I don’t even know if I can put all my feelings about Puckleberry into words, omg. There’s just so much.
To be entirely honest, I think it’s one of the most flawless ships that could ever be created, and I really do mean that. It’s so difficult to write a relationship which features sexual chemistry, a fascinating personal dynamic, complicated histories to develop external angst, and perfect compatibility. Every good relationship in literature is based on one of these things, and somehow Puck and Rachel have all of them. If they were to be explored as a couple, I honestly think it would be impossible for the audience not to love them together, because their dynamic is both so engaging and so supportive of each other. They have the sexual chemistry which would engage the audience superficially; they have the fierce, sarcastic bickering which, fueled by that chemistry, is unceasingly entertaining to watch and always indicates a deeper level of caring; they have personal histories which they would be able to work through together, facing an external force to develop their relationship without any internal drama; and they have the compatibility of personalities and the balance of drives and interest which would form a realistic, long-term relationship and could engage an audience for years on end. They wouldn’t ever get along perfectly – I feel like that’s painfully obvious – but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t love each other, that they wouldn’t help each other, that they wouldn’t do anything for each other; it would be the perfect relationship of love, friendship, and compatibility beneath superficial, comic disagreements, and I think that’s the most interesting kind of relationship to watch.
A lot of people refer to Puckleberry as the ship of “wasted potential,” and I think that’s most obvious when we discuss their similarities and their subsequent compatibility, as that could allow them both so much character growth. We’ve been waiting for Puck to approach Rachel about Shelby’s rejection, as they both know the sting of a parent walking away; we’ve been waiting for Rachel to approach Puck about trying to move to New York to pursue his career in music; we’ve been waiting for them to address each other’s self consciousness and remind each other that they are perfect as they are. And we’ve only gotten hints of the last one, undermined of course by the show’s Finchel hard on. The fact that they have these connections at the core of both of their characters, coupled with the fact that they are both the most intense people on Glee, gives them the perfect opportunity to help each other and to build each other up. And so I think the Puckleberry “wasted potential” not only lies on their lack of a romantic relationship but even the friendly interaction which could let them grow so easily as characters.
I could go on and on about this ship, I really could (and I have more than once before, lol), so I’ll try to stop now. But, honestly, the fact that RIB won’t even toy with the idea of a Puckleberry friendship and the growth which would so naturally emerge from it is, to me, one of the most obvious signs of how little they take their show, their characters, and the quality of their writing seriously.