Anyone who has ventured far enough into the Intertubes in pursuit of more information on a favourite show or book, or perhaps companionship on the subject, will have stumbled into the glorious and bizarre world of shipping (that is, for those giving their computer screens blank stares right now, the mental pairing up of characters within the show in a romantic context). They will also have discovered a universal rule: everything is shippable.
Yes, children, everything in this series is shippable! Even I’m shippable, but that is called self-insert and is frowned on in many circles.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory jokes aside, you shall discover that it’s actually quite true. If any characters appear within the same screen space for more than a few seconds (and sometime if they don’t!) there will be someone somewhere who wants to see them end up together. And this includes (shock and horror!!!) those of the same gender. Continue reading
Vampires, werewolves, ghosts! You’ve seen it all a million and one times before. And Toby Whithouse knows this, and how to make it work.
Being Human offers virtually no explanation of the supernatural creatures it stars and deals with, because it knows that we’ve seen it all before. I was surprised, watching it, that the first episode introduces the characters and explains who is what in a very brief opening segment and then launches straight into the story. No explanation of how werewolves work, or vampire lore, or ghost physics, because it’s so ingrained in our popular culture that it’s assumed knowledge.
Now, what if we put them all together into one house in Bristol? It’s like a roommate dom-com but with one of the buds howling at the moon every month, one fighting his addiction to blood and one trying to figure out what her unfinished business is and making lots of tea that she can’t drink. Continue reading
Humans have a deep-set desire to watch people fall in love but a pathological upchuck reaction to watching couples. Thus, fictional love stories must traverse the middle ground for want of avoiding projectile fan-splurk and negative energy that could unbalance the universe, and this is where we find the ship tease.
For the uninitiated, “ship” is (supposedly) short for “relationship” and has become a verb of its own. To ship a pair of characters is to want to see them get together (the nature of this is not crucial; whether they are settling down to adorable domesticity or engaging in casual angry copulation is up to the individual).
In almost every piece of fiction you will find some semblance of a love story. There are whole genres for romance of course, be they comic or tragic, but it seeps into every genre and medium. Basically, we’re in love with love. I’m sure there are countless psychological papers laying out reasons for this. Maybe we want to instil hope in the world and receive warm fuzzies. Maybe we want to imagine that one half of the couple is us. Maybe we just like excuses to gush at our TV screens/books as we cry into our cats about how truly alone we are. Continue reading
Note: I would like to credit this comment from Tumblr user spastasmagoria as the inspiration for this ramble, state that I mean no disrespect to anyone who actually enjoys these shows and these character types, and apologise because by the end of this ‘quirky’ will no longer look like a real word.
Oh look, who’s that over there, looking adorably awkward with glasses on her nose and the out-there clothing? Oh, she’s a fictional heroine! One of those new, more approachable ones!
What a funny, peculiar girl! It’s so good that writers are straying away from the notion that love interests and heroines have to be shallow and perfect and normal! The Quirky Girl likes nerdy things, is imperfect in appearance, socially awkward, and not afraid to be a tomboy. How refreshing!
Except it isn’t. It’s the same tonic in a different, more colourful bottle. A problem with the Quirky Girl archetype (read: every Zooey Deschanel character ever) is that she is often written as a way of making a character approachable and likeable to the female audience, reassuring them that it’s okay to like non-mainstream things and be a bit eccentric and dress the way you want, and to ~be yourself~. In fact, doing all the things that would usually make you deemed weird will make you seem cute, and some boy out there is just dying for you to come along and liven up his life with your adorable weirdness!
And here we run into a problem. Continue reading
I found this really great fanfic… it’s like a modern AU of Sherlock Holmes? And it’s on TV. And it’s amazing.
As someone mystified by the Holmesian universe but never quite in possession of the mental energy it takes to chew through the stories, Sherlock seemed to be sent from Fiction Heaven itself (though the nature of its creators, Mark Gattiss and Steven Moffatt, also known for tormenting avid watchers of Doctor Who, would be argued by some fans to be less than angelic).
The richness of the original is there and the characters that so many people have known and loved over the century are as fascinating and delicious as they have always been, with the modern day setting only a light, satisfying tang over the top.