I am a shipper, that is who I am. I think watching TV shows and not getting invested in the characters’ relationships makes no sense. I believe every TV show is an exploration of the human experience, and the human experience includes falling in and out of love. When I am told I am watching wrong because of it, I simply laugh at the implication. I don’t think my judgment or my critical thinking is clouded by shipping, quite the contrary, it’s because I am invested in these characters– not just those I ship, but all of them, because that is just how I watch TV– that I can be critical, otherwise I would just sit in front of the TV, be fed a ton of crap and consume it mindlessly, which is in many cases what many of these so-called “true fans” want people to do.
So I ship. And when I do, I ship hard. These are the 10 ships that forced me to tweet in capslock this year:
10. Ichabod and Abbie, Sleepy Hollow
These two are last because this year Sleepy Hollow has toned down a lot the relationship between Abbie and Ichabod by having Katrina back and Henry releasing useless monsters of the week, to the point that it really has hurt the show and their dynamic. It’s been all about Ichabod and very little about Abbie, and sometimes I wonder if the writers just decided to back away from the possibility of these two being romantically involved in the future. But it’s not just that, it really has made it seem like Ichabod only cares about saving Katrina and redeeming Henry and won’t remember how much Abbie is sacrificing for him. It has taken episodes like ‘Weeping Lady’, where Abbie has truly been in danger to see Ichabod’s appreciation of Abbie come out. However, ultimately their lives depend on each other and they’re the one person the other trusts with their life. I just wish the show did a better job at giving us back the two people who forged the strong bond I loved so much last season, because I still ship it, just not as much as I want to. And I really want to, look at their faces.
9. Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Dancing With the Stars
What, you mean it’s wrong to ship real people? I’d feel bad about it if the show hadn’t played with this relationship as much as it did for views and if it wasn’t so damn impossible not to want these two to get married and have big fat half-Ukrainian babies that dance on ice. Months after the show has ended, it seems that they are not dating, but they still dance together from time to time and honestly that is all I want, because as much as many people want to see them make out, all I want is to see them make love on the dancefloor (figuratively).
8. Iris and Barry, The Flash
While the majority of the fandom seems to have jumped into the Snowbarry ship, I find it very much an Olicity rehash. And while I completely understand having “types” when it comes to ships– the same way one can have “types” when it comes to who they’re attracted to– I am actually more interested in Barry and Iris. Why? Because they have history. Because being in love with a person you’ve grown with– that you should look at as a sister but can’t– is hard, especially when they do see you as a brother (or so they think). Because it’s scary, for both of them, to be heartbroken: Barry when she inevitably rejects him and Iris when she finally sees him move on. And he will, and she will.
7. Twelfth Doctor and Clara, Doctor Who
I thought I was way beyond my Doctor/companion shipping days, but then the Twelfth Doctor asked Clara to “please just see him” I saw myself fall into an abyss of despair. These two’s relationship is so layered and complicated. They feel nothing but devotion for each other and it always ends up hurting them. Clara because she cannot even love the person she believes she loves right, the Doctor because he believes Clara’s happiness is not with him but with someone else and he lies to her in order to let her go. But ultimately, they can’t quit each other and it is painful, oh so painful.
6. Jane and Rafael/Jane and Michael, Jane The Virgin
‘Jane The Virgin’ has been such a surprise, because it doesn’t circle around plots the way you would expect a telenovela, or even a normal TV show to do. You expected a huge will they/won’t they with Rafael? No way, they already have! Within nine episodes! Immediately after she broke up with her boyfriend! It’s amazing, and it’s interesting. Jane and Rafael complement each other perfectly, and despite their differences, they always manage to find common ground. That been said, they are in the stage of their relationship where problems can be dealt with later. But they will come back to bite them, and it’ll be interesting– and hilarious, because this is Jane The Virgin– to watch.
But it turns out…I also kind of continue to ship Jane and Michael. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Michael looks like a human puppy dog, but I believe their relationship was genuine and I don’t believe Jane has stopped loving Michael, she’s just hurt.
5. Bellamy and Clarke, The 100
The last addition to my ship list and it’s already this high. These two’s relationship is based on respect, which is 100% what you want a good relationship to be based on. Sure, there were differences at first and maybe he would’ve let her die– you gotta love your post apocalyptic shows, where things like this sound like no big deal– but Bellamy’s character development has been amazing. Now he treats Clarke as an equal and would trust her with his life. Bellamy’s feelings are starting to be more obvious at this point, but Clarke is going to have a hard time grieving after what just happened to her. These two are incredibly interesting to watch, and I cannot wait to see where this is going.
4. Eliza and Henry, Selfie
I wrote about these two here, but after that, episode 10 happened and all of our hearts were broken. There is something so honest about this relationship, even if it’s on a comedy like ‘Selfie’. They are in love with each other, no doubt about it (and it’s kind of refreshing that it’s clear that it’s love and not mere attraction), but they are also each other’s biggest obstacle. Eliza finally wants something and someone stable in her life, but she approaches Henry about her feelings incorrectly. Henry is terrified of being just another thing Eliza will no longer want once she gets tired, because she’s a wildcard, so he sabotages it. The problem here is trying to keep a friendship after being so upfront about their feelings is going to prove impossible. Eventually, whether the show gets renewed or not, there is going to have to be a resolution to this. Hopefully, they’ll make out. Because if this show doesn’t get renewed by Hulu and they haven’t kissed, I will personally e-mail Emily Kapnek to get Karen Gillan and John Cho to film a special webisode where they do. It doesn’t have to be on studio, we’ll just say they’re on a exterior location. I swear.
3. Oliver and Felicity, Arrow
‘Arrow’ is another show I caught up on this year, but it was not surprising to me at all that I ended up shipping these two, considering everyone and their mother did. Felicity is like a ray of sunshine in Oliver’s constant clouded life of brooding and it is time for him to come to terms with the fact that life is so much better when he is with her, whether he dies or survives in the end. She is still working with him, so she is not any less in danger if they are not a couple. His reasoning is flawed and he knows it, but that doesn’t make him any less terrified. It is time for these two to get together and make everyone happy. Or at least have a resuscitation celebration make out, we’ll be fine with that.
2. Sherlock and Molly, Sherlock
Watch me ship the underdog ship! Now, don’t get me wrong, I am totally okay with ‘Johnlock’ shippers and I would never in a million years say they’re imagining things, cause historically, there is no gayer pairing than John Watson and Sherlock Holmes. But I love Molly Hooper with all my heart and I want her to be happy. And I know that the person who would make her happy, in the most complicated way, would be Sherlock Holmes. You could argue that he wouldn’t be able to, but the truth is Molly knows what she’s bargaining for being in love with him. She knows him, better than anyone and he allows himself to be human with her. She can see him, when no one else does, he is terrified of disappointing her and she was the most important person to his survival, now twice in a row. This relationship might never turn romantic, but it’s so special and important and that’s why I love it.
I wasn’t going to use fan videos for this post, but this gorgeous one sums up why I love these two, so here it is:
1. Daryl and Beth, The Walking Dead
Most likely the biggest ship I’ve shipped this year and in a while, these two were everything I ever wanted and had taken away from me in the most stupid and cruel of ways.
Beth Greene finally shone in this show in her two episodes with Daryl Dixon, and in what an amazing way. Daryl’s walls had been up for four seasons and she tore them down in a heartbeat. She was never afraid of standing up to him, of calling him out on his crap. He looked at her like she was the sun and the moon and the stars and the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. She made him believe that there was something more to their life than just surviving, even in their darkest hour, and then she was ripped away from him. He didn’t stop thinking of her for one minute until he found her and right when he did, she was killed in one of the most emotionally manipulative ways a show could ever pull off. It was an awful ending to a beautiful story, one the writers didn’t dare to explore because they’re cowards. I’m still angry and I’m still sad. That’s all I can say.
So these have been my biggest ships of the year! If you feel like it, leave me a comment below with your favorites, and if there are any shows I don’t watch with really great ships, describe them to me. I am always open for more fictional relationships to ruin me!