Thursday, February 26, 2015

A functional 'shipping scale for application to televised relationships

So I woke up this morning after watching Continuum and The 100 before bed, with this idea in my head of an actual scale that could be applied to 'ships inside TV shows and across various shows, for the purpose of being a nerd about them.

Here's what I came up with:

Level 1

  • No given ships, so whoever you're shipping is basically all up to you
  • Requires reading-in to be seen as a ship
  • Nobody clearly or consistently interested in anyone else (of the main cast; characters introduced specifically as love interests don't count)
  • Example: 
    • Most shows in the first three or so episodes
    • Almost all case-is-more-important-than-people crime shows
    • Continuum, sadly

Level 2

  • A ship is given / characters are clearly interested in each other but don't do anything about it
  • The show doesn't allow much development, so they are in a perpetual state of flirting and dating other people and never just being in love
  • May be caused by network interference more than writer intent
  • Example:
    • About four-ish years of Tony and Ziva
    • The first few years of Bones and X-Files
    • Every single ship on Star Trek: TNG most of the time, dammit all to hell

Level 3

  • One or multiple ships are given, and all are progressing in realistic ways, but no steady dating yet
  • Their love is cannon, and not equivocal or denied
  • Example:
    • Season 5 of X-Files
    • That stretch of Bones where Bones and Booth were inseparable but not dating, and Angela and Hodgins were not dating

Level 4

  • At least one ship is dating in a consistent and dedicated fashion
  • Example:
    • Angela and Hodgins dating before Bones and Booth stopped being weird around each other
    • Rigsby and VanPelt dating while Jane and Lisbon made moon-eyes at each other but weren't dating

Level 5

  • At least one ship is married (or equivalent) and it is not a ploy or a game or a annulled-after-one-day-because-we-were-drunk
  • Their love is so cannon they could shoot down castle walls with it
  • Example:
    • Bones and Booth! Finally! And Angela and Hodgins.
    • Jane and Lisbon! Long after Rigsby and VanPelt
    • Mr Steele and Laura Holt, in that last episode
    • Castle and Beckett!
Level 6
  • Children!
  • Possible for this to precede weddings, since they can be mutually exclusive, in which case it is called Level Alt-5
  • Also possible to be before any of the other emotional states, in which case it will be Alt-whatever they skipped was
  • Example:
    • Alt-5: X-Files, as it turned out
    • Angela and Hodgins; Bones and Booth were Alt-5
Level 7
  • Divorce or Death, not to be trifled with
  • No examples because all my ships are iron-clad and I won't jinx them

So what do you think? Should the system be tweaked or expanded or contracted? Are there other levels or Alt-Levels to add in? Or can we just put this right into practice?
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