Things I Love about Shoot, #1
Sometimes, I like to ponder what it is about certain ships
that just grabs me. I’ve been in and out of fandom since I was thirteen years
old. I like to read all sorts of femslash ships, but relatively few of them
ever inspire me to write anything.
Holy, shit, though. Root and Shaw. Shaw and Root. Shoot. Raw.
They’ve grabbed me like few other pairings ever have. I cried and was sad for days when The Very Bad Episode aired, and that was my indication that I had gotten way, way too attached to these two.
(In hindsight, the hours spent reading fanfiction and feeling warm and squishy and moved by it probably should have been my first clue. Whatever, shut up.)
Here’s the thing: I love the fact that Root and Shaw were not written to be Gay Characters™.
Don’t get me wrong: I have nothing against shows that have The Gay Character(s) whose storyline(s) revolve a lot around their queerness, their struggles to accept it, etc. I recognize that those are necessary stories to tell and retell because there are lots of little gayling viewers who struggle with those issues and who see themselves and their experiences mirrored in those characters in ways that can be and are a saving grace.
But the thing is, that’s not my situation. I’m in my thirties, and I’ve long since passed the point where being queer is something I need to fret about or even think about all that much. It’s like what you get a tattoo: at first, you’re like “holy shit, that is a thing on my body.” And then after a year, you’re all, “oh, yeah, I guess that’s there, isn’t it? *shrug*” That’s how I feel about the fact that I am a huge ‘mo at this point.
So, yeah, I want other kinds of stories. I want stories in which queerness is not A Thing for the women involved, and certainly not The Thing that defines them. I want to see fully developed female characters hanging out and being awesome and desiring each other in ways that don’t give them sad, angstyfaces or make them fret about who they are in light of their attractions.
Person of Interest gave me that. Person of Interest’s writers did something I can remember very few other shows’ writers doing: they saw that there was chemistry between their female leads, and instead of making them BFFs or turning the whole thing into a big joke, they fucking took it seriously. They put them together and gave them a complex dynamic that ended up making both characters feel so much richer, more nuanced, and more developed. In a world full of Rizzoli and Isleses and an infinite number of other shows that play around queerness in ways that are dependent on them never honoring it, Person of Interest stands out as something special and revolutionary.
I love it for that.