I have watched Fringe from the beginning. Sometimes the science-fiction element begins to lose me. But I continued to watch because I like Joshua Jackson. And when it started to look like Olivia and Peter could be love interests, I totally rooted for it. Week after week, I found myself frustrated that the writers teased me, and kept them apart yet again.
I often find myself in this situation. I refer to it as the “Moonlighting Effect”. On Moonlighting, David and Maddie got together in the third season. In that case, it ended up pretty much killing the show. I feel like because of that instance, TV writers across the country are now afraid to ever get their male and female leads together. They are so afraid to lose viewers. Well, I am here to tell you, you will lose viewers if you continue to keep characters apart!
I am also rooting for the leads on Castle and Bones to get together. (On Bones, they finally have—thank God! But I feel totally cheated out of seeing their early relationship: post-sex to birth of baby. Anyone who has been in a relationship knows that the first six months or year together is the most fun and exciting.) I have felt SO passionate about this for years, with many shows. I never dreamed it had a name. Or a presence on the Internet. I just always thought I was being a silly romantic recovering TV addict.
Then in my Entertainment Weekly a few weeks ago, they had an article on “shippers”. I started reading it. I had no idea such a thing existed. I had no idea that I WAS ONE OF THEM!!! According to the article “Just Do It” (click here for a related article), the word shipper is “Derived from the word ‘relationship’, a fan who’s deeply invested in romance – or the possibility of romance – between two characters. Shipping runs the gamut between ‘just having fun’ [to] ‘scary-stalker serious’.” I learned from the article that hardcore shippers talk online about their passion, or even write fan-fiction about it. I don’t go that far. But for the right TV-potential-romance, I could. The only time I ever wrote fan-fiction was for the Fearless series of Young Adult books. (More on Fearless in a future post.)
The article mentioned all the shows I have mentioned above: Fringe, Moonlighting, Castle, Bones. Probably the audience for most of these series are drawn to the tangible “will they or won’t they” element because they lack enough romance in their real lives. Why make the audience suffer more? I can be a control freak. I totally should have become a TV writer like I dreamed, so that I could control all these characters and make them do what I want them to.
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