What this is not: an effusive demonstration of devotion to UPS, USPS, or FedEx. That’s not the shipping I mean.
I’m talking about (relation)shipping, the act of desiring a fictional couple to get into a romantic relationship. Generally speaking, this couple is one that is being kept apart for various reasons: there is something “wrong” about them being together (Logan and Veronica on Veronica Mars, Buffy and Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), their relationship must remain platonic for professional reasons (Mulder and Scully on The X-Files, Mal and Inara on Firefly, Castle and Beckett on Castle), or the show is just milking the romantic tension (see all the above but also Maddie and David on Moonlighting, Sam and Diane on Cheers). Alternatively, this could be a couple that the show gives only a hint of an attraction, allowing a kind of camp or slash reading which could allow for non-hetero sexual pairings, like Xena and Gabrielle on Xena: Warrior Princess prior to the final seasons where their relationship became overt canon.
I love the charge of electricity in a great shipper couple. I shipped Mulder and Scully hardcore for many years, even going so far as to read fanfiction that would take them down romantic, non-canonical roads. I would pour over screenshots like the one from “Post-Modern Prometheus” on the left there and watch video clips on YouTube. Talented shippers often show their enthusiasm through images and videos splicing together key moments for the couple.
I think my last shipping excitement was for Logan and Veronica back in 2006. So imagine my joy when a few nights ago the feeling hits me again.
We are midway through season 3 of Once Upon a Time, and I find myself inexplicably pulled into the throes of shipping once again with Emma and Hook. To add to the wrongness of it, my husband has found Hook despicable. But he’s so cute with his tousled hair and black eyeliner. Of course, he’s exactly wrong for Emma, which is exactly what makes him so right. He’s the bad boy type with his black leather duster and his hook hand. But he’s also a great match for Emma. They get each other, understand each other’s tricks. As a former bails bondsman, she’s used these tricks as well as foiled them many times over. There’s clear chemistry. And, he’s not unlike Neil was 12 years prior–a thief and a liar, a criminal with a heart for Emma.
But coming to the shipping so late means that some of my normal shipper activities are risky. I realized this when simply seeking out the video clip of the S3.E5 first kiss. Though there are plenty of fan-made videos, images, and fanfic to indulge in, to do so means opening myself up to all of the spoilers for the episodes we haven’t caught up with yet. Boo.
I’ve found OUAT to be a mixed bag, but the shipping has renewed my interest and then some.
Emma + Hook 4-Evah!