This is a looooong post, so I figured I can briefly sum it up with a couple of talking points:
1) The focus of Eclare nowadays seems to be targeted toward the stereotypical group of Eclare fans, who “AHHH#:LNKVSLKJ$” over anything and get their hopes up over nothing only to have them crushed then wonder why. For the specific people who consider themselves I guess “super fangirls,” what is it that makes you keep falling into the trap of having your Eclare hope/emotions stepped on when it’s obvious you’re being played to begin with?
2) For all Eclare fans: After observing Clare’s awful behavior in Nowhere To Run, what is the appeal of having Eclare reunite at this very moment in time? And yes, I’m well aware that a lot of Eclare fans don’t approve of them getting back together right now, and that they need get back to where they were when things were great between them. But do you believe that’s even possible? Or is Eclare always going to be just a hollow version of what it once was?
3) This lengthy rambling of mine is based on the semi-hypothecial, yet disturbing premise that Eclare will never again be what it once was, therefore rendering all love or hope for this couple’s future pointless.
When it comes to some Eclare fans, I laugh at their silliness because like the age-old quote “boys will be boys,” one could say “fangirls will be fangirls.”
But after finally watching Nowhere To Run and having to endure nonstop twitter and tumblr posts of Eclare fangirls feeling hurt or betrayed because Eli and Clare didn’t immediately get back together in the middle of the woods at nightj, I was baffled by the absurdity.
The biggest complaint from within the Eclare fanbase I saw the 24 hours after Nowhere To Run (as I had yet to see the episode) is that the writers keep giving them hope that Eclare will get back together, then suddenly yank it away. But after watching it I’m wondering where is this hope that people speak of to begin with? Eli gives Clare his jacket, so now she’s magically going to fall in love with him again? They look each other in the eyes…that must mean they’re soulmates, right?
The overly enthusiastic Eclare fangirls do a great job of getting their own hopes up, but there’s also no way that the writers aren’t toying with ALL Eclare fans as well on some level. The rest of us “know” how the “average” Eclare fan reacts, so we know that Degrassi doesn’t have to put Eclare together anytime soon (or ever) because they know certain fans will go “Ahhhh s3of;asu0vsndav” anytime they’re within 50 feet of each other. And they know that all Eclare fans are holding out that hope that Eli and Clare will reunite, regardless of why the fans want them to. Unfortunately, all Eclare fans are also unfairly generalized into this one category, because those who attract the most attention tend to make the most “noise” per se. And now Degrassi, everything from the show’s writing to Epitome’s interaction with fans online mostly panders to the teeny-bopper mentality of the Eclare “Super Fangirls.”
Clare’s eyes in Nowhere To Run say everything. Never once did she look at Eli in this episode in the same emotional, loving way she did anytime she looked at Jake. Clare was willing to USE Eli in order to get back at Jake, and she was this close to doing so. Then she actually DID use Eli at the end of the episode, giving him a ride in order to stick it to Alli. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s been written all over the walls since this summer that Clare Edwards is over Eli Goldsworthy. Her character, so deteriorated by the situations with 1) her parents’ divorce, 2) her and Jake’s parents getting married and 3) her heartbreak and infatuation with Jake, leaves her absolutely no room to even think about the “pedestrian” problems of her best friend Alli, let alone focus on an ex boyfriend.
Even in the episode Lose Yourself, when Eclare shared a very powerful moment, in retrospect it was not a moment of mutual love. You could tell Eli loved Clare deeply, but Clare had the look of someone who felt guilty and embarrassed…and course she’d feel that way since she’d spent the entire episode paranoid, criticizing him and his play.
This isn’t some sort of attack on Eclare fans, and I obviously know there are multiple types of Eclare fans. I’m not an “Eclare or Eclare fan hater,” though I have no desire to see them together because ever since the second half of Season 10 either one or the other has been behaving ridiculously. They will always have my respect as one of the most thoroughly-developed couples this show has ever had, a true rarity on Degrassi…until their issues made them implode. I just don’t understand why some of you insist on continuously torturing yourselves, needlessly hanging onto every word and every action of these two characters when 100% of these words or actions since Eclare’s breakup have led to absolutely nothing. “Fool me once…”
And for those diehard Eclare fans who truly believe Eclare is “endgame,” do you really want them to be together after what happened in Nowhere To Run? If so, I genuinely want to know why….I’m talking directly to those who want them together *RIGHT NOW,* in their current states (wanting them back together when they’ve both reached a good place is already a given, and everyone including myself would love to see that).
The real problem is that the real Eclare doesn’t exist anymore. It hasn’t for quite a while, and who knows if it ever will. When they first started, they had depth in the form of a well-developed friendship. They were intelligent and genuine, even as Eli’s mental state began to unravel. What’s left is that the concept of Eclare has transformed into a shallow fairytale, where the slogan is now “OMG ECLARE IS ENDGAME”, and Degrassi eggs on the fantasy with things like pointless “pastry” feuds.
I do believe Eclare will get back together at some point. Common logic dictates that the show is not going to let the most-popular couple in years fade off into oblivion. However, I’m more inclined to believe it’ll be done simply to give them a happy ending, or slap them together in order to pacify fans. This will be fulfilling to those who simply want to see Eli and Clare together again, them professing their love for each other the way Clare and Jake did in Nowhere To Run. But for those who understand the elements that make Eclare unique to any other couple on the show, the absence of those elements will make any Eclare reconciliation feel just as empty as it does while they’re apart. What would be the point of Eclare reuniting only to suffer fates like Semma and Cranny, becoming a shell of their former selves the second time around?
There was a big ole discussion on twitter about this, and a couple of people sent me lengthy e-mails discussing it in depth. Man I wish I could just post them in full, but I’ve gotta share at least a portion from them.
At the end of the day, I don’t care what a bunch of popular teen girls who feel like bullying others for their fictional character inclinations thinks. They can make all the derisive and condescending comments they want. But what does worry me is that they seem to have succeeded in perpetuating a certain stereotype about Eclare fans. Why is this a problem? Because I think it’s led the people to a serious misconception — namely that Eclare fans are empty-headed little girls who just want a fairytale relationship; so you can jerk them around all you want, as long as someday down the line, you put Eli and Clare back together. I’m worried that they’re eventually going to stick them togehter in some sort of special, where they will end up walking off into the sunset, happily ever after — and we’ll be supposed to be satisfied with that. No, no, no! What makes Eclare remarkable is the substance of their relationship and interactions, their compatibility as people. That’s what was special about this pairing. So unless they put them back together with enough time for that to rebuild, they might as well not do it at all.
Most of us have been watching the show for years, and have very rational reasons for loving Eclare and are very frustrated with the show right now – not because Eli and Clare aren’t together – but because the current storylines for them barely make sense.
So yes. We’d really like Eclare to get back together. But not until they come up with a way to redeem Clare’s character and to develop Eli a little more on his own. Clare needs to show Eli she cares about him using her words and not her facial expressions. The problem is: we’re tired of waiting. Ever since DTW 2, the show has ultimately been very disappointing. I’ve actually gotten to the point where I hope that Eli and Clare aren’t in the episode because then I will probably enjoy it. But I’m terrified of two things: That the show will pull a last second deus ex machina and put them back together in epic fashion right before Eli’s graduation or that they’ll get back together tomorrow with no rhyme or reason to it. Because I want to see them portray a really special relationship on my screen and I don’t trust them to do it right anymore.