To whom it may concern

All aboard the mother ship

When I was in grade five, I wanted to be an FBI agent when I grew up. More specifically, I wanted to be Dana Scully.

She was my hero of heroes. Smart, witty, gorgeous, with the enviable talent of being able to chase down bad guys, or aliens, or fat sucking monsters wearing five inch high heels, traversing through the darkest parts, of the scariest nights, with nothing but the aid of an industrial strength flash light powered by what, if I had to wager a guess, was probably a car battery.

MONSTER.

The lady was not to be trifled with.

In my memory, The X-Files was the show to end all shows. Episodes varied on a scale from creepy to downright terrifying (with a few comedic gems thrown in to keep viewers on their toes); it had great writing and fab acting; the cast was chock-a-block full of beautiful people, and the main characters exuded enough sexual tension that it was all you could do not to shout out “JUST DO IT ALREADY!” at your TV.

(Full disclosure: I wasn’t doing that when I was eleven years old. That came after years of watching Mulder and Scully cast smouldering glances from a distance, and you know – puberty.)

Now the show is available on Netflix and I find myself watching old episodes. It’s funny, remembering how hugely invested I was in the lives of the characters, how freaked out I would be when I went to bed on those Sunday evenings, post-show, and how I desperately wanted Mulder and Scully to hook up.

Seriously. I really, really wanted them to get together. I desperately wanted them admit how much they loved each other, and, ahem, get it on.

In the parlance of our times, I “shipped” them, as a couple.

Dana + Fox 4EVA

Unsure of the definition of “shipping?” An excellent definition can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipping_%28fandom%29

I read a really hilarious article on the blog Jezebel about a week ago about television show “shippers” – and I found myself reminiscing about little old high school me – so content to pine away for the fictional love of two fictional people.

It’s a pretty common, not to mention wide-spread phenomenon; individuals ship pairings that range from the conventional, to the downright erm-we-should-probably-be-calling-the-men-in-the-white-coats-now-that-we’ve-crossed-this-line.

Different strokes for different folks and all that jazz I guess – but some of the crap out there is downright BIZARRE.

My first memory of shipping a couple is from the hilariously cheesy kids show Ghost Writer that aired on the Knowledge Network (here in Canada) from 1992-1995.

The plot revolved around a close-knit group of friends that lived in Brooklyn, NY. These young detectives solved crimes with the help of an invisible ghost that would give them clues by re-arranging letters on posters, or notebooks, or menus (or whatever.) The premise was beyond hokey, which for us darned kids meant it was epic in the extreme.

Dana Scully may have made me want to become an FBI agent (crushing blow that it was to find out that there would be a snowball’s chance in hell, what with me being Canadian) but this show (along with Penny from Inspector Gadget, Nancy Drew, and Harriet the Spy) definitely planted the crime solving seed.

I’m also pretty sure  that the ridiculously chaste kiss shared between Alex and Tina was the first public display of affection I witnessed on the old boob tube, and I LOVED them as a couple.

LOVED. THEM.

After ye old implosion of quality X-Files programming post-fifth season (circa 1998 – coinciding with the series’ move to LA) I continued to watch for a while but eventually lost interest, in both the plot and the relationship between the two main characters.

For many moons I didn’t yearn for the development of a TV relationship. I didn’t watch much television for pretty much the next decade (M and I were on a pretty strict movie-only diet in terms of watching things on screens.)

I was ship-less and fancy free.

It wasn’t until a friend of M’s and I gave us the first three seasons of Battlestar Gallactica that it began again (and in earnest at that.)

P.S. Box sets are pretty much the greatest gift you could ever give to someone trying to finish their first semester as a grad student! (Between BSG and entirety of The Wire Mr. M ordered over Amazon, it’s a bloody miracle I finished all of my term papers, let alone made it to any of my classes.)

Anywho, the couple that I am about to admit to shipping (and shipping like a madwoman at that) always made (and still makes) me feel a little weird, or at least gives me pause.

Okay.

The slow-developed (and ultimately heartbreaking) relationship between William Adama and Laura Roslin nearly well did me in during the year or so I spent watching that show.

GOOD GRIEF. The love. THE LOVE!!!

I felt like I was going crazy at certain parts of the show’s run, what with how badly I wanted them to get married and live happily ever after. (A lot of this probably had to do with the fact that I couldn’t stand the majority of the characters on the show, wasn’t all that connected to the plot line, and didn’t really care whether or not the cylons wiped out the entirety of the human race, and crowned Lucy Lawless the Warrior Queen of the galaxy.)

I watched the show, because I really, really loved the connection between the Admiral and the President. And I also wanted them to, ahem, get it on.

(I’m not a pervert I swear.)

Plus I have this weird thing for Edward James Olmos, despite the fact that he’s about six hundred and ninety two.  (Still not a pervert, I promise you.)

He’s just got such an awesome voice.

Right.

Moving on.

Currently, the couple that puts a giant, stupid smile on my face is Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation. This is (in my opinion) the best show on TV at the moment, and these two characters are both bloody hilarious, but also honest, sincere, and adorable in terms of their love for, and commitment to one another.

Love it.

Love love.

Also, TREAT YO SELF.

Skinamarinky, dinky, dink, skinamarinky doo -

So why do we ship? Why do I ship? I think it depends on what was going on with me during that time of my life when I found myself attracted to the (thought of) these relationships.

I think a part of it stems from something – whether it is a characteristic, or a situation – that I identify with; something about the relationship is representative of me, or my relationships, in some way: be it something I yearn for, have, take strength from, or heck, maybe even shy away from.

So what about you, my lovely readers?

Are there any couples that you love, or that you tear your hair out wishing they would get together?

And if you do, what is it about that relationship that speaks to you?

Besides of course, watching them, ahem, get it on.

11 thoughts on “All aboard the mother ship

  1. This is hilarious! I laughed so many times reading your self-incriminating comments! Yes, I’m with you on the X-Files thing. And so happy that you’re a fellow Parks and Rec fan! I’m going to have to email you the best Valentine’s Day card EVER. Awesome post!

    1. Best. Valentine’s. Card. Ever.

      Haha, I’m glad that I made you laugh! Some of this stuff is definitely embarrassing, but ah well. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, right?

  2. I did the same thing with Ghost Writer!! LOE THAT SHOW TO BITS AND PIECES!

    Ehem. Anyway.

    I ship a lot. really. I need to stop watching TV.

    But one couple in particular was Lorelei and Luke (was that his name? I have a terrible memory) from Gilmore Girls. Why couldn’t they just work it out?!?! Haha

    1. OMG your comment totally made me laugh. And so glad you remember Ghost Writer! It’s was pretty class back in the day.

      Oh Gilmore Girls – you speed talking ladies you! Did Luke and Lorelei ever get together in the end?

  3. I think watching a budding relationship develop is what gets me. Comparing my own experiences and reminiscing about it. Because now that I’m an old married, the one downside is not having that same progression and those same butterflies. Not having those sleepless nights and those awkward moments though is a major plus haha. But any serious relationship grows and with that comfort you shed the self-doubt – which plays highly into not being sure if the feelings are reciprocal. So I’m more than happy to be past it but I think it’s a bit of vicarious living to watch it unfold on TV – best part is not getting hurt!

    My favorite has to be the Jim and Pam saga (I’m a long-time Office fan) – oh man that Casino Night episode where he tells her he has feelings for her still makes me tear up in its sweetness. And on the booze cruise and in the office – the moments where they almost connect but don’t – geez! Another awesome couple I totally shipped was Landry and Tyra on Friday Night Lights (was there ever a more real-feeling show??? Okay a little dramatic at times but what life isn’t?). So it did kind of break my heart that they didn’t end up together… but Tim’s a pretty good next in line. haha.

    I had never heard of shipping before your post but it’s apparently been in my life for a long time! haha.

    I can still hear that Ghostwriter theme in my head! That show was so great!

    Love that TREAT YO SELF episode of Parks and Rec by the way. Then Ben gets a Batman suit… classic.

    1. Okay, you’ve convinced me to start watching Friday Night Lights. I’ve heard so many good things about it for so long, that its going to have to happen.

      I think your analysis of why slow-building on screen relationship are so popular is spot on. SPOT ON. I you may have unlocked an excellent thesis topic there.

      Also, that Parks and Rec episode nearly destroyed me the first time I watched it. The batman suit is too good. TREAT YO SELF!

  4. OMG! Finally, someone else who understands the awesomeness that is Edward James Olmos! That’s a relief, ‘cos frankly, I was beginning to wonder about my taste in men. I love Sean Connery, and Rutger Hauer, and Alan Rickman, and EJO, and, well, loads of slightly craggy guys of various ages. Not usually the pretty boys. I’ve loved EJO since ‘Blade Runner’. Oh, and Harrison Ford, yeah, he belongs on this list…
    Not that any of this addresses the question you actually asks, but it needed to be said.

    1. Lol. LOVE it! It may not have addressed my questions, but I am glad that it was said :) I like Alan Rickman too, very much. But I have pretty eclectic taste in dudes. It’s all over the map really, but hey, I’m a pretty eclectic gal.

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