Protagonist shipping

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Protagonist shipping

Post by Izmuth on Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:43 pm

So, I wondered what the views were of people on the fact that in movies the protagonists *have* to end up with someone?

I personally have a lot of disjoint thoughts on the topic, but I haven't been able to gather them in a cohesive structure. Because I clearly hate some pairings, and yet I enthusiastically ship others.

Let's start with the pairings I hate:

#giveElsaAGirlfriend and #giveCapABoyfriend. Like, I find it refreshing that these characters stay single. Let them stay that way please. They're fine on their own.

Almost Judge Dredd and Judge Anderson in Dredd (the 2012 good version, not the sylvester stallone version).
They stay professional the whole time they work together, have no romantic chemistry although they obviously trust each other with their life at the end of the movie, and he was her frickin' examinator. Yet in the script they suddenly shared a kiss out of nowhere. Thank God Karl Urban objected, on the grounds that it didn't make a lick of sense.

And yet, I have to admit on the other side of the spectrum, I would be so disappointed if Judy x Nick wasn't a canon thing in the sequel of Zootopia Shrug . I think because they spend the whole movie flirtingly teasing each other, with lots of physical contact and give each other support in high pressure emotional situations Razz

So do you guys have canon ships that worked well in your opinion? Canon ships that were truly awful?
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Re: Protagonist shipping

Post by bomaye on Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:53 pm

I think forced ships are just a byproduct of trying to hit mass-market appeal, and maybe a little bit of trying to force something that's canon elsewhere. Barry Allen and Iris West in the Flash TV show is supposed to happen because of the characters but in practice the way the actors play their parts leads to absolutely no on-screen chemistry. You just end up going "Well, I guess if we have to do this..." whenever they try it out. (Thought their Earth 2 counterparts worked a lot better with the alpha female/beta male dynamic)

Actually on Dredd, the only Dredd I've been exposed to so far was IDW's comic version, and they handled it in a way where you could see the potential for it was there but they both chose the law first.

I think Guts/Casca in Berserk was great because it happened naturally (the author never meant for them to be a thing)
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Re: Protagonist shipping

Post by Enail on Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:41 pm

I haaaaaate the convention that protagonists must end up with someone. It results in so many cardboard love interests with no other point in the story; characters with zero chemistry or even reason to like each other shoved together just because they're the main guy and girl, like kids smushing their dolls' faces together to kiss; characters who were interesting, active people with real roles in the plot becoming boring, helpless and/or completely out of character in order to fit them into a cliched Love Interest role. Romantic plots are often the least creative part of the story. (To be fair, I'm not much into non-canon shipping either)

That said, media is still pretty lacking in queer relationships, which is something I'd like to see both for reasons of representation and just because it opens up more room for different romantic plots and sometimes pushes writers to be more creative or persuasive in getting the together. So I look more indulgently on giving Elsa/Cap a girl/boyfriend than on the hundreds of forced, flimsy straight relationships film execs are no doubt insisting on being written into stories right this minute Wink.

The biggest thing that can make me like a ship is if the characters have some aspect to their connection beyond just the romantic, if you can imagine the relationship between them would still be of importance to the characters and the story even if they weren't/wouldn't be a couple (say, if they weren't in each other's dating demographic). I dislike pretty much anything with love at first sight and all but the most well-done/chemistry-ful/'there's affection and respect behind all the fighting' love-hate relationships.

I'm having trouble thinking of examples I'm sure I have, but here's a random few that come to mind:

Ones I don't like:
I found the Harry/Ginny romance in Harry Potter particularly forced and dull, though I can see thematic reasons for its inclusion (IMO, JK Rowling is pretty bad at writing romance in general, it's not just the protag-shipping).

Katara and Aang in Avatar:The Last Airbender. It felt like a romance by default, and the age difference just didn't work to me (only a few years, but because they were young teens, and the older Katara was old for her age and sometimes seemed quite motherly towards the younger, wise-but-childish Aang, it just seemed weird) This is another one where I think the writers just aren't that good at romance.

Fushigi Yuugi's endless "MIAKA!" "TAMAHOME!"s

The movie of Hitchhiker's Guide was pretty unmemorable, but I do remember I was annoyed that they turned what had been a brief, briefly mentioned past crush into a full-on love plot.

The romance in the Phantom Menace was so terrible it was one of the many things that made me not even bother with the other two Star Wars prequels.  

Ones I do like:
Leslie and Ben in Parks and Rec. I find them believable in both chemistry and personality, and it's nice to see an obviously happy relationship with characters so enthusiastic and supportive of each other, without killing the comedy or becoming boring (or relying on cheap relationship drama)

I didn't ship anyone particularly in Hunger Games and the romantic triangle takes up more space than it should, especially in the middle book, but
Hunger Games series spoilers):
Katniss and Peeta actually felt right together to me in the end, because they'd always served as such important foils for each other, their experiences made them each one of the few people the other could really feel understood each other or trust each other, and they'd always had a platonic chemistry that I found convincingly had turned romantic by the end. And I felt like it was true to Katniss' sometimes coldly pragmatic nature to choose a relationship with someone in part because of what he represented in her life.


I got to like Guts/Casca in Berserk because they had a lot of chemistry and they had more of a connection than just the romance aspect, even though it seemed at first like it might land up being a case of 'there's a female character, must be a love interest'
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Re: Protagonist shipping

Post by Izmuth on Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:03 pm

bomaye wrote:I think forced ships are just a byproduct of trying to hit mass-market appeal, and maybe a little bit of trying to force something that's canon elsewhere. Barry Allen and Iris West in the Flash TV show is supposed to happen because of the characters but in practice the way the actors play their parts leads to absolutely no on-screen chemistry. You just end up going "Well, I guess if we have to do this..." whenever they try it out. (Thought their Earth 2 counterparts worked a lot better with the alpha female/beta male dynamic)

Actually on Dredd, the only Dredd I've been exposed to so far was IDW's comic version, and they handled it in a way where you could see the potential for it was there but they both chose the law first.

I think Guts/Casca in Berserk was great because it happened naturally (the author never meant for them to be a thing)

No chemistry and yet forced romance is always so painful to watch... Scriptwriters should make some last minute changes if they see that trainwreck happening Razz

Enail wrote:I haaaaaate the convention that protagonists must end up with someone. It results in so many cardboard love interests with no other point in the story; characters with zero chemistry or even reason to like each other shoved together just because they're the main guy and girl, like kids smushing their dolls' faces together to kiss; characters who were interesting, active people with real roles in the plot becoming boring, helpless and/or completely out of character in order to fit them into a cliched Love Interest role. Romantic plots are often the least creative part of the story. (To be fair, I'm not much into non-canon shipping either)

That said, media is still pretty lacking in queer relationships, which is something I'd like to see both for reasons of representation and just because it opens up more room for different romantic plots and sometimes pushes writers to be more creative or persuasive in getting the together. So I look more indulgently on giving Elsa/Cap a girl/boyfriend than on the hundreds of forced, flimsy straight relationships film execs are no doubt insisting on being written into stories right this minute Wink.
Truedat. If they hook up with someone, a same-sex relation would at least be interesting. I'm severely disappointed that in Lucifer the tv series Lucifer is heavily implied to be bisexual, but only majorly flirts with women because we can't have too gay television :/


The biggest thing that can make me like a ship is if the characters have some aspect to their connection beyond just the romantic, if you can imagine the relationship between them would still be of importance to the characters and the story even if they weren't/wouldn't be a couple (say, if they weren't in each other's dating demographic). I dislike pretty much anything with love at first sight and all but the most well-done/chemistry-ful/'there's affection and respect behind all the fighting' love-hate relationships.

I'm having trouble thinking of examples I'm sure I have, but here's a random few that come to mind:

Ones I don't like:
I found the Harry/Ginny romance in Harry Potter particularly forced and dull, though I can see thematic reasons for its inclusion (IMO, JK Rowling is pretty bad at writing romance in general, it's not just the protag-shipping).

Katara and Aang in Avatar:The Last Airbender. It felt like a romance by default, and the age difference just didn't work to me (only a few years, but because they were young teens, and the older Katara was old for her age and sometimes seemed quite motherly towards the younger, wise-but-childish Aang, it just seemed weird) This is another one where I think the writers just aren't that good at romance.

Fushigi Yuugi's endless "MIAKA!" "TAMAHOME!"s

The movie of Hitchhiker's Guide was pretty unmemorable, but I do remember I was annoyed that they turned what had been a brief, briefly mentioned past crush into a full-on love plot.

The romance in the Phantom Menace was so terrible it was one of the many things that made me not even bother with the other two Star Wars prequels.  

Ones I do like:
Leslie and Ben in Parks and Rec. I find them believable in both chemistry and personality, and it's nice to see an obviously happy relationship with characters so enthusiastic and supportive of each other, without killing the comedy or becoming boring (or relying on cheap relationship drama)

I didn't ship anyone particularly in Hunger Games and the romantic triangle takes up more space than it should, especially in the middle book, but
Hunger Games series spoilers):
Katniss and Peeta actually felt right together to me in the end, because they'd always served as such important foils for each other, their experiences made them each one of the few people the other could really feel understood each other or trust each other, and they'd always had a platonic chemistry that I found convincingly had turned romantic by the end. And I felt like it was true to Katniss' sometimes coldly pragmatic nature to choose a relationship with someone in part because of what he represented in her life.


I got to like Guts/Casca in Berserk because they had a lot of chemistry and they had more of a connection than just the romance aspect, even though it seemed at first like it might land up being a case of 'there's a female character, must be a love interest'

Never mention the prequels! They don't exist! Razz
Agreed with the rest of your points. Aang x Katara was one of the worst ships possible IMHO.
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