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03 September 2008 @ 10:46 am
Shipper? Gen? Semi-shipper? What are you?  

I've been thinking about shipping*.

I'm starting to think I'm not your typical shipper, or if I am, I belong to a group that isn't very vocal.  Though, to be honest, I don't really like to be labeled that either. Maybe it's that I don't like labels.

I won't deny that I like romance. I do. I love romance. However, I'm the type of person that doesn't like romance as the lead story. I like romance as a subplot. Most of the time, anyway. There are always exceptions. Also, if it doesn't fit into the overall story, I don't want it at all. So I'm gen for some shows. I ship on others but don't want to see it realized, and I'm fine with other stories.

So, if a show feels like it's more of an ensemble/team show, I'm not likely to actively ship, aside from some fanfic in fandom. I'll be gen for this show. The perfect exmaple is SG-1. I love the team dynamic so much that I feel any pairing, even ones I may like, take away from that important aspect of the show. So while I may be able to happily ship or slash in the fandom, even in a contridictory way, it doesn't reflect what I want or feel suits the show best on screen.

Another example is Supernatural. I am gen for this show. The show was set up as a story about a family and their struggles. I find that romance does distract or take away from this show. It's possible that it could be done if done right, but so far most of the attempts have fallen flat. I wouldn't be adverse to it if done right. Yet, really at the end of the day this story was sold to me as a story about family, in particular about brothers, and that is what I expect to watch.

Lost is hit or miss. Some of the romances on Lost work well as subplots and others don't. This is a perfect exmaple where I find charcter comes first. If you bend the characters to suit the pairing or the romance, it's going to backfire. If you don't give a character much of a purpose aside from romance, that character is going to lack strength. Especially on a show like this.

If the show has an overall story where romance would suit it nicely - I feel that Pirates of the Carribean is a good example - then I favor the romance. In this case, I enjoyed Will/Elizabeth in all its classic and cliche goodness.

Farscape romance didn't bother me in the context of the show either.
Here's the catch: most of the time, I don't want to see this romance on screen. For the shows where I do have a pairing, but where I feel the pairing could hinder or change the show, I would rather see it stay at the UST level. X-Files Mulder/Scully is a good example. There is no denying I shipped them and shipped them hard. I squeed at the UST. I went nuts for the little hints and moments and always craved more. But I never wanted them to get together until the very end.

Smallville works in this fashion too, but for different reasons. I love Lois/Clark. I have shipped that pairing since I was little. It's such an important part of the Superman story. But for SV, the story of a pre-Superman, I do not feel that Clois is necessary. I squee when I see the UST. I am always craving more. But I don't want to see them get together. I don't need them to be a couple. For me, the hints and the forehsadowing, the flirting and the denial is enough. It fits into the ever-growing mythos for me and stays true to the central iconic core of the characters. So unlike many of my fellow shippers, I don't need to see it fully realized on screen. It's not the right time in terms of the story.

Again, that doesn't mean I am some prude or rigid. I do have all the porny thoughts going through my mind. I am human ;) And I do like to see on screen romance realized. It truly depends on what kind of story the writers are trying to tell.

This is what it boils down to for me: character and plot first, romance second. But really, it's all about context. Some stories are meant to have romance as the lead story. I'm not talking about those. However, I do believe that no matter what story you're trying to tell that everything will fall into place if you're true to the characters and the plot.

But that's my writing philosophy so who is to say it is right ;)

So I don't know what I am. What are you?

*Shipping in this case can be defined as het or slash because either one works in this context as far as I'm concerned despite that my examples are mainly het. I also was lazy and wanted to use a broad term instead of ship/slash or het/slash all the time.

Current Mood: blankblank
Library Alterna-Chick ;)jedishadowolf on September 3rd, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
I love it when you go meta on fandom like this. :)

I'm with you I think - I mean we both know I'm a hardcore shipper when it comes to Daniel but I rarely if ever want to see it on the actual show. I prefer for ships to be left to fandom unless it's integral to the character's story like Daniel/Sha're or Sam/Jessica for Supernatural. Both of those ships are vital to Daniel or Sam's characters so I'm all for them. But I much prefer to see the non-canon pairings in fandom only. I don't like it when a character is forced into romance on the screen when it doesn't truly develop the character or help them in their journey. Clark/Lana helps Clark figure out how much he's willing to risk and just how human he wants to be - it was good to see on the screen for a season or two. After that I would've preferred it be a dead ship as far as screen time goes and leave it to fandom to play with after that.

That's a little rambly, but the basic message is - yeah, Character/Plot first, romance second...unless its in fandom not Cannon, then it's anybody's game. :)
Working for the Mandroid: C.K.moonshayde on September 3rd, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
I really do think it depends on the character and plot. Daniel/Sha're made sense and that was canon. It added to the characters. And like you said, same for Sam/Jess. As much as I dislike it most of the time, Clark/Lana is essential in building Clark's teen years.

Sometimes writing takes missteps and sacrificing character or plot to push the romance. I see that having happened in several shows I've watched.

I think if more shows would just let the character fall naturally into place, then if there was any ship, it would follow.
Spiletta42: Max and Lizspiletta42 on September 3rd, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
I think I'm very similar to you, but I fall just a few degrees in the shippier direction. I don't want romance dominating the plot, but I like seeing limited doses on screen that eventually move beyond UST. Although, well, not always, because it doesn't always fit. I don't watch SPN, but there are shows that fall in that category for me, like Andromeda, Sliders, Quantum Leap, the original Star Trek, and the new Doctor Who. Those work better without any romance, or with romance so subtle that it's easily missed.

I think X-Files got it mostly right, and that the issues the series had near the end weren't caused by the ship issues.

On the other hand, I'm delighted to wallow in the romance of Roswell or Farscape when making it a major element of the plot actually works, and I resented the artificial way they shoved back the romance in the second season of Dark Angel.

It all boils down to the writing, and the tone, and what works for the characters. And I'm supposed to be working. Oops.
Working for the Mandroid: Agentsmoonshayde on September 3rd, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
Yes, I do agree that X-Files and its near end run had many many issues. I think the out of characterness of it all and the shipping aspect of it were side effects.

It really does depend on the story, doesn't it? Some shows it works for and some it doesn't. But even then, it's subjective. There are some shows I feel it flat out doesn't work when others feel it's fantastic and should be explored more.

Fandom is interesting like that :)
maychorian: Noromo Danielmaychorian on September 3rd, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
I think I'm pretty similar to you, though maybe a little more gen, even. I'm all about characters. And so I like stories that mesh with canon and canon characterization with plots hat make them interact, crossovers that are true to the crossed characters and have them react to each other in interesting ways, and AUs in which the characters are the same and only the situation has changed. When I like romance, which is rarely, it's because it's in keeping with the characters.

So, for instance, I like it in Farscape. Because it's about the characters growing, and growing together. All about their yearning for each other, for something else, trying to reconcile it between them. It's beautiful and I love it. (The one Farscape fic I ever wrote was a John/Aeryn.)

I haven't watched much X-Files (I want to, though!), but I suspect I would feel the same way about them.

So yeah, I agree. Bring on the plot! And the characters. :)
Working for the Mandroid: unbreakablemoonshayde on September 3rd, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
I am a very deeply plot and character focused person. As a writer, this is what I gravitate toward. I can't deny that I like romance, though, so in some situations I think romance adds to characters and helps them grow. In fact, in many of my original stories that do have a romantic subplot, it really helps the character grow and discover themselves. It's just one apsect of their characterization.

Maybe that is the key? I don't like characters that just become Love Interests. At the same time, I think you can have characters with that sole purpose, but I can't see them as being main characters.

And yes, you know how I feel about canon LOL
Nervous, Messed-Up Marionette: 100% trustworthysuperbadgirl on September 3rd, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
Another example is Supernatural. The show was set up as a story about a family and their struggles. I find that romance does distract or take away from this show. It's possible that it could be done if done right, but so far most of the attempts have fallen flat. I wouldn't be adverse to it if done right. Yet, really at the end of the day this story was sold to me as a story about family, in particular about brothers, and that is what I expect to watch.

Really? I can't fathom a romance could work in the least on the show. The very nature of what they do isolates them. How on earth could they juggle fighting demons with a love life? I...can't think of a way that wouldn't come off as incredibly schlocky and wrong for this show. Even with Sarah from S1, who I could see working out with Sam, it would have been too awkward.
Working for the Mandroid: Boredmoonshayde on September 3rd, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
If done right, I think it could work. Do I support it? No. Do I want to see it? No. Do I think it would be good for the show? No. But I don't think the show can't do it. However, I said nothing about the relationship itself working. I think the nature of the show would amount to failed romances or tragic ones.

If they had kept with Sam/Sarah, for example, I couldn't see it working out in the end. That doesn't mean the plot wouldn't have worked in the show as a recurring theme.

So in the end, any romances in my mind would fail because of the nature of the characters and their lives.

But I don't tune in for romance on this show. It was set up as a show about family, and that is what I expect at the end of the day.
suzannemarie on September 3rd, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
It depends a little on the show for me too. Those that know me through SG-1 know that I'm nearly violent in my opposition to any ship on the show. (But I will ship on ocasion for other shows. In my heart of hearts I remain convinced, for example, that Buffy and Angel are meant to be together in the end.)

And I don't even mind a little UST in the shows on which I don't want ship--if I actually believe that it's there. I wouldn't ever advocate for Mulder and Scully to get together, but the fact that there's a little spark between them is fine with me. On the other hand, I never see any genuine spark between Sam and Jack on SG-1, so seeing what passes for "UST" between them is an annoyance for me. (I know others do see it. To each their own.)

I've thought about this a lot. And I've become convinced that powerful, fun, popular (and designed), sexual chemistry between Sam/Dianne, Laura Holt/Remington Steele, Dave/Maddie has had an unfortunate affect. It seems to me that the hunt is always on for that next great dynamic UST couple. In the midst of all of that, what's been lost is that there's a lot of fun, drama, and good story to get from characters who interact without any desire or agenda to wind up in bed together. Which makes me sad.

For the record: I totally was and remain a fan Laura/Remington. That was UST done very, very well.
Working for the Mandroid: Runmoonshayde on September 3rd, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
It's interesting. I am staunchly gen for SG-1 on the show. I'll let a few ships pass - Jack/Sara, Daniel/Sha're, etc. But even then I wouldn't want those ships to dominate. Plus, they were part of character and plot. I just have this thing about the main cast shipping it up with each other.

Fandom? Totally different. I've written tops of ships. Doesn't mean I want it on the show, though.

It seems to me that the hunt is always on for that next great dynamic UST couple.

I agree. I think writers and creators are struggling to produce the next greatest thing and kind of undercutting story and character when doing so. Every story should have it's own unique dynamic. Even if you use archetypes and cerain tropes, no two stories will ever be exactly the same, not even the bad copycats.
aelfgyfu_mead: Jack&Danielaelfgyfu_mead on September 3rd, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
I pretty much think of myself as a gen person, but I think that's mostly because SG-1 is the fandom with which I'm most involved now, and I'm resolutely gen there. It's all about the team and the friendships! I don't want any of the main four paired off with each other, or, really, with anyone else. I love Daniel and Sha're, but I don't think I would have liked the pairing so much if it took him away from the team.

I also don't want anything going on with the major characters on X-Files, and the less romance on SGA, the better. And heavens, keep it away from Doctor Who! That is THE show for me, and I don't want any messy love stuff ruining the fun. (I have liked all the companions on the relaunch; I could have done without some of the pining.)

I'm not always so gen, though. With Dark Angel, I did want Max and Logan to get together, and I got tremendously frustrated with season 2 (for multiple reasons). I loved Delenn and John on Babylon 5, though when their romance started I resisted. When I started watching Torchwood, I loved Gwen and Rhys (still do!), hated when Gwen had that affair--and still can't believe I like Jack and Ianto together and want them to stay together! There is just so much wrong with their relationship, and yet somehow it works for me.

But even when I like romance, I don't want it as the main plot. I don't want it that way in fic, generally, and I certainly don't want it on the show. If I want a love story to dominate, seriously, I'll read Jane Austen. Part of it is, I think, that I don't trust tv writers to get it right, so I try not to invest my enjoyment of a show too heavily in a relationship. Mostly, I don't choose to watch romance. I don't watch soaps. I like some romance on the side sometimes, but that's on the side.

I mostly call myself gen, but not always. That clarify things?
Working for the Mandroid: archaeologistmoonshayde on September 5th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
I really think SG-1 fandom came to me at a time where I was defining my interests in terms of storytelling as a writer. So it's been a huge influence over me in what I expect in terms of type of story and how that relates to romance, especially when I see how poorly SG-1 does romance.

Before SG-1, I didn't know any of these terms. I've always been a canon whore, though. So I would watch my shows and go with canon. Most of the time I was drawn to the pairing of choice for the show, but that wasn't always the case. I remember not really liking the romantic set up on Sliders. But even then, I watched Tv for the show and not for shipping.

In fact, one of the reasons why I held off watching SG-1 for so long was that I saw a clip of an episode and was like, oh nice. Another show that has to have two of the main characters hook up. Pass.

I think for many of us it really depends on the context and content of the show. :)

I still have type up my Dark Angel S2 thoughts. Talk about a yo-yo season.

I mostly call myself gen, but not always. That clarify things?

Absolutely not ;)
(no subject) - aelfgyfu_mead on September 5th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on September 5th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
a volume of springtime haiku: DW-Four and unexpected naked Jack!stargazercmc on September 3rd, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
I 'ship, but like you, only in the context of the show. For instance, XF was designed for 'shipping with the hints and subtle moments - there was something deeper there that developed over the course of the show, and you knew that it was there even if you didn't want to see it.

Fabricated 'ships (Sam/Jack on SG-1 springs to mind, and what I mean by fabricated is that it's thrown there, in your face) are less important to me even if I enjoy them. Another good example of this is Pam/Jim on The Office. It's OK, but it's not why I watch.

Ramped up 'ships (where it's obviously there, the sexual tension is RST and you knew there was a plan for it) like John/Aeryn on Farscape are again OK but I can take it all or leave it.

I think it's probably because I'm a fandom multi-shipper. The only pairing I've ever seen onscreen that literally made me shudder in horror was Cordelia/Connor on Angel. That was just... NO. Some have made me cringe, but very few have ruined things for me or made me invest so much I want to write letters. In fact, none have made me want to write letters.

I guess I'm just too laid back with all of it.
Working for the Mandroid: Fearmoonshayde on September 5th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
You know how I have a big problem with fabricated ships. I truly believe in a combination of actor chemistry and good writing. It doesn't need to be shoehorned in. I think AT and RDA have lovely chemistry, but some of the writing choices seriously undercut the chemistry there.

I like stories to feel fluid and organic. When something forced or fabricated, we can tell right away and for me at least, it takes away from the overall story.

Which is probably why I'm fine with romance sometimes and sometimes not.

And yes you are liad back which makes it much easier for you ;)
(no subject) - a_phoenixdragon on September 5th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - stargazercmc on September 6th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
Rae: Bones!autumnrae89 on September 3rd, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
I agree that it's about character and plot first and foremost. Especially with a show like Supernatural which has the same two people running around doing various things. Some stories work, some don't. My favourite episode is and has always been What is and what should never be, which is a pretty gen episode.

So I'm happy unless it's in the Smallville fandom. I'm a pretty liberal person, ask anyone, I'm happy with gen, slash, het - a big orgy at the end... I'm good. But it's something about that fandom that riles me up so. Maybe it's the complete disregard of an iconic relationship which is only second in importance to Clark's own story. Both things that have been forced to take a backseat to someone else's drama. Bring the real CK back and I'll settle for some Clois!UST. I'm just grasping for part of the story that I recognise.

I have no idea what I just said or if it means anything. :P
Working for the Mandroid: Shower (Lois and Clark SV)moonshayde on September 5th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
Well, Smallville fandom is batshit. So you're allowed to get riled up in it ;)

I think I'm the most laid back for SV, ironically. The fandom doesn't tend to bother me at all, probably because I am confident in the end everyone will allign with where they are supposed to be. Do some fans annoy me? Sure. I get that in every fandom. Do the writers do things that make me want to punch things? Yup. But I can strangely handle it.

I wouldn't be so controlled in another fandom.

For me, Sv should have Clark's story first. I loved how they used to parallel it with Lex, which is probably why the Clark and Lex eps worked so well. Then, it's the Clois UST and hints. But even though I don't need to see Clois realized, it's my OTP :)

We'll have to see what this year brings us ;)
Nialla: Supernaturalnialla42 on September 3rd, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
Here's the catch: most of the time, I don't want to see this romance on screen.

As far as what's onscreen, I tend to fall into the NOROMO pool. In fanfic? Play all you want and have lots of fun doing it. *g*

Playing stuff out onscreen doesn't always work out as you wanted. Which is one reason that I'm still vaguely wigged out over getting canon slash in Torchwood. I've seen how badly writers can mess up het relationships, so now I'm bracing myself for how badly they can do a same-sex one.

I think my problem with ship has been due to TPTB shoving it in and/or hammering the viewer over the head with it. I loved John/Aeryn on Farscape and Wash/Zoe in Firefly, but in both cases they were together from the start or at least planned that way, and the chemistry worked.

When the chemistry doesn't work for whatever reason, and TPTB are determined to make it work, it's like they're trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole. It's not going to work and it's going to be obvious it's not working.

Someone made a comment recently about never seeing a "failed date" in one of these scenarios. I think that would be great way out if TPTB intended for a couple to be together and it's just not working (for the general audience, because fandom is a different animal). Send them on a date and the characters realize they're attracted to each other, but they're just not right for each other. It's realistic though, so what do I know? *g*

With the nature of "team-oriented" shows, I really don't want to see inter-team relationships, especially if they're shown in the light of "Twu Luv Shall Conquer All" and there's little if any consequences simply because it's the male and female leads and consequences would likely mean one or both leave the show.

I often ask myself a question I would love to ask certain TPTB when I see this setup, "If both leads were male and the supporting cast were male, would you insist on having an inter-team relationship? If not, why?" Because really, just because there's a girl doesn't mean she has to default to Love Interest.

What I don't mind seeing is team members in relationships with people outside the team. There's a close bond between team members, and I like to see exploration of how they balance that bond with the bond they have with their significant other, who probably feels a bit like they're on the outside looking in sometimes.

In the case of Supernatural, I'm thinking with the traveling nature of the show, the best they could do is a retro "girl of the week" type situation and nothing long-term. They have had that for both guys in a sense, but I just don't think their lives are ones that can be shared with someone outside of other hunters. And if they bring in a young, female hunter, the dreaded words "kick ass" show up in the casting call. Blech.
suzannemarie on September 3rd, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
Someone made a comment recently about never seeing a "failed date" in one of these scenarios. I think that would be great way out if TPTB intended for a couple to be together and it's just not working (for the general audience, because fandom is a different animal). Send them on a date and the characters realize they're attracted to each other, but they're just not right for each other. It's realistic though, so what do I know? *g*

One of many things that I loved so much about Freaks and Geeks was a story line where Sam finally attained the girl of his dreams. He'd admired her from afar, they'd always been friendly. One day, the stars lined up right and they started dating. And he discovered that he really didn't like her very much. I loved that! I wish we saw more of that kind of stuff on television--people getting what they think they want, and then learning that it's something else altogether that's right for them.
(no subject) - nialla42 on September 4th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on September 5th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on September 5th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on September 5th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Working for the Mandroid: brothers (winchester)moonshayde on September 5th, 2008 02:32 pm (UTC)
Could it be you enjoy non-canon pairings because canon pairings (often but not always) tend to seem forced?

One of my problems with say, Dean/Jo, is that it was an obvious set up of an LI for Dean. The moment they moved away from that, I liked Jo a lot better. She seemed more mature and if they had kept her that way, I could see maybe something workign between her and Dean for a long arc, whether it ended poorly or not.

Or maybe you enjoy the freedom in fandom to shape your own pairing if it's not canon on the show.
that which cannot be seen: dear ljtresa_cho on September 3rd, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
In which I ramble about SG-1 and Firefly....
Hurm. *cracks knuckles*

I ship, I suppose. I'll take SG-1 as an example, because it's my most active fandom right now. Jack and Daniel have something in the show, something that stretches beyond teamy goodness. Even gen-fic/friendship in the fandom can be read as slash or pre-slash, I've noticed. So the reason I go to fandom is mostly to see how their relationship developed and how they moved alongside canon in someone's personal fandom. Did that make sense? I love episode tags, I like fic that do a 'behind the scenes' cut, fic that can be fit into the episode seamlessly.

Now, Firefly... that is something completely different. I won't get in to much because I don't want to spoil it for you, but the canon pairings are so solid for me that I just can't break those ships like I would in, say, Rowling!verse. If I didn't like a pairing in Harry Potter, I would just go to the fandom and/or write my own fic with the 'right' couple. In Firefly, I can't do that. And it's not even like I agree with the pairings (no canon slash *tear*), I just cannot see the characters any other way than who they are with.

So I suppose I am in fandom to see what the relationship does to the characters. I cannot read any fic that isn't character-centered, and I can't read AU. It just loses my interest, because I love the different takes authors spin on their characters, as long as it is canon-compliant. I read to see the relationship as an extension of their already-existing canonical personalities. :D
Working for the Mandroid: Lurksmoonshayde on September 5th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
Re: In which I ramble about SG-1 and Firefly....
Talk all you want about Firefly. Can't spoil me. I watched the series when it originally aired and I've seen the movie ;)

I also can't read AU.

Incidentally, SG-1 is the only fandom Ive ever slashed for in the fandom. I am still gen for the show, though. That is why I find it fascinating that some people can have OTPs and have different behaviors for canon and for fandom/fanon.
6beforelunch on September 4th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)
I'm definitely a shipper, but, like you, I generally prefer that it stays at the low level UST stage in canon, mainly because I don't trust most PTB to write established romance well. With ships I really like, I'm what they used to call back in X-Files fandom a finishipper. I like the idea of getting some on screen resolution, but I want it at the very end, when I know the PTB can't go and screw it up. ;)

Like most people, it depends on the show. Shows I get into tend to be about plot first, romance second and I like it that way. If I wanted Desperate Housewives, I'd watch Desperate Housewives. But sometimes the romance just makes sense. I liked that we got resolved Riker/Troi in the movies. I liked that they threw the D/V shippers a heck of a bone in Unending. And the John/Aeryn on Farscape just made sense. But it all depends on how it's handled and whether or not the ship clicks for me.
Working for the Mandroid: Hatmoonshayde on September 5th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
I like the idea of getting some on screen resolution, but I want it at the very end, when I know the PTB can't go and screw it up. ;)

Maybe that is part of the hesitation for people more in the gen part of the spectrum? I don't trust writers. heck, I don't trust me as a writer. If we had consistently better written RST on TV, maybe my attitude would be different in some cases. Don't know.
Lierinalierina on September 4th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
I'm not a shipper at all.
If a pairing is actually part of a show - means: canon - I might "ship" it, yes (in "" because I just don't like the word "ship" and because I never would be fanatic about it). In a tv show or also in good romantic movies, for example (which I absolutely adore because I'm female and emotional and a sucker for happy endings with happy smiling people and couples). And I also enjoy if a tv show includes little hints or tension between characters (I'm talking about "real" hints, not these "hints" some fans see even though there aren't any).
However as for tv shows and their fandoms most people ship pairings that never were, never are and never will be part of the show. And I can't understand it. Each to their own, of course, but I do watch a show because I like the characters - as they are portrayed in the show -, or the plot, or the issues the show deals with. It doesn't make any sense to love a show and then to turn their characters, the relationships and plots upside down, does it? It's like people are not able to appreciate things in (fandom?) life or on TV apart from sexual relationships.

Sex and love ARE a part of life and therefore also a part of many tv shows and movies - but some people in fandoms turn EVERYTHING into a shipping thing and I can't relate to it.

character and plot first, romance second (...) that everything will fall into place if you're true to the characters and the plot
Very well said.

Edited at 2008-09-04 03:27 pm (UTC)
Nialla: Torchwood - Ianto Knows Everythingnialla42 on September 4th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
It doesn't make any sense to love a show and then to turn their characters, the relationships and plots upside down, does it? It's like people are not able to appreciate things in (fandom?) life or on TV apart from sexual relationships.

Actually, you'll find many who appreciate the show as is. Fandom interpretation is just a bonus, a way to explore the show in ways that can't be done on tv, even if it means taking the characters and plopping them into a different scenario.

Fandom interpretations don't always revolve around relationships and/or sex either. Even if it does involve those things, it can often be a "what if" scenario exploring the characters in ways that can't be done on screen (and no, not because of the ratings *g*).

Some of my favorite fanfic are about "tag scenes" which are basically just about what a fan felt was a missing scene from an episode, often dealing with emotional fallout. And who knows? With the way shows are edited, it's possible something along those lines was intended, but either never filmed or cut if it were. Emotional scenes are often cut in favor of keeping the more expensive action sequences.

If you think about it, fanfic (i.e. fan reinterpretation) has been around for a lot longer than most would expect. The various bardic stories about Robin Hood and King Arthur are part of that tradition. Many versions of the stories contradict each other, but it's because the story was told and retold with changes as it spread over the years, often picking up local flavor. Not much different than fanfic really, except fanfic can happen a lot faster.

You might want to read "Textual Poachers" by Jenkins to get a better idea about why fans "appropriate" text for their own purposes. It's very dated now (early 90s, before the Internet was as established), but is still used in a lot of media courses. The author is a media professor at MIT.

The only problem I ever have with perennial shippers is those who have their One True Ship, whether it's portrayed on the show in canon, hints or not really at all, and insist everyone else must see it that way. I'm more into the "whatever stirs your coffee" camp myself.
(no subject) - lierina on September 4th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nialla42 on September 4th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lierina on September 5th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on September 5th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
     Mandy: Classic JDa_phoenixdragon on September 4th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
I'm a shipper - though I love my gen!! I lean more towards slash though, so that makes me an odd shipper, lol!!

Working for the Mandroid: Spotlightmoonshayde on September 5th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
LOL Not an odd shipper. I know tons of slashers.

The only fandom I've slashed for is SG-1. It just clicked for that fandom somehow. I just love Jack and Daniel :)
(no subject) - a_phoenixdragon on September 5th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
mysticalweather: FF: (andric) Ship Canonmysticalweather on September 4th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
For me, it really does depend on the show. Then again, I differentiate shipping canon and shipping fanon.

Example: SG-1. My favorite pairing is Daniel/Janet. Why? I love their chemistry. It's subtle enough not to distract from the show, but the spark is always there. So then, I've read and written D/J fics for years. But even so, I recognize that canon-wise this pairing will never ever happen. And that's fine by me. I don't need canon on-screen RST to enjoy a dynamic between two characters.

Smallville is another good example. I love Clark/Lois. But since this is pre-Superman, my enjoyment of the show is not dependent on Clois happening. Clark/Lana went on forever too long, but for the most part I don't mind either of them exploring other relationships. I actually prefer the UST... the hints and the flashes of the future, despite the both of them fighting against it. Makes it more fun. :)

On the other hand, there's Farscape. I really enjoy John and Aeryn's relationship. Then again, their romance is so intregal to the characters and the story that it's hard to imagine a fan of the show who would dislike John/Aeryn. (There could be, I suppose...)

I think you got it right when you said character and plot first, romance second. I'm more than happy to play with whatever pairing strikes my fancy out in fandom...but as for canon I usually prefer UST and subtle romantic sparks.
Working for the Mandroid: Doomsday Cloismoonshayde on September 5th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
I think that is a good point how you say your enjoyment of the show doesn't depend on the shipping. I think that is where shipping canon and shipping fanon make a huge huge difference :)