Abandon Ship! The TV/Movie Relationships No One Should Hope For
With the prominence of fan communities on the internet, there’s been a stark uptick in the amount of space online dedicated to “Ships”, short for relationships, that fans are hoping characters in their favorite books, tv shows, or movies become involved in. Most of this is in good fun! Actors are generally very attractive people and it’s fun to think about them getting all kissy and/or naked with each other! Sometimes it’s a way for people to explore what relationship dynamics look like in a safe way! But sometimes it’s wrong and terrible and you need to stop immediately. He’s a short list of ships to abandon immediately. Feel free to contribute your own in the comments. (Note: some spoilers for Jessica Jones, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Fall, and Game of Thrones depending on what you’ve seen and your personal definition of a spoiler.)
Anything Involving Children: Most of you reading this site are adults. I don’t have any problem with teenagers ‘shipping teenage characters but those of us who are grown should step back from the under 18 characters and their romantic entanglements. Sure, have opinions about them, but best not to get too heavily involved in them.
Real People: We all have our favorite sexy celebrities and it can be very enticing to think of them getting all hot and bothered together. But you go too far down that rabbit hole and you end up trying to get someone fired for tweeting that they saw Benedict Cumberbatch at dinner with his pregnant wife. Shipping real people blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, which isn’t especially healthy.
Jessica Jones and Kilgrave: On the show, the writers of Jessica Jones did an amazing job of capturing the way abusive relationships can trap people and make them feel isolated and ashamed of themselves no matter how strong they are. The internet apparently looked at that and was like “Wait, what’s so wrong about it again?” Nothing about Jessica and Kilgrave should lead one to believe that they’re the right people for each other. Some say that he was a better person when she was with him, but it’s never the responsibility of a boyfriend or girlfriend to make their significant other a “better person.” No one is responsible for another adult in that way. Besides, I think the last episode sealed any possibility of this happening, ever.
Rey and Kylo Ren: So, to begin with here there’s the likely incest thing because Star Wars is a saga about The Force, but also about the Skywalker family and Ren is definitely connected to that somehow. My guess is first cousins and while that’s not the WORST ship I’ve seen it’s still kind of icky. Above and beyond that? Kylo Ren has the emotional stability of a 16 year old on a bad hair day (even though his hair is amazing), why would you want to subject Rey to that? Frankly, I’m thrilled that there was no hint of romance involving Rey in this movie, because the whole thing seemingly took place over about two days and everyone was running the whole time and who has the time to think pants-thoughts in the middle of all that?
Stella Gibson and Paul Spector: I mean, really, people? You want Stella Gibson, tough as nails investigator played by beautiful unicorn Gillian Anderson to be romantically involved with a dude who rapes and kills women? Seriously? What the fuck is wrong with you, internet? I have yet to see an explanation for this that’s even halfway coherent, it tends to boils down to “Well, she’s obsessed with him and wants to get in his head!” YES, BECAUSE SHE’S AN INVESTIGATOR TRYING TO CATCH HIM FOR RAPING AND MURDERING WOMEN. IT’S HER LITERAL JOB TO BE OBSESSED WITH HIM.
Sansa Stark and Sandor Clegane: This should fall under the “no children” umbrella I mentioned up there but because Sophie Turner is a beautiful young woman some people seem to forget that Sansa Stark is canonically in her mid-teens. Yes, Sansa and The Hound have shared a few moments where The Hound was more vulnerable than he’s been in other situations, but this would be another case of asking a woman to sacrifice her agency in choosing a partner and likely her safety to make a man “better.” Similar to Jessica Jones, just because The Hound “chose” her and is nicer to her doesn’t mean they’d be good together. That and Sansa Stark is 14 and The Hound is a grown man. Nnnnnnoooooopppppeeeeeee.
Carol and Daryl: Listen, guys, I understand this one but at the end of the day sometimes people are just better as friends. These two? Great friends. And while friendship can be a fantastic basis for a relationship if both parties are romantically inclined once they get to know each other, that doesn’t seem to be the case here. This is less an “abandon ship” than it is “sadly acknowledge that this ship will never sail” kind of thing.
Jane and Rafael OR Michael: The fact that Rafael and Michael see Jane as some kind of prize rather than an adult human who can make her own choices should eliminate both of them from consideration for her affections. Walk away, remember that this is a CHOICE that Jane will make, not a contest to be won, and that she knows where to find you if she wants to. That or just agree to a poly living arrangement. OK, I changed my mind, this ship is acceptable as long as it’s switched to “Jane/Rafael/Michael.”