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"Since Angel lost his soul, he's regained his sense of whimsy."
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February 12 2016

Who do you 'ship? AV Club writers detail the characters they wish would get together/stay together in their favorite TV series.

On Whedon shows...

On Firefly I totally shipped Mal and Inara.

On Buffy I liked Buffy because of who she was and though I never had a problem with Angel, Riley or Spike, I never shipped them. I didn't mind it if she was with someone but I never felt she was meant to be with someone. I always thought that even if she wasn't with someone, she was always going to be okay.

On SHIELD, I initially liked to see Fitz and Skye together because I think the actors have great chemistry, but the writers did a good job with Fitz / Simmons in the second season and now I'm okay with that. Still, I always wondered how a Fitz / Daisy relationship would be like.
OMG, the article has one person shipping Bono to Edge. That was unexpected. And sort of painful.

I'm a huge U2 fan so painful in a "my eyes my eyes" kind of way. And their last tour was AMAZING! Best in years.

Agree with Buffy/Spike for the Whedony pertinent material.
On Buffy: Xander/Willow, Giles/Jenny. Both died horribly (but in different ways). Buffy 'ships never interested me; I thought her friendships and her attitude toward her calling were better windows to her character.

Angel: Wes/Lilah. Only AtS 'ship that clicked (IMO). OTOH, I didn't think Angel and Cordelia had a drop of romantic chemistry.

Firefly: Mal/Inara, definitely. They so pretty...
The only couple I ship is Buffy/Angel.Never shipped before and never will ship again.I find I enjoy my media better when I don't ship.
Someone has to mention Wesley/Fred, so here I am.
Wes/Fred Fred/Wes
When each character gets to die in the other's arms
at different times and different places, and yet it is totally self consistent and reasonable. How do you ever top that?

(oh yeah, Willow/Tara)
Man, I shipped Spike with nearly everyone. Topped the list was Spike/Buffy, Spike/Angel and Spike/Xander.

I still expect Willow/Oz to happen one day- *holds on to hope* "old and blue-haired ... turn the corner in Istanbul, and there ..."

Garak/Bashir! YES. So much lost potential. ......... sorry, got lost in Google images for a minute there.
All right, give me my TothStick, so I can divide her into
Good Willow and Gooder Willow and then have
Willow/Tara and Willow/Oz.

Or Willow/Tara/Willow/Oz.
My, it's getting warm in here.

(Willow/Dream Willow/Dark Willow/Vamp Willow)? Stop.
I hate 'shippers and the act of 'shipping, it is one of the main reasons that general quality of TV has gone downhill. Its not all about love and relationships ! And not everybody ends up with someone ! People watching NCIS because they are 'shipping DiNozzo/Ziva and care very little about the actual cases ? Or only watching Doctor Who because thy want to see Amy and The Doctor together ? Or only liking The Big Bang Theory because its all couples now ? Seriously ? Some people are seriously missing the point of what they are watching and should go back to daytime soaps.
Or only liking The Big Bang Theory because its all couples now ?

Well, I watch TBBT for the loop quantum gravity jokes on Sheldon's whiteboard, is that OK, or do I need to get a permission slip?
I think the only couple I ever really shipped was Coach and Tami Taylor.
I've always beena 'shipper- when I was watching Peyton Place I wanted Betty to get back with Steven Cord and bounce Rodney Harrington out of the valley. (recently read Wikipedia about eh TV-movie Return to Peyton Place and they did the equivalent by bumping off Rodney.)
By the time I saw Serenity/Firefly I was over it, thanks to what had happened on BtVS & Angel, although I got into the Sierra-Victor thing on Dollhouse, to the extent I plan to add 2002 versions of them if I ever get back to my Ice Age Buffy fics.
In the Buffyverse, I was strong on Willow-Tara, Xander-Anya, and Wes/Fred. Largely because of where I was in my own life when S-5/2 aired in '01, and I latched onto them to make myself feel better, which Joss had no obligation to do for me. Willow-Tara is the only 'ship I've kept in all three or four of my ficverses, although in Ice Age Buffy ten years apart will slow down any reunion.
For the most part, I think 'shippiness is harmless, and can, in fact, create interest in a series when it's trying to get its footing. BtVS might not have made it to Season 2 without the B/A 'shippers. Taking joy in the connection between two people is natural and human, and a part of the human drama that's designed to draw in viewers.

My problem with 'shipping isn't with the fans, it's with the show runners. There are times when a creator just loses focus and forgets the other themes of the show to follow the 'ship--and that way lies madness.
In terms of Whedon 'ships, all of them end up being disastrous, which may indicate an inability to tell compelling relationship stories, but since the shows are not shows about romantic relationships, I'm glad that they each end in some tragic way. Nearly all those stories are moving in one way or another.
Angel and Buffy are horror series, so it figures that the relationships would end in disaster. (The fact that Willow/Kennedy and Faith/Wood worked out doesn't necessarily refute my point.)

Simon and Kaylee worked out on Firefly, though. And Mal and Inara still had that spark. And Zoe and Wash were... oh. Never mind.
I always loved Willow/Oz and Willow/Tara about equally, but always wanted Willow/Spike call me crazy. Heard there was a possibility of that happening before they went with Willow/Tara, which makes sense as they were trying to fogure out how Spike fit about the same time Tara was introduced. I think that could have actually gone great, would have loved to see the chip storyline thrown out and Spike reluctantly behaving and joining the scoobies for Willow's sake. But I'm a nut and it probably would've been wierd. Also the Kaylee/Mal big brother/little sister relationship was better than any ship I could come up with for Firefly :)
I don't need a ship to enjoy a show.

That being said, I ship often, and I ship hard.

When a show has done a good job of making me feel attached to the characters, I want the characters happy. If, for those characters, the writers have decided that includes being with a specific person? Okay, then! I'm on board. I'm not any less into a show just because my faves want to stay single or want to date casually.

I don't tend to get anything out of destructive relationships or ones I know will end in heartbreak, so I've never been as hardcore a shipper in the Whedonverse because that way lies danger.
Simon and Kaylee worked out on Firefly, though. And Mal and Inara still had that spark. And Zoe and Wash were... oh. Never mind.

Hey, let's not forget Jayne and Vera.
It would be unfair to discriminate against the differently holstered.
My favorite ship? Mal/Serenity.

I don't mind relationships on shows, if done well. But shipping wars? Oh jeebus.
I ship Adelle Dewitt and vodka. Angel and Cordelia just wreak havoc on my feels every time I watch.

It always creeps me out when people ship Spuffy. Whatever excuses that can be mustered for him, at the end of the day, Spike straight up tried to rape Buffy. That will never be okay with me. I have been pointing out the similar case of Chuck Bass to fans of Gossip Girl since that show premiered. (He's narrowly thwarted from raping Taylor Momsen's character in the pilot.) Beyond gross what audiences will buy into once you make someone a towering romantic hero...
One that always impressed me was Sawyer/Juliet from Lost. We had about 4 seasons of love triangle from Jack/Kate/Sawyer and a brief Jack/Juliet interaction. But starting in S5 Jack & Kate were gone and Sawyer/Juliet sort of fell into leadership roles for the ones left behind. Then they just skip ahead 3 years into a fully established couple, with a stability almost no other pairing on the show had. All the more impressive because Josh Holloway and Elizabeth Mitchell freaked on the writers, thinking they'd have no chemistry together on screen, but it took 1 episode for most of the fandom to love them, and they won an official fan poll of all the couples.
My shipping preference has usually been FedEx. UPS never leaves the door tag in the right place.
Reading about Angel and Cordy made my head tilt.

I always liked them more as surrogate family/BFFs than as a romantic pairing. I thought it would be healthy for a former whoring womanizer and status dater to have a relationship with the opposite sex that didn't involve sex. That they both could use the lesson that a guy doesn't need romance to be close to a girl and vice versa.

Which is why I love Cordy and Angel as surrogate brother and sister/BFFs, but throw romance into it and it got stagnate really quickly.

However, I would love the comics to end with a Angel/Buffy/Spike menge a trois. Then I can have my cake and eat it too. What can I say? I like Bangel, Spuffy, and Spangel.
I ship Adelle Dewitt and vodka.

So does she.
They obviously aren't following the comics then as Spuffy is a-happening. :D

I get it when people don't 'ship' Buffy with either vamp because they *both* had such violent pasts, murder/rape/torture etc, but I don't get when people judge them differently. The verse gives distinction with a soul and that should apply for Angel, for Spike, for Anya. Of course a soul is not a guarantee, see Warren, Faith, AtS S2 etc., but there should be equivalency. I think the attempted rape was important as it needed something big for Spike to feel he needed to change himself, he thought he could walk the line but the demon was still unrestricted in a way the soul changes. Spuffy are a great couple imo.
Oh boy. Erik started his write-up about Spuffy so well*, and then it went down. I'm sorry, but season 6 was awesome, and the bold and risky treatment of Buffy's and Spike's relationship was a big part of that. Even if you think it was best to leave their relationship unconsummated in-universe (even though that would have probably meant Spike never got his soul back...), it certainly wasn't best for BtVS as a fictional work! And his summary isn't even accurate - there was no cheating in the Spuffy relationship. Spike had sex with Anya after Buffy had ended their relationship (and as a comfort for that breakup).

I'm also in the minority that finds Angel's relationship with Darla - destructive and doomed as it was - by far the most interesting and deepest of his romantic relationships.

* I loved what he said about the "Hepburn/Tracy spark" in their interactions. Yes. I love all pairings that have that Hepburn/Tracy spark. Although I love quite a few pairings that can't exactly be described in those terms, because the interactions aren't as verbose and funny and witty, but also include equals who challenge each other and have a little bit of love/hate going on (but really more love than hate). Though it probably should be called Beatrice/Benedick spark - they were (probably) the original Hepburn/Tracy!

I've shipped a lot of pairings in lots of fiction, there's no way I could list of them here. Although the definition of "shipping" is... flexible. It doesn't always necessarily mean "wanting the couple to hook up and live happily ever after". Sometimes, indeed, you don't really want them to, don't believe it's possible, or are torn about whether you want it to/whether it's possible, but it's still the most intriguing relationship you enjoyed following the most, more than the more obvious ones that are more likely to succeed.

@Elf: "I always liked them more as surrogate family/BFFs than as a romantic pairing. I thought it would be healthy for a former whoring womanizer and status dater to have a relationship with the opposite sex that didn't involve sex"

I'm a bit confused - Cordelia was a status dater in HS, other than with Xander, but when was Angel a "whoring womanizer"? Though I agree with the overall sentiment, but I would say it applies better to Angel/Faith (with Faith as a... manizer?)

@Stoney: "I get it when people don't 'ship' Buffy with either vamp because they *both* had such violent pasts, murder/rape/torture etc, but I don't get when people judge them differently"
Exactly! It doesn't make sense. If you're going to list the reasons why Spuffy was bad, then the reasons why Bangel was bad aren't just "he was boring". They actually include stalking, terrorizing, emotional abuse, and murder, torture and abuse of a lot of people, including those close to Buffy.

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2016-02-14 19:44 ]

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2016-02-14 19:58 ]
@marvelknight616: Do you have any problems with people shipping Buffy with Angel, seeing that he straight up terrorized her for months, emotionally abused her, terrorized and threatened her friends and family, tried to kill her, murdered a bunch of other people in order to emotionally torture her, tortured her father figure/mentor physically and emotionally, and tried to destroy the world? And that's without getting into the comics.
@Bad Karma, @Nebula1400: Shipping a pairing does not necessarily mean you 1) want them to end up together and live happily ever after, 2) even want them in a classic romantic relationship, 3) think there's any chance they will do one or both of the above. Sometimes you just find a relationship intriguing and compelling, enjoy watching them together and want to see more of them (or read more about them). Sometimes you enjoy the angst of it and love it for that exact reasons. Sometimes you enjoy the suppressed feelings and subtle sexual tension in a platonic relationship, and the utmost you want is for that subtext to be acknowledged. Sometimes you're happy that your ship will never become romantic, or that it will never end up as a happy couple, because being platonic is what makes it interesting, or being doomed and dysfunctional is what makes it interesting. Sometimes we're just bored by the obvious "endgame couples" that TV shows throw at us.
This is what happens when you decided to have a real life for a couple of days. Yeah so 2003 called and wants its shipping wars back. So if we can all stop taking pot shots at each others shipping preferences that would be peachy. As the "gross" and "but what about" comments is a fandom reboot I'd rather not see.

And besides this seems to be a relatively golden age of shipping in television. It seems nicer than back in the day.
I was amused by the number of commenters on the article who weren't familiar with the term "ship".
My 'ships are so outrageous that I never get into shipping wars. People just look at me askance and move slowly away. (Leo Fitz and Cisco Ramon, anyone? Fitsco? Anyone? ANYONE?!)
"It seems nicer than back in the day."

Oh, you haven't set foot in The Blacklist fandom...
I don't watch The Blacklist, but the Caryl vs Bethyl ship wars in The Walking Dead fandom used to get pretty bad (I never had a horse in the race, and I have had trouble caring about anything on TWD anyway). On various websites, there's been a lot of anger and arguments surrounding the SkyWard shipping on Agents of SHIELD. Moving away from TV, the arguments over Star Wars shipping also get pretty bad, and shipping wars and mutual ship shaming can get really bad in the A Song of Ice and Fire fandom. (It doesn't help that there are plenty of people who mix up the books with the show, and show skewed, changed and/or misrepresented many of these characters and relationships.) There was a post on Tumblr recently that was all about how it's OK to disapprove of a ship or dislike it and give reasons, but not to insult shippers themselves, and it was apparently caused by a case of a big Jaime/Cersei shipper calling Jaime/Brienne shippers sad or sick or something (which is amazingly ironic).

In short, I don't know where the idea that shipping climate these days is nicer comes from.
My shipping preference has usually been FedEx.

Oh come ON. He's got "Ex" right there in his name. Damaged goods, man...damaged goods.

In short, I don't know where the idea that shipping climate these days is nicer comes from.

Shipping doesn't seem to be niche anymore, it's mainstream. You will always get fans who like to tear each other apart over couples but these days the media and more and more showrunners and writers seem to be treating shippers with a lot more respect.
Agreed. Social media and fanfic have made it a lot easier for shippers to find each other and become loud voices. A showrunner today has to be more careful to avoid pandering to the shippers but also cannot totally ignore them lest they face an internet mob and possibly bad press which looks bad on them and in more extreme cases, the entire cast/crew/fandom.

That's not to say all shipping is aggressive, but again social media brings that out quicker then back in the day.
Yoink, but Ex has moved on, it's right there in the name. And isn't shipping supposed to move stuff? :)
I was wondering if Ship shaming was a thing when I was reading these posts and then BAM! Travelling time bunny confirmed it. :)

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