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A Little Shipping Discussion
eleventhimpala
I've had this on my mind ever since that shipping meme I did a while back, and I thought that I'd ask:

What are your favorite ships, and why do you like them so much? During the meme, people could only really answer this question in broad strokes, so here's the chance to really advertise your favorite pairings!

So, list your favorites and explain what is appealing to you about them. Have fun!

Extra Credit: If you can, is there a great clip (for visual mediums) or snippet (for books and the like) from the work that you can quote or link to that represents your chosen pairing?

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1. Jeff Winger and Annie Edison, Community.

Since most of you are from Milady_Milord (a shipping community for these two), I'm sure that you'll agree with me in liking this pairing. I wish that I was a good enough writer to properly explain what appeals to me about the Winger/Edison dynamic, but I'll try:

I guess what I like is that they're such total opposites (It's been used so often that it's become a cliche, the goody-good girl and the "bad" boy who's not really so bad) while also being so similar, particularly when it comes to ambition (The difference being, of course, that Annie is willing to work for her goals while Jeff wants to get by with the minimum amount of effort). Also, they're interactions with each other often bring out sides that are rarely seen. The sarcastic, smirking Jeff is surprisingly softer and nicer when around Annie. Likewise, Annie first started to loosen up around Jeff in season one, and, since then, has become a mature voice of reason that belies her young age.

If I have to choose a scene that perfectly represents why I support Jeff/Annie, it's the scene in "Urban Matrimony" where Annie convinces Jeff to look in his heart, where he sees Annie. Annie being a mature, supportive friend? Jeff revealing to the audience that he's a good, caring guy at heart? What more could I ask for?

A point of interest: I noticed the chemistry early on it season one, but I didn't start shipping them until the schmoopy "Look" in the episode "Romantic Expressionism".

*

2. Commander Shepard and Tali'Zorah nar Rayya, Mass Effect.   

I have a confession to make: I've never shipped anyone before I started shipping Jeff and Annie. The only thing that comes close is that I rooted for Jim and Pam on The Office, but only as a fan of the show and of the characters. I didn't ship them, per se. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I may have caught the shipping bug from all my time at Milady Milord.

I recently played the entire Mass Effect trilogy over a couple weeks and loved it. Mostly, I loved its epic sci-fi storyline, its richly detailed setting and likable characters. However, I quickly found myself sensing chemistry between the main character, Commander Shepard (who I played as a male*), and a supporting character, Tali.

The dynamic in the first game is clearly supposed to be big brother/little sister, but it didn't really work. Clearly, the creators must have gotten the memo, because Tali becomes a romantic possibility in the second game**, and in the third game as well.  

What I really like about Shepard/Tali is the development of the relationship. In the first game, it's strictly platonic with a hint of something more, mostly in the fact that Tali clearly has a crush on Shepard. In the second game, the romance begins, and it's really sweet and awkward. By the third game, it's more, for lack of a better word, mature, with a bit of added drama to shake things up. They actually sort of remind me of Jeff (if he was a space marine) and Annie (if she was an alien), but I don't know why, since, other than the age difference, they really don't have that much in common. 

*You can customize Shepard's appearance, even choosing the gender.
**What is really nice about the series is that almost every pairing is possible when it comes to the main character, so the player can pair him/her with whoever they want, affecting the story, and almost every shipper has the chance to be placated. Wouldn't it be great if you could do that with TV? 
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That's it, but I won't be surprised if another pairing catches my eye someday. Here's two videos that I like for each pairing:

1. I love this video. It's probably my current favorite Jeff/Annie fanvid. (A Delicate Thing - atsp88)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Insttc3gC-Q

2. Clip from the final game: Tali is seriously wounded and needs to be taken off the battlefield. The last time Shepard saw her in the game that I played (but he survived the end, so, in my head!canon, he makes it to Rannoch and they reunite. I need a happy ending, dang it!) (Goodbye To Tali - genericHenle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGzMCSMQHTg

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Your turn!

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Um, hi! This sounds kind of fun! I ship therefore I am, but top 5 ships are as follows:

1. Spike and Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My OTP of OTPs. They are two of the most fascinating, dynamic characters I've ever seen, and the evolution of their relationship is an absolutely beautiful story about love and forgiveness.

2. Jeff and Annie, Community. One single episode. One single connection. Debate 109 set the groundwork, the shmoopy look in "Romantic Expressionism" filled in the edges, and "Pascal's Triangle Revisited" finished it for me. They were on such a good trajectory before Dan decided to mess with the best thing he had going!

3. Veronica and Logan, Veronica Mars. I have never seen the back half of season 3 of Veronica Mars, so in my mind Veronica and Logan are as ever the perfect mismatched enemy-turned-friend dysfunctional romance that they were in seasons 1 and 2. So there.

4. Sawyer/Juliet, Lost. Don't get me wrong, I was Team Sawyer all through the Jack-Kate-Sawyer love triangle, and I adored Sawyer and Kate together. But Juliet brought him out of the mindset that all he could be was a con man; by having his back she gave him the courage to stand up and be the good guy, the leader, the one he would have mocked back in season 1. And I love it when characters show each other that they're more than they think they are.

5. Cordelia/Angel, Angel. Want to hear something funny? I hate Angel. Can't stand the guy. But when he's around Cordelia, something happens. He lightens up. He smiles. He laughs. He stops brooding and doing everything I find so irritating, and this is something that only happens with Cordy. He rarely looked even slightly happy all through his romance with Buffy, but Cordy shows him that he can be the great champion without giving in to the mile-wide guilt complex he has.

Hi!

I've never seen VM*, and I've only seen one episode from the Buffyverse** (the puppet episode of Angel), so I can't comment on those, but I do love Lost, and I have to agree with you about Sawyer and Juliet. I did like them together, and I remember being slightly being disappointed that we didn't get to see their relationship actually develop (Hm, maybe I've been a closet shipper all along).

One of the reasons why I wanted to have this discussion was to look at everyone's favorite pairings and see what they all have in common/what appeals to different people. What do you think your top five ships have in common that you are drawn to?

I'm really not sure what my two ships have in common, aside from the age difference, which may be a factor, I admit. Otherwise, as I mentioned above, they're really nothing alike .

I guess that I'll have to wait until I fall for a third pairing. It might be easier to compare, then. (I almost did have a third ship, actually. At the beginning of this season, I was starting to like Ryan/Carrie on Matthew Perry's Go On, but she basically disappeared, and my interest waned.)

*Yeah, I know. I suck. :P
**I really suck.

I think in terms of what I like in a ship is definitely a bad boy. Spike, Jeff, Logan, and Sawyer definitely fit the bill, and Angel does to a degree. I also like tough women - Buffy, Veronica and Cordelia are HBICs, and Annie and Juliet are definitely strong characters. Ships that appeal to me are either distrust!enemies! turned lovers!bffs!allies!, or a strong connection when two characters make each other show different sides of themselves. Annie would be just a driven maniac without Jeff to tell her to lighten up, Buffy would shut herself off emotionally without Spike there to get her to open up, and Angel would be a dickhead without Cordelia there to smack him whenever he starts brooding.

With you, I see the big brother/little sister that suddenly becomes more with Annie and the Mass Effect couple (I haven't played, so I don't know what exactly is up, but I got a Jeff/Annie vibe from your description).

Interesting! I'm guessing that the character development that often follows "bad boy" (and not just romance-wise, in general) characters is especially appealing. Tough women are also nice, especially when the writers know how to write them.

I also agree that the "close relationship between an older man/younger woman" trope is probably appealing to me, although I think that it's just the usually written dynamic between the two that I like more than the actual age difference. (I'm sure that I'd have started shipping Jeff and Annie if they were written as around the same age)

I'm surprised at how much fun the "shipping culture" is, especially the fanfic (There's a lot of Jeff/Annie fic out there, but, sadly, not a lot of art) and fanart (Lots of Shepard/Tali fanart, but not a lot of fic). Any Buffy/Spike, Veronica/Logan, etc. fics that you like a lot?


#1 still amazes me because it made that incredibly rare transition from "enemies!hate!lust" to "best!partners!compatriots!" ship. I could watch Spike and Buffy roam the graveyards of Sunnydale together forever. Also, the scene where he goes up to her with a shotgun and then...commiserates silently? In my top five BtVS moments ever.


#3, one of the best TV kisses. period.




#3, one of the best TV kisses. period.

Agreed.

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