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Buffy The Vampire SlayerDamn The ’Shippers’ ! - How Unthinking Groupies Ruin The Best TV Shows Around
Thursday 28 August 2003, by Webmaster
I hate ’Shippers.
Don’t get me wrong - I appreciate good chemistry in my TV shows. But I hate ’Shippers - short for "Relationshippers". Ever wonder how the more a TV show jump the shark, the more ’Shippers there are that clamor around, declaring how the show is "the bestest ever"?
I don’t care if I’m being unfair. There’s nothing like wanting to rant and whine about the pathetic state Buffy The Vampire Slayer has sunk into only to open a message board on my browser filled with a thousand "This is the best eva because Spike + Buffy 4eva!!!" dumb posts from ’Shippers to make me want to brain myself with a blunt, barbed metallic cleaver to end the pain.
The Gilmore Girls ’Shippers are the worst. They are apparently the typical WASP girlie stereotypes: dull, individuality-free bookworms who just have to gush and rave over the inane stereotype that is Jess Mariano. I am tired of Gilmore Girls because its flaws become so apparent towards the end of Season Two, and I want to rant and vent. I want to discuss quality control. I want to share my hatred for the stereotype that is Jess and Luke, and I want Rory and Lorelai to just SHUT UP.
But what do I get? Inane discussions about how Rory should go with Jess because unlike Dean, who is too tall, Rory is at the right height. Or how I am "retarded" because I can’t see how "right" Rory and Jess are together. Or how I am "stoopid" because I don’t like Lorelai and Luke and I will vomit blood if these two declare their love for each other. If I am supposed to see Rory as an extension of myself, like most of these Sweet-Valley-High-reading dim-witted exclamation-mark-abusing but otherwise punctuation-free groupies fancy themselves, I will happily stick my head in the blender and press the start button myself.
What is it about these people? What is it about a show’s detoriation that brings these ’Shippers out like gleefully baying banshees sensing an imminent death? These ’Shippers are the sole vocal supporters of The X-Files (Scully + Mulder 4eva and they will adopt Gibson Praise and yes, kill me now, people) long after David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have that glazy-eyed look of petrified boredom on their faces, until Chris Carter got greedy and continue The X-Files after Diva Duchovny jumps the sinking ship, alienating the last of the ’Shippers (everyone else has left the ship long ago) and letting the show die a long, agonizing death.
When Joss Whedon abandons his shows to that talentless trollop Marti Noxon, or Noxious as we Giggles call her, causing Buffy and Angel to sink into a morass of bad melodrama, it is the ’Shippers that single-handedly rave about how great these shows are - Best! Season! Ever! - because it’s like, wow, Buffy*Spike 4EVA!!! Cordy*Angel 4EVA!!! Fred*Gunn 4EVA!!! Tara*Willow 4EVA!!!
No, ’Shippers don’t care that the plot is non-existant, the pace plods, and everything sucks. They only care that the main characters are sucking each other. It doesn’t matter that Spike tried to rape Buffy, and in a shocking show of lack of continuity and lazy writing, Buffy has Spike babysitting her sister the next day after the attempted rape, because ’Shippers know that Spike and Buffy belong together. Just like how Angel and Buffy belong together. And like how Angel and Cordy belong together. Never mind that Mutant Enemy is recycling the vampire-whine/dumb bimbo romance three times over. It’s love, baby, forever. Drowning in rancid kerosene is a better fate than hanging out on a fan board nowadays.
One of the worst batch of ’Shippers are the Tara/Willow lesboshippers. I never understand how Tara and Willow are supposed to be representative of lesbian lovers. Two girls talking in high-pitched girly voices playing with kittens and holding hands as flowers fall around them - this is an examplary lesbian relationship? Sounds like Kiki and Chiko doing schoolgirl tripping to me. So Tara died. Big deal. She’s not interesting when she is alive, and I don’t miss her when she’s dead, I’m just glad that I don’t have to look at her thick-lidded cow-like moo-moo eyes anymore. But across the boards from the Kitten Boards to the dark reaches of Bad TV Plot Hell, there is an uproar the day after Tara got shot on TV, with crazy fans accusing Joss Whedon of homophobia. If you ask me, Tara’s dying is one of the best things to happen on that dreary season - aside for Anya’s redemonization and subsequent relationship with Spike and Giles - even if I have to suffer through the inept Dark Willow thing as a result.
Let’s get back to Gilmore Girls ’Shippers. These are crazy people, a spillover from the Dawson Creek ’Shippers who no longer find Joey*Pacey or Joey*Dawson appealing anymore. I have lost count of the times I got flamed whenever I tried to stand up for Christopher. Heck, I like Christopher. I don’t know how those silly ’Shippers can put their idol, the passive-aggressive freak Luke, on a pedestal while ripping Christopher, Luke’s rival now that the milksop Max is gone for good, to shreds.
Seriously, do I need to elaborate the dank stinking low this series has sunk into? Lorelai and Rory are no longer characters as much as they are the center of the universes. They are no longer accountable for anything, because everybody in the all-white (apart from one Black guy and two Koreans, all stereotypes, naturally), individuality-free Thomas-Kinkade-nightmare-came-true Stars Hollow adore these two ladies.
Season Two sees Lorelai really acting like a class A bitch that deserves a slew of bitchslaps. The way she treated Max, for example, is unforgivable, and trust her to turn every single thing into All About Her. Even Emily, her no-nonsense bitch mother, has turned into her syncophant.
Rory is the worst, a pure example of lazy, crappy writing. She and her harem, Dean and Jess, are pure Sweet Valley High tripe lazily adapted for TV. Jess is a stereotypical bad-boy-with-tender-hurt nonsense only plain, bookish Rory can see and love - PUI! - and of course, Rory is the bland, plain girl every ’Shipper girl imagines herself to be: the shy, plain girl who will ultimately win the bad boy and proves those popular cheerleader blonde bitches in school wrong. This is Mary Sue masturbatory fodder at its most blatant, as Rory excels in studies and every boy falls in love with her and she doesn’t have to grow as a character, because she is perfect as she is, as she is supposedly the White Barbie Doll Girl’s idol made life.
I started watching this atrociously white-washed in every sense of the word TV series because Amy Sherman Palladino seems like a happy, ex-hippie sort and Season 1 is a good, subversive show about an ex-free spirit in a town filled with conservative eccentrics. But Season 2 is nothing more than a long, long interminable love triangle, with the insane Luke/Lorelai and Rory/Jess ’Shippers the only ones having fun in the house.
Seriously, the Rory/Jess nonsense is so wrong because they are blatantly recycling the Rory/Dean nonsense from Season 1, only this time, Dean is badly rewritten as the Possessive Proper and Bad Boyfriend. Jess is a bad boy who is also a bookworm, in a blatant attempt to justify, not redeem, his character. This is typical prepubescent romance storytelling, where everyone starts off perfect and it’s the parents and teachers who are wrong, they are so, so wrong. I can only concur that Amy Sherman Palladino, who wrote some of the best episodes in this series, has been brainsucked by aliens. Her husband, Daniel Palladino, aka Daniel Pal-I-ain’t-got-no-talent-no, is useless from day one anyway, so he’s beyond redemption as his scripts sucks more than vacuum cleaner all the time. But kudos to him for letting Christopher rip Lorelai for dumping her emotional baggages on him.
As you can see, I have issues with these shows and many others. But try searching for a place to talk about such issues and have everyone else telling you how cute and adorable the shows are because damn the plot, everyone’s in love, and I dare you not to throw your computer out the window. I have to sit on my hands whenever I visit a Queer As Folk US fanboard for this very reason.
QAF US, like its UK counterpart, is banned in Singapore, but screw the narrow-winded asses in Caldecourt Hill, I have the Internet to download the episodes myself. The few episodes I’ve seen are appallingly bad. If I don’t know any gay people in real life, I’d have thought, from the show, that every homophobe is a raging closet case (yeah, right), every gay man is obssessed about promiscuity and quickies in glory-holed toilets and adult cinemas, and every lesbian is a shrew, and all gay people hate women because women are competitors for every man in existance. Every man and woman on that sorry TV soap opera displays the emotional stability of a five-year old kid, and my favorite has to be how everybody in that show just wants to sleep with the class A jerk Brian Kinney, played by a hairless and unattractive Gale Harold. Then again, apparently such hairless and bland pretty boy is supposed to be the epitome of sexiness in QAF. Sexuality in QAF is a sorry mess, sort of like NAMBLAA and GLAAD mated together in a grotesque chimeric experiment gone wrong, because while it is not okay for breeders to dump on queers, queers are good even if they prey on underaged hairless schoolboys and behave like rowdy hooligans in a soccer match.
But try telling this to a QAF "Justin/Brian 4eva!!!" ’Shipper. It is one thing for a raging, flaming queen to blast a thousand exclamation marks at me, calling me a homophobe, but the prize has to be those straight female fag hags calling me a homophobe who doesn’t understand that "gay people are humans too". Uhm, ladies, I know you want to sleep with Gale Harold or want to see Justin and Brian, two unappealing hairless mice, getting it on, but you do know, right, that most of the nastier jokes on QAF are directed to straight women? And heck, the term "fag hag" isn’t a term of endearment in the first place. Get a clue.
I have a theory as to how the ’Shippers came to be a force to be reckoned with. When a show is good and gaining a cult following, the people who are fans are those who enjoy the sexual tension as well as the plots and character developments. We know that Scully and Mulder love each other, but we know that consummation ruins everything. We care about the mytharc, and we want to talk about plots and characters as well as relationships. Then the show becomes popular, and that’s when the weirdos swamp the boards. People who don’t care about the plot or history or continuity, they only want to see Scully/Mulder naked or they are in love with Mulder/Scully themselves, start drowning everybody else in their inane discussions of soulmates and love and other rot. Genuine discussion dies, killed by a zillion exclamation marks, weighted down by a million irrelevant smilies, and any dissent is silenced by a "It’s not nice! Respect!" hush-hush warning. In short, everyone ends up talking about baby names while genuine fans flee in terror.
Maybe it’s not fair to blame the ’Shippers or imagine that, judging from the quality of their discussions or how they would actually bid hundreds of dollars for some stupid chance to visit the set of the show, the ’Shippers are seriously in need of a real life hobby. But I don’t care. Whenever I want to discuss quality control about a TV show, and I can’t do that because I’m yelled down by ’Shippers who only want to talk about Rory’s pretty, pretty hair, my hatred for these losers intensify like a million burning suns. I want to tell them that I was with the show since day one, long before any of these people even care about the show. I want to yell at them to just shut up about how great Buffy is because Buffy and Spike are so ohmigosh hot together, because the show is not great anymore. Why can’t they just go back to Dawson’s Creek or Seventh Heaven and leave my favorite shows alone?
So ’Shippers suck. Of course, ’Shippers love to tell you that they are virginal and plain and intelligent, just like Rory or Liz or any other Mary Sue heroines out there, but don’t listen to them. They suck, they really do - they suck all the life from a TV show like the freaky bandwagon parasites that they are, and I wish there is a fly swatter big enough to swat them all to permanent hiatus. Or maybe we can just ship them all to Borra Borra with James Marsters, where he will then be forced to service those fiends 24/7. At least then I will be able to discuss my TV shows in peace, away from the inanely high noise-to-signal ratio on the fanboards nowadays.