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February 11, 2010

Chuck shippers are giving all of us a bad name.


Something happened on this week's episode of Chuck that has fans up in arms. Coincidentally, I just started watching the show the other day (via Netflix), so at this point I don't really understand the controversy. (There's some info here.) But I can tell it has something to do with the Chuck/Sarah relationship not going the way people want. Honestly, at four episodes in, I would be inclined to ship Casey/Sarah, but it should be obvious to anyone who has eyes and has maybe seen a TV show before that Chuck/Sarah is the endgame here.

So, first of all, people, calm the heck down. It's a TV show. Nine times out of ten (I'm looking at you, Battlestar Galactica), the obvious couple will get together by the end of the show, so relax and enjoy the ride. Because you know what happens when they get that couple you love together? Either the show ends, the show gets bad, or they break them up for no reason. (Grey's Anatomy is a notable exception to this at the moment, but I think that's only working because there are so many other couples on the show that are not stable.) Wouldn't you rather wait until the end of the show and let them get together for good, instead of watching them break up?

Second: People are talking about organizing a boycott of the show until the writers do what the fans want. STOP IT. A boycott will only make the rating go down so the show gets cancelled. And I don't care how much you love the show or how many Subway sandwiches you ate or whatever last season to keep it from getting cancelled. It doesn't make the show yours. It's someone else's intellectual and artistic property, and they have every right to do what they want with it. You, of course, have every right to stop watching if you no longer like the show, but that's different from trying to force them to change course.

But the real problem here is that this controversy is leading to a lot of articles like this that define shippers as "people whose enjoyment of a show hinges entirely on the progress of a romantic couple." No. That's just not what it means. Look, I'm a shipper. I ship TV character, book characters, whatever. I ship race car drivers, for God's sake. But I'm completely capable of watching a show for other reasons, regardless of how my favorite couple is doing. I watched Veronica Mars. I survived seven seasons each of The West Wing and Gilmore Girls. I kept watching Buffy after Angel left. I don't think any of the couples I liked ever got together on Enterprise. We're on season five of Bones and they haven't gotten together, and I'm still watching. I generally watch shows if I like the writing and the characterization and the plot. Having a couple to root for adds to the fun, but it isn't the be all and end all of TV watching for me. And this goes for pretty much all the shippers I know, and I know a lot of them.

So, Chuck people, please stop it. The rest of fandom will thank you.

Posted by Kat at February 11, 2010 01:00 PM

I didn't know anything about this, never heard of the show, but I love your analysis.

Hear, hear as they say in England! :)

Posted by: Claire at February 11, 2010 03:12 PM

I had to go and comment on the article you linked to and set them straight!

Plus, surely, if they don't like it - isn't that what fan fic is for? Get a grip, people. Much as I hated Josh with Amy I kind of loved it too. (the second time round - once I knew it was all going to be okay in the end...!!)

Posted by: Claire at February 11, 2010 03:23 PM

There are normal fans, and then there are the crazy ones ... it doesn't matter what they're fans OF, but they obsess so much they ruin it for others. Or, you know, something like that.

You're so lucky, getting to watch Chuck for the first time. I'm jealous (grin).

Posted by: --Deb at February 11, 2010 06:11 PM
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