That ship has sailed! Fans of TV romantic pairings are quite familiar with the term “ship” for reasons that differ greatly from what may be your understanding of the word. They champion a certain pairing, send letters, start campaigns, and write post after post after post in “support” of the fictional coupling that moved them more than others.
While I acknowledge there are certain fictional couples that I root for more than others, I don’t get as passionately involved (pun intended) as my fellow “shippers.” I sit back, watch the show, read the fan postings and either roll my eyes or chuckle at some of the absurd remarks. I’ve spent many years observing, and sometimes partaking in, the entertainment “shipping” industry. From all my years of observation, I’ve come to the conclusion that “shippers” fall into three categories: Smooth Sailing, Bumpy Ride, or Lost at Sea.
- SMOOTH SAILING: You know they’re going to pair up one character with another. You know it’s coming! It makes perfect sense from a story purpose and character development. It’ll add intrigue, conflict, and perhaps set the pairing on a journey all their own. You enjoy the characters on an individual level but when they are in a scene together, the chemistry is palpable. You may follow a website dedicated to the pairing or comment to a blog when the writer is blatantly disrespectful, but you wouldn’t take the time or effort to bombard head writers or actors with postcards, gifts, or letters.
- BUMPY RIDE: Hold on tight now, because you’re in for quite a ride when your favorite TV pairing hits a story pothole. “They broke them up?! Noooooo!!!!!” Okay, I’ll admit it; I’ve uttered those very words a few times. But that’s only because the Powers-That-Be were wrong. Sarcasm aside, passengers on the “Bumpy Ride” ship hold on for dear life while forging friendships with others dealing with the same ups and downs of the journey. They are passionate, determined, but never prone to cruelty just to make their point.
- LOST AT SEA: Some “shippers” have left port and are so far out to sea that they’re on their own deserted island. They’ve lost the know-how of communicating with others. They are always right. Their wants and needs supersede anyone else’s. So, if they believe that the TV couple they “love” is getting the shaft, they come out claws sharpened and tongues wagging. They slash at you, pounce on you, and couldn’t care less if they stepped over you just to achieve the goal they deem to be of more value than yours. They use insults, hurl accusations, and misquote everyone associated with the show if that will prove their point. They twist words and write with tunnel vision. They are so far out to sea that they wouldn’t see the buoy if it was floating right in front of them.
Whether you are, or know someone who is, part of the 3 “shipping” groups, don’t worry…there’s plenty of others out there who are on the same boat!