiness. I appreciate that in a character. (I know that's a shocking revelation. No one ever suspects I enjoy cockiness.)
He's also terrifically honest. Even when he lies. Which is probably my favorite thing about him.
Those same people who know my tastes will be the first ones to tell you I have 0 interest in gushy lovey-dove stories. They're boring and unrealistic, often causing me to make violent gagging noises. So no, I'm not a fan of the Elena/Stefan relationship. At best, that's the 'pure' love that you can only experience in a vacuum. Pure love can't survive the real world. It's too messy for that.
Damon doesn't love pure. He love deep and dark and completely. Which is also interesting. For all that people call him selfish - he calls himself that at least as much as everyone else does - I find him the least selfish in the show. He's willing to suffer the hatred of the people he loves, if that's what it takes to protect them. He cares more about keeping Elena alive and well then he does what she thinks of him. This, despite the above mentioned constant disappointment and rejection. It's actually spectacularly admirable. The fact that it's never once brought on the gag reflex is a sure sign that this very difficult kind of love is both well-written and well-acted.
So Lyn, you ask, why the hell are you going on about a fictional character from a show that is gets you teased by most of your friends (damn you, Anthony!) and you wouldn't dream of watching two and a half years ago? I'm not sure, actually. I'm in obsession mode. It always leads to some fantastic idea or project, but that's later. Right now I'm just going to go on with the obsession.
Of course, this is probably the gateway drug to YA romance novels... *shudders* (kidding! Sort of...)