jeannie nelson

A thing about shipping that I hope that all upcoming revival series take note of:

(in our time of impending new Han/Leia, and new Gilmore Girls on Netflix, and X-Files having already failed me in this regard, WHY–)

As someone whose #1 hobby has been shipping since I was a wee little six year old nerd just hoping Jeannie and Major Nelson would admit their true love already, here is an observation that I am going to throw out into the universe and hope that perhaps somehow, on some spiritual plane, it reaches certain people. *cough AMY SHERMAN PALLADINO cough*

When planning a return to a beloved story, I suspect that some storytellers/showrunners might have the impulse to say, “This couple whose love you’ve loved so much has been broken up for the entire gap between when you saw them last and when you’ll see them now! Yep, they’ve been apart for years! This way, you can watch them reconcile onscreen! Being an established couple is boring! All the will-they-won’t-they drama – that’s the REAL good stuff!” Because, basically, they think that this will make the more entertaining viewing material.

But the fact is that when fans really love the pairing, they are usually not going to be down with this move, which most of the time really reads like an unnecessary, shallow, and lazy attempt to create narrative tension.

Most shippers who have been really invested in a pairing for YEARS don’t want to imagine Mulder and Scully broken up for seven years (WHY), or Han and Leia getting a space divorce after two months of marriage back in 1983 or whatever space year it was (PLEASE LORD LET THEM BE HAPPY OLD MARRIEDS IN THE MOVIE; also, can you tell I don’t know very much about Star Wars and so I just put the word ‘space’ in front of everything?), or – I tell you it stresses me out just to type it — Luke and Lorelai not having been happily together since the series ended in 2007.

When returning to a beloved story that has been gone for a long time, fans – and shippers in particular (maybe?) – don’t want yet more drama.

What a lot of fans and shippers really want is the knowledge that, even in the time we’ve been apart from them, these couples have been happy together. Sure, it might not sound very dramatic and exciting, but if it’s a ship that has been around for LITERALLY YEARS and had a long and tumultuous journey to their happy ending, we want to know that that happy ending stuck.

I promise: there is nothing disappointing about watching couples stay together and go through life as a team – especially since, for many people, that’s what’s striven for in real life, rather than endless uncertainty and convoluted drama.

So give us Han and Leia celebrating their 30th anniversary. Give us Luke and Lorelai with eight more years of snarky domestic bliss behind them. (And maybe conveniently reveal that the whole Mulder/Scully breakup thing was a huge red herring simply designed to crush our souls for sport, and really Mr. and Mrs. Spooky are doing just fine.)