The Shippers: Television's Most Romance-Obsessed Fans

Illustration for article titled The Shippers: Television's Most Romance-Obsessed Fans

Pete and Olivia on Fringe. Jack and Liz on 30 Rock. Booth and Bones on Bones. Beckett and Castle, Scully and Mulder, Buffy and Angel, Xena and Gabrielle. To kiss or not to kiss, that is the question. Sometimes a TV series stirs not only the imagination, but the heart… and the loins. The new issue of Entertainment Weekly features a cover story about the sexy love triangle on The Vampire Diaries, as well as a supplemental essay, "Just Do It," in which Jeff Jensen discusses the culture of "shippers," fans who are deeply invested in the romantic relationship between fictional characters. Jensen seems to think that all shippers really want is to see their favorite couples be together. But is this true? Do we actually want our One True Pairings to be together? Or is the longing the best part?

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Jensen taks to Bones producer Hart Hanson, who says, "If I had listened to the shippers, Bones and Booth would have gotten together at the end of season I." Jensen writes:

Somewhere, shippers are asking, And that would be a problem why?

But this sentiment doesn't ring true: A shipper enjoys the longing. A slow burn heightens feelings; a gradual, steady build makes the heart flutter; hands brushing against each other send electric charges; casual glances become smoldering gazes. Foreplay makes your sensitive parts even more sensitive. And if two characters do kiss after two and a half seasons, it's squeal-inducingly exciting because you've waited so long, but you wouldn't want them move too quickly: Once you open the present, Christmas is over.

Illustration for article titled The Shippers: Television's Most Romance-Obsessed Fans
Illustration for article titled The Shippers: Television's Most Romance-Obsessed Fans

Plus, shippers like to fantasize about stuff that will never happen: same-sex sex, incest, and yes, same-sex incest. In a harsh, cruel world, you can't always get what you want. But like Blondie sings, dreaming is free.

This Week's Cover: 'The Vampire Diaries' stars talk about the red-hot Damon-Elena-Stefan triangle [EW]
Slashy incest pix viaa h0tcelebs.

DISCUSSION

stoprobbers
stoprobbers

Oi! If a show is written well enough, 'shipping (and there's supposed to be an apostrophe there, I think, as it's an abbreviation of a word) becomes inevitable. Why do you think Mulder/Scully happened at all?

Listen, it's because the shows are so well written that I am overly invested in the happiness of Mulder and Scully, or Buffy and Angel, or the Doctor and Rose, or Rory and Amy, or Peter and Olivia (and the revenge revenge REVENGE for that mess with Fauxlivia), or Troy and Annie, or Jeff and Annie (I KNOW THERE'S A CONFLICT IT WORKS IN MY MIND), or Jess and Nick, or Robin and Barney, or Sawyer and Juliet, or Sun and Jin, or Zoe and Wash, or Mal and Inara, or Simon and Kaylee... aaaaaand I'm just going to go stand in the corner now.