Day 01 - Your Favourite Ship
This was quite difficult, though I had the end result in my head for a while. I have a lot of favourite ships, but in the end I went for perhaps the most obvious.
Mulder and Scully from The X-Files
I picked this solely because it was the pairing which defined my actually Being A Shipper. I think I've mentioned here before that I've always had the tendency and can remember experiencing "the tingles", as Katie and I used to call it (that feeling in your stomach when a pairing grips you by the throat and doesn't let go), as a young child. I learnt about shipping, and fandom itself, through The X-Files. This is a picture from the end of episode 2X13, "Irresistible".
Picture source: The X-Files Screen Grab Archive.
Up until this point I'd been watching the show out of a growing interest in its subject matter, but that first Mulder/Scully hug changed everything forever. My viewing focus turned solely towards these two characters and their dynamic. I watched the show from the age of 14 to my early 20s (with viewing tapering off somewhere around season 8, when I went away to university), and for that reason I still consider it a more 'innocent' ship because I didn't really know what I was doing. I think the show itself didn't really help in that respect because it was all about the UST; they didn't kiss until about season 7 so we literally had nothing to go on. :P
In re-watching - which incidentally I must start up again - I have found it doubly interesting to watch the relationship grow from those early days, from both sides of the equation. I understand the characters and their motives much better; I understand now why things took so long to get off the ground, even though at the time it was horrendously frustrating. I understand now that the frustration is the entire point - it keeps the viewers watching, brings us back for those tiny glimpses, reels us in with a promise or a sidewards glance, then takes it all away from us for another week. We were always in the dark, quite often literally.
This is from episode 4X13 - bizarrely 13 seems to be a lucky number for shippers in this show!
Picture source: same as above
Occasionally they do things like ^ that to us just to see if we explode. ;) Or they slow-dance to Cher (see icon), or flirt shamelessly whilst paying baseball.
This ship could have come under a lot of other list questions: it has made me laugh, cry and cheer on a regular basis, and even now, 15 years, nine seasons and two movies later, it still has the ability to squeeze my heart in an iron fist and release it again moments later. There has never been a pairing like this in TV history since, and I doubt there ever will be. None of it would have been possible without Gillian and David, and credit must be given where it's due, for their innate and in-built understanding of the characters and the way they fit together... and also to the inimitable Chris Carter, for never caving under viewer pressure until he literally had nowhere else to go.
This is the final image of the final episode ever, 9X24, "The Truth". I caught this as part of a fanvid on YouTune about two years ago (maybe four or five years after actually seeing the episode), and I literally burst into tears. It's absolutely the most perfect ending I could have hoped for, and I never lost faith that this is how it would end.
Picture source: Chrisnu.Com
There is so much more I could say about this, but it's already past my bedtime and I'm sure I've said it all, and wil say it all again, many times before. <3
*ahem* So much for the short explanation. :P