CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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No, "Castle" -- You Didn't Get It Right About Shipping

I probably wouldn't have to explain SHIPPING to most of the people who read this, as many of you are quite active in one fandom or another. Marilyn and I have been shipping characters on TV and in the movies since the 1960's (though it wasn't called that back then, I admit). And when you come down to it, probably most people ship when they watch a TV show or view a movie -- even if they wouldn't realize it when hearing the term. (smile)

It comes from relationship (though there are those who also say it's derived from worship), so it's probably NOT that hard to figure out the meaning. When you see a show and you like a given pairing, you are 'shipping' these two people. In many cases this couple/pair won't be together in canon (canon means the plot as expressed on screen -- it 'really happened' on the TV show or in the movie), but people WISH they could or would be.

Some ships are slash (meaning two men together or two women together) -- even when there's no outright indication that a pair might be homosexual or bisexual. A lot of people have shipped Kirk and Spock from "Star Trek," for example, since the series first aired in the 60's. This was written as Kirk/Spock (or K/S) -- and that's where the slash comes from...

Why am I going into this? As I said, many of you already KNOW the above info! I'm mainly trying to explain it for those who may not (or simply DO NOT) know.

And I was watching an episode of "Castle" on late night TV and it had the characters discussing shipping. Of course, they were WRONG when they defined it! And don't have your so-called 'expert' try to sound like they know all about something when they're completely off base, please!

And, yeah, they were making fun of fans and fandom to some degree -- which I'm sure is no surprise to those of you who are active in fandom. We've been made fun of forever! I remember being at a convention and speaking with a radio interviewer about fandom. I said that really EVERYONE was a fan of something. Sports fans abound, for example, though they might not think of themselves as a part of an organized fandom.

I'm not suggesting we can't make fun of ourselves for the times we take our fandoms WAY TOO SERIOUSLY (grin) -- and we do, of course. And TV is fond of knocking their fans -- even though fans are often what gives them their ratings.

Happily, in a time where social media is rife, TV is now taking a close look at the opinions of fans. But in many cases, they're still out to do exactly the opposite of what fans would prefer they do. But I digress...

I was disappointed that "Castle" would get it wrong. In this case they were focusing on daytime TV soap operas, which have always been an easy target, obviously. I don't watch them, though there was a time years ago when I did. But I don't knock them: They've been a breeding ground for some really fine actors over the years, for one thing. And I'm not a snob: If you like soaps, more power to you. Entertainment is where we find it, after all.

"Castle" pokes fun at a lot of things, so I suppose they felt this was just another possibility. Sure, that's true enough. But a lot of TV shows have jumped on the trash fandom band wagon over the years, so why go there?

Shipping seems NATURAL to me. If you love something and enjoy the characters, why wouldn't you want to imagine those characters ending up with one another? Yes, some ships are actually characters who ARE together in canon -- but I think the really passionate shippers are going for a ship that isn't confirmed -- at least, not at first glance (say, Luke and Leia of "Star Wars" [corrected!] -- before people knew they were brother and sister!) And there's something SAD about long-standing ships that get blown out of the water. I remember websites dedicated to shipping Harry Potter with Hermione Granger -- and how disappointed they were when Harry and Hermione went off in different directions.

Marilyn always said that canon didn't matter: If you want to ship someone, go ahead and do it! It's FICTION, after all: So you can imagine you're own pairing and enjoy it as much as you want. Which reminds me of my mother telling me a story...

She read a book and really hated the ending. She told that to a teacher who responded by telling her, "If you don't like the way it ended, then write your own ending." That made an impression on Mom -- clearly, which is why she told me! (I recall that she shared at some point when I told her I didn't care for the way a book had ended... smile...)

This wasn't supposed to be an essay on shipping. I just didn't like having a show screw it up so much when they talked about it. All they'd have to do is google it to find out what it means, after all... Maybe some writer really thought they already knew...

Ships are a big part of the FUN of being involved in various fandoms. As for me, I'm sure I'll be happily shipping characters 'til the day I die. (And I doubt many of my ships will ever be confirmed as canon!)

How about you guys? Do you have any ships that mean a lot to you (or have meant a lot to you in the past)???

And then there's OTP (which stands for: One True Pairing or Pair). This is very serious shipping, because it means someone is wild about two specific people shipped with each other -- and they don't want to even consider any other ship.

Personally, I like seeing lots of ships of a given character with many other characters. I'm not fickle, exactly, but I love exploring the possibilities! What would happen if Harry Potter ended up with Hermione instead of Ginny? Or he ended up with Draco Malfoy or Ron Weasley? Think of that! Canon is canon, but ships are dreams and wishes and FUN!

Time for BED!

Tags: 2014, april-2014, castle-series, kirk-spock, otp, shippers, shipping, ships, slash, soap-operas, star-trek, star-wars, tv

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