Elmore Leonard said: I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances ''full of rape and adverbs.''

Sunday, 16 December 2007


I've just finished Volume I of Buffy Season 8. In comic form. Packed with all the wit and action of the TV series, it brought all my love for the series flooding back. It helps that a lot of the characters I grew to hate were largely absent (take a bow Spike, Kennedy and Anya). On the other hand, characters I loved were back with a vengeance - funny, capable Xander; sweet Willow; quippy, ass-kicking Buffy. Ah, good times.

Unfortunately, it also brought forth my latent shipping tendencies. In this case, Buffy and Xander. Or, Xuffy if you will. Bander?

Buffy's indifference to Xander - surely the most courageous and undervalued Scooby - has always been one of my biggest peeves. The guy is clearly devoted to her. Why can't she see that?!

The sad truth of the matter is, I cannot watch a show without shipping the characters. I am one of Those People. And I wish I wasn't, because I am very bad at it. There's always a strong possibility one half of any couple I ship will end up dead. Or evil. Or evil, then dead. Or headless.

Let me give you a few examples:

Angel and Cordy. We all know how that ended. DEATH (via treachery, under-age sex, demon pregnancy and character assassination).

Apollo and Roslin. This was one of the relationships that drew me into the series. Mary McDonnell is beautiful and amazing and generally awesome in every way. Great legs. Will she ever be paired with the young hottie Lee Adama? No, she's for his grizzled old man. Of course. The world would obviously explode in a fiery apocalyptic cataclysm if an older woman and a younger man ended up together in a popular US TV show.

Alex and Addy. What happened?! Okay, the stupid spin-off.

CJ Cregg and Sam Seaborn.
CJ: Sam, Sam, the sunshine man. Get on the couch, I'm gona to do you right here.
Sam: Okay.

House and Cuddy. This could happen. But would - obviously - end in disaster.

Michael and Sara. Now here's a perfect example of me shipping = grizzly death. RIP Dr Sara. Sniff.

I could go on. But I won't. The avid romance reader in me sees simmering attraction and UST everywhere. Seriously, I thought Scully and Skinner had a shot. Lorelai and Christopher. Paris and Janeway. Veronica and Leo! I'm hopeless. It ruins everything I watch and I wish there was a cure.

I will end on a high note. When things go my way, when the stars align, the payoff is sweet.

I bring you Pacey and Joey - the ship that began this whole sad mess. Damn you, Dawson's Creek!


Tumperkin said...

Trouble is, it's all in the anticipation. Never works when they actually get together. I cite Moonlighting. You may not be old enough to remember this, but trust me on this one.

Meriam said...

I caught the reruns!

I think that's why I hate my tendency to 'ship.' It always ends in disappointment. Either because of the aforementioned evil/ death thing, or the resulting anti-climax. Either way, it's lose-lose.

You know, it was only after I put up all those pictures that I realised how many older women/ younger men relationships I've rooted for. Not to mention, most of these women are powerful and in charge: President Roslin (leader of the human race), CJ (President's press secretary and eventually chief of staff), Addison (super surgeon), Cuddy (hospital administrator and House's boss).

I wonder how many of my favourite romances reflect this. Off the top of my head, not many. It might also explain my impatience with Presents: the balance of power is all wrong.

Kate R said...

House and Cuddy are the ONLY ones I recognized in that whole list. Pathetic cultural ignorance.

I was grateful to Firefly (a brief series--if you haven't seen it, you should) that Mal and Inara didn't make it.

Meriam said...

House and Cuddy are the ONLY ones I recognized in that whole list.

Good for you! I have a bit of a TV addiction. This year, I cut my viewing down to House and Battlestar, but it's tough and I cheated: still watched Weeds and some Ugly Betty. And Dexter. And Heroes.

But you didn't recognise Dawson's Creek? Or the West Wing? Or BUFFY?! That's impressive.

I saw the movie - Serenity. I have the Firefly boxset but haven't seen it yet. Why are you glad they didn't make it?

Kate R said...

Aw, I'm sorry you saw the movie first. The series is better...Just because it just is.

That's a good question--why am I glad. I don't know. I think the poignant what-might-have-been fits some things better. Makes it more powerful?

I haven't been sucked into any series other than House partly because I live in a house of males and am not interested in getting into the alpha remote battle with them. Meh.

We have cable and watch stuff like Mythbusters, a occasional cooking show and Scrubs. and lots of sports. They watch the sports. I read the books.

RfP said...

I'd thought "shipping" was from "worshipping"--just another way of saying "fandom". Your post made me look it up. Sure enough, Wikipedia says it's from "relationship". Now I wonder how many conversation I've misunderstood... though I don't think it's come up that often.

Meriam said...

What an interesting article. This made me laugh:

"Shipping can involve virtually any kind of relationship — from the well-known and established, to the ambiguous or those undergoing development, and even to the highly improbable and the blatantly impossible. People involved in shipping (or shippers) assert that the relationship does exist, will exist, or simply that they would like it to exist."

That's how I feel about some of the more improbable relationships in my post (like Apollo and Roslin: never gonna happen, but I see it so clearly!)

Myself, everything TV-jargon related I learnt from TWoP.

Re: Firefly. I just have to find the time to watch it. I really enjoyed the movie. And I know what you mean about the poignant what-might-have-been (except I secretly wanted Mal to get together with his ass-kicking second in command whose name I forget).

RfP said...

everything TV-jargon related I learnt from TWoP.

Me too, but apparently I never stumbled across that.

"People involved in shipping"... snort!

Meriam said...

Me too, but apparently I never stumbled across that.

That means you probably - and wisely - stayed away from the shipper threads. Those are dark and scary places full of bitter, obsessive, fanatical fans (like me) quoting dialogue as though it were scripture to prove obscure and often meaningless points.

Well, actually, that's every thread.

So, RfP, what was your poison?

Brie said...

Luckily the only tv characters that I ever shipped were Pacey and Joey, good thing they ended up together.

I do remember having a fondness for Spike and Buffy but I didn't stick with the show long enough to see how they ended up. To this day I still do not know what became of them.

Meriam said...

Pacey and Joey have a wikipedia page! There are tons of sites dedicated to them, even now. Ha.

It's embarrassing, but I spent hours on youtube recently, rewatching my favourite P/J scenes. And check this out, Pacey's final declaration of love:

Pacey: Actually, I, hold on, I'm not done yet, I also want for you to be happy. It's really important for me that you be happy so I want you to be with someone, whether it be Dawson, or a New York guy or some man that you haven't even met yet but I want you to be with someone who can be part of the life that you want for yourself. I want you to be with someone who makes you feel like I feel when I'm with you. So, I guess, the point of this long run-on sentence that has been the last 10 years of our lives is just that the simple act of being in love with you is enough for me. So you're off the hook.


Spike and Buffy - it's a good job you didn't follow this one through: sexual violence, emotional abuse, depression and self-loathing. But I'm biased, I loved Xander.

I love the name of your blog, Brie. Plus, it's very pretty (Blog envy!)

Brie said...

Thanks Meriam, for the info about Spike and Buffy and the compliment about my blog.

I followed Pacey and Joey to the end and I was so happy that very last episode when we found out that Pacey and Joey ended up together! Youtube you say? I wouldn't mind taking a walk down memory lane with them.

Alison Kent said...

Meriam - Could you email me at author.alisonkent@gmail.com? I would like to ask you a question. Thanks.

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