Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Sick of the shipping or "burst the URST already"

As a writer and a TV watcher, I am extremely ambivalent about 'ships. Human relationships are a very natural thing to write about and when ships are done well they can keep people tuning in week after least until they get sick of the soap opera.

But after watching some episodes of Castle (allowed to be mentioned in this blog because it stars sci fi/fantasy god Nathan Fillion - have I noted lately that they cancelled Firefly?) I declare myself officially over ships for ships sake. If, 20 years later, they're still comparing shows to Moonlighting, something is very very wrong.

The problem of course is not ships per se. The problem is that writers don't seem able to write good, believable, romantic relationships. Anyone who watched the painful decline of Lois and Clark after the writers decided that a romantic relationship meant their new combined IQs must be half their individual pre-relationship ones will know the awful truth that TV writers are unwilling or unable to write relationships. So we get the same tired old device of initial dislike combined with sexual tension, relationship development, relationship reversal, relationship rebuliding and the tired old treadmill of "will-they-won't-they".

Clark Kent and Lana Lang should have met, dated and broken up like normal people instead of making us endure 7 seasons of whiny emo angst; Mulder and Scully should have just gotten together in Season 6; after three years together, Max and Liz should have just bloody consummated; and if Chuck and Sarah are not a couple in Season 3 I think that, combined with the Subway product placement, might just make me turn off for good.

Even worse is when writers push a ship just because a show should have one and now we're back to Castle. If your characters have no chemistry, you should acknowledge it and move on.

So, I've decided to help TV writers by compiling a list of of good, bad ships and will-they-won't-they's that should remain will nots. Have I got it right? Let me know. Kyle and Amanda have, you will note, made both the best and worst lists after consultation with the brains trust. And Press Gang should be nowhere near this blog but I don't care: Spike and Lynda were the best ship of my adolescence (and possibly my adulthood should I ever have the courage to admit it). Oh, and Bones is so wonderfully ridiculous it deserves to be on the fantasy list despite its genre.

Best Ship
Spike/Lynda (Press Gang)
Mulder/Scully (X Files)
Tom Paris/B'Elanna Torres (Voyager)
Sarah/Chuck (Chuck)
Kyle/Amanda (Kyle XY)
Buffy/Angel (Buffy)
Apollo/ Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica)
Sheridan/ Delenn (Babylon 5)
Max/Logan (Dark Angel)
Sookie Stackhouse/Bill Compton (True Blood)

Should remain/have remained friends
Booth/Brennan (Bones)
Max/Alec (Dark Angel)
Doctor/Rose (Doctor Who)

Worst ship
Gwen/Captain Jack (Torchwood)
Gwen/Owen (Torchwood)
Castle/Beckett (yawn) (Castle)
Seven/Chakhotay (Voyager)
Baltar and Six (Battlestar Galactica)
Kyle/Amanda (Kyle XY)
Clark Kent/Lois Lane (Smallville)
Lex Luthor/Lana Lang (Smallville)

How right/wrong am I? Who have I missed Have your say below.


Winchestnut said...

Nice summary. How did I miss the Chuck Poll? Oh that's right, there was no "I hate Chuck so much it makes me want to chuck" category. I feel its my duty to point out the statistical bias in your survey... And you forgot the Ghost and Mrs Muir - which because of the "ghost" aspect surely falls into the SciFI/fantasy genre as one of the more successful 'ships, particulary as he was a naval captn.

genfie said...

And in the "how many posts can Winchestnut work her hatred of Chuck into" is still at 100%. But you're still reading...Which reminds me, I feel a Chuck me Tuesdays post coming on...

Winchestnut said...


I Don't have a hatred of Chuck, I just dislike everything about it, it makes me angry when I watch it.

Okay, that's pretty much hatred I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Kyle and Amanda should NOT be in the BEST pile! She looks like she has down snydro

genfie said...

Down snydro me. Umm, must be a terrible affliction. Actually I think Amanda's problem is US TV's insistence on dental work but I actually think those two are dopeyly perfect for each other.

It was the Jessie ship in that show that annoyed me. Loved the character of Jessie but didn't believe for one moment that Kyle woke up one morning with feelings for her.