I have already outed myself as a fangirl and a fanfiction writer, so how much worse can it really get? A lot. As my hubby found out yesterday when he didn’t understand what I was so excitedly talking about and accidentally googled “Destiel”. Because yes, I recently got drawn into the realm of Destiel shipping (Dean and Castiel from Supernatural – before you accidentally google it). And it’s got me thinking about the appeal of fanfiction and Alternate Universes and especially shipping.
Because here’s the weird thing, I adore Supernatural. I adore the fact that it is all guys and still deep. As a girl, I can learn everything about male friendships and interactions from this show. I love and respect the head canon and in fact, if there is one thing that this show and its characters are not good at and that I don’t want to see (and that’s the nature of the show, not bad writing), it is romantic relationships.
So, why did I get drawn into the Destiel cult? Why can’t I just be happy with the canon and ignore the smoldering looks Castiel gives Dean? Because of possibility. That’s why. Because of possibility and creativity and because I love to find (or make up) hidden stories.
And that transported me right back to my teenage years, where shipping was not yet called shipping (for me, anyway) and still everyone shipped Scully and Mulder. Sure, that was a lot more deliberate by the authors, but sometimes, there is this – spark, whether intended or not. A chemistry, a bond that you only get a hint of, because it is 30 seconds out of sync with this reality. We pick up on it because it is tangible even in this universe.
Then a second thought hit me and it will relieve the canon authors and actors: I enjoy the possibility much more than its realization. I enjoy the smoldering moments and the fanfics and the AU, but would I have wanted to see Scully and Mulder in bed on-screen? Hell no. I stopped watching after the aliens were real, because even that was too much realization and not enough open possibility for me.
I know exactly one exception to the rule plus one stroke of genius. The exception to the rule is Casket. I was sure that Castle would jump the shark (a word of warning: Sharknado 2 – it is really that bad) when Castle and Beckett came together. But it didn’t. They made it work and kudos to the authors for that.
The genius of course is Joss Whedon. Because he has the guts to react on what he’s seeing in his footage. He took one look at the on-screen chemistry of Willow and [unnamed shy girl in wicca group] and knew that this was something that needed to be explored. And thus, my favorite TV couple of all times, Willow and Tara on Buffy, were allowed to exist and I’ll be eternally thankful for it.
That said, I understand why shipping can be confusing and annoying for the canon folks but with the highest respect, dearest authors and actors, I don’t give a rat’s ass. When a few thousand /ten thousand /hundred thousand viewers pick up on something and get creative with it, all the better for everyone. For you, because we keep watching your show. For us, because we get delicious Destiel goodness. So no need to worry. All is well. We still love you. Even if you don’t agree with our slash. Now give us a hug and love us, too. Fangirl out. Carry on with your life.