?

Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Drive-by shippy Community post...

...cos when a shipper's gotta squee, a shipper's gotta squee.

MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD for the latest episode - S04 E02 (the Halloween ep).


So first of all, OH THANK GOD - THAT was more like it!! Amirite?!?!

Like so many others, I did find the season opener somewhat disappointing. But I felt like that about the third season until Remedial Chaos Theory, so I was certainly not going to throw in the towel after one uninspired outing (and look, in all fairness to S04E01, it wasn't all bad). But it was really reassuring to see Andy Bobrow (who wrote the opener) acknowledge himself that it was trying too hard, as well as assure us all that Community would be back to form for the delayed Halloween (or, Valloween) episode tonight... and he was not kidding.

That was vintage Community. You always expect a great Halloween episode from these guys, and this didn't disappoint. It was wacky and referential in all the best ways, and didn't try too hard. It had laughs, it had heart... it was great. I really enjoyed it.

BUT.

What I actually came here to say, because I need to say it somewhere is this (WARNING: rampant shippy speculations [ie. seeing things that probably are not there/wilfull misinterpretation and/or repurposing of plot for my own purposes/taking a meta-comedy way too seriously] ahead):

I am a Jeff/Britta girl. I really, really don't like Jeff/Annie, never have (and am kinda annoyed the Jeff/Annie shippers grew so powerful as to influence canon. But hey, good luck to them - if I'd have been able to do the same, I woulda). And while I separately adore both Britta and Troy, I just..... they don't make sense to me together. At all. I don't like them together, romantically speaking. (Partly, also because I really like Troy/Annie. What can I say? A show sells me a pairing in its frst season, I buy it. No buyer's remorse for me. I pick and stick. ... I think you can see where I'm going with this, but basically, I'm a very conservative shipper and being forced into a sort of alternashipping position for Community makes me profoundly uncomfortable. But, y'know, I guess it's a useful learning experience to walk a mile in, say, the Toby/CJ shipper's shoes, for example... I'm rambling... where was I? Oh, right, Troy and Britta. Well:...)

I had been very wary of the direction the show was apparently taking with them, but I'd learned long ago not to expect any kind of straightforward ship, let alone any simple shippy resolution, from this show, so I was kinda able to keep any squeamishness at arm's length... helped by the fact that, experienced shipper that I am, I was just able to say, 'well, look, they clearly shouldn't be together, it won't last.'

But TONIGHT'S EPISODE? Tonight's episode threw me a bone. A couple of bones, actually. Hence the need to SQUEE!!!

Jeff and Britta's conversation about his dad in The Room Where Pierce Hid All The Taste? Unf. THAT is why I love them so much, and why they're so good together. AND I DO! I LOVE THEM SO MUCH BECAUSE THEY ARE SO GOOD TOGETHER!!! And they are good together, because they are good for each other. Their relationship is built on a real, equal and solid friendship (unlike, I would argue, Jeff/Annie or Britta/Troy). They are each hard enough to survive each other's spikiness, but they also bring out the best in each other - and it happens over and over. He reins in her tendencies towards sanctimoniousness and taking herself and life too seriously, but also, I think, short-circuits her attempts to sell herself short. And he doesn't do it in a way that's soppy and schmoopy, because that's not him - but that's not her either. He sees her value, to also borrow one of my favourite Abed phrases. She keeps him from taking himself too seriously too. And she is the one he is able to talk to - in fact, the one he does talk to, in spite of himself. It's like he can't help but share those parts of himself with her. And then he realises he's doing it, and defensive-walls-up!Jeff steps in and stops himself, but it still happened, Jeff, I SAW IT!

I love them.

But if it were just that conversation, I would just have assumed that they were trying to punch up the Jeff-and-Britta-are-great-friends-so-would-you-shippers-calm-down-already-men-and-women-are-allowed-to-be-friends-and-unromantically-linked stuff. Which is what I've come to greedily gather up and accept for the tiny shippy breadcrumbs that they are expect.

But it wasn't just that!

Because then we got this lovely little moment with Troy and Annie, specifically:

TROY: I like talking to you, Annie. It's easy. I hope you feel like you can talk to me too.

And suddenly I'm like, HANG ON A MINUTE...OMGWTFBBQ?!!!?11!! Because yes. EXACTLY. "It's easy." And the thing I've never been able to understand about Troy and Britta, is how their conversations could be anything but kinda awkward. I realise this is completely not what a whole swathe of fandom (and the showrunners/writers) think, but to me, their relationship has always felt much more sibling-y to me, the pushing it into shippy territory, to me (and I accept this is not the case for plenty of people) just felt forced. Because they're just... so not alike. And not, in my view, in a complimenting-each-other way. It just feels like they're operating on completely different wavelengths - they care about each other, sure, but as friends. Anything else, I just.... I don't see it. It's my lj and I'll ship who I want to, y'know? heh.

Troy and Annie, on the other hand, has always felt exactly that: easy. They're comfortable with each other. They understand each other. I think the most real moment we've ever had from Annie was outside her apartment door when Troy dropped her back from the bar after his disastrous 21st birthday. That was the moment, when both Troy and Annie suddenly became whole, real, three-dimensional characters for me, rather than comic caricatures. And like Jeff and Britta, they bring that out in each other - like they're discovering the world together, and helping each other through it. It's an equal relationship. Whereas the power dynamics in Jeff/Annie just give me all kinds of squick, and Troy and Britta just feel like they're from different planets to me, Troy and Annie just... make sense. It's easy. And sure, I'm a shipper, but love doesn't always have to be hard!

And so between moar Jeff-and-Britta-being-awesome-for-each-other, and Troy-and-Annie-are-easy... I'm wondering if maybe, just maybe they're actually positioning Jeff/Britta and Troy/Annie to make a comeback... And it's fair to say that prospect has me pretty excited (SQUEE!).

SO. Am I reading dissertations into micro-moments in what is fundamentally a meta-comedy that's ultimately unlikely to deliver any kind of satisfying shippy resolution?

Well... yes. ... Because shipper.

And that's how we roll, right? ;D

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
im_ridiculous
Feb. 22nd, 2013 10:28 am (UTC)
...Ugh. And then a week later they do the Annie-as-Mrs-Winger gag, and just...

Ugh.

UGH SHOW.

OK fine, back to willing suspension of shipping for duration of show...
(Anonymous)
Feb. 25th, 2013 06:43 am (UTC)
Couldn't Agree More
The Jeff/Annie stuff makes me shake my head. The marriage fantasy Annie conceived was something a young girl would do. Or something Troy or Abed would do. She, although mature at times, acts like a child in her want of Jeff. Desperately wanting him to see her as a woman. When with Troy she is on equal footing. The Troy crush was much more believable.

Jeff is too worldly and experienced, and cynical a character for the J/A ship to work. He might sleep with her but nothing more. He's not 'old' enough to want to be young again and not 'simple' enough to be on the same path as her. Their forced relationship constantly makes me feel like Annie wants to change him. The Jeff/Britta ship did too but in a good mutual push and pull way.
im_ridiculous
Feb. 25th, 2013 10:32 am (UTC)
Mutual agreement society ftw!
First of all: Yay! Thankyou for playing! :)

Seriously though, it's like you reached into my brain and transcribed my thoughts.

She, although mature at times, acts like a child in her want of Jeff. Desperately wanting him to see her as a woman.
Jeff is too worldly and experienced, and cynical a character for the J/A ship to work.
Annie wants to change him


And there, in a nutshell, you have it. Bravo *applauds*
It's all very well for J/A people to insist that 'age is only a number' and 'the age difference isn't that big anyway'... but precisely as you say, the problem isn't the *numbers*, it's the massive relative difference in maturity, and stage of life, and outlook on life, and expectations of what a relationship should be. THAT is the problem, and with these two, it's a massive one imho.

The fact of the matter is that Annie is *young*. She's a 'young' 22, or however old she's supposed to be now. For all the stuff she's apparently gone through, she's just never portrayed as being all that mature. I love and adore her, but the idea of someone that young and naive, and idealistic about what a relationship should be and how it should work, being in a relationship with Jeff and his cynicism and his closed-off spikiness, and his questionable history with women... Ugh. UGH. It's creepy. It's a massive power imbalance. It makes me shudder.

To me, she idealises Jeff. And if they were in a relationship, it's that idealised Jeff she'd expect to show up. And of course he wouldn't (he couldn't), at least not all the time. It's not who he is. And then she'd be hurt, and I don't want that for her. And he'd be sad he hurt and disappointed her, and I don't want that for him.

But I also want a *woman* for Jeff, not a girl. He needs a real grownup woman: someone who challenges him, who is a match for him (and for his cynicism), someone who inspires him to be better, not because that's how *she* thinks better looks, but because she helps him find a 'better' that *he* wants to be, helps him find that within himself. Someone who is worldly and has realistic expectations about life. Someone he can't help but open up to, and who won't judge him when he does.

And clearly I think that someone is Britta. Cos I'm really subtle *rolls eyes at self*

Wow, and that's really long and probably wuhaaaaaaaayyyyy longer a response than you were looking for - sorry!

But thankyou for stopping by :D And if this hasn't scared you off, please don't hesitate to drop in any old time you feel like talking Jeff/Britta or Community... my flisters are usually otherwise preoccupied with other ships and fandoms, so it's usually just me squeeing or being exasperated on my own :)

Edited at 2013-02-25 10:57 am (UTC)
(Anonymous)
Mar. 5th, 2013 05:43 am (UTC)
Re: Mutual agreement society ftw!
Not scared off. Honestly surprised someone out there agreed that this ship should not be. Maybe if we write it enough all the J/A's will calm down, no that'll never happen.
im_ridiculous
Mar. 5th, 2013 09:20 am (UTC)
Re: Mutual agreement society ftw!
Hee - yeah I wish that could be the case, but somehow I suspect you're right. It'll never happen. Sigh!

At least we know better, right ;)

(As for me, I'm just going to ignore as much of the Britta/Troy and Jeff/Annie as I can... la la laaaaa can't heeeeeear iiiiit!)
anatolealice
Mar. 6th, 2013 08:47 am (UTC)
Re: Mutual agreement society ftw!
But I also want a *woman* for Jeff, not a girl. He needs a real grownup woman: someone who challenges him, who is a match for him (and for his cynicism), someone who inspires him to be better, not because that's how *she* thinks better looks, but because she helps him find a 'better' that *he* wants to be, helps him find that within himself. Someone who is worldly and has realistic expectations about life. Someone he can't help but open up to, and who won't judge him when he does.

someone perchance who doesn't wear underwear because she hasn't done laundry in three weeks :-)

Agree with all you posted above and feel the same way. I loved the Halloween ep for how awesome the friendships were. Jeff and Britta are so good for Escher other.

I really, really don't get Troy and Britta. I mean, I can see how they'd find each other attractive and I more get Troy having a thing for Britta than I do her having one for him, regardless of how sweet he can be. He and Abed are too wrapped up in each other and Annie fits with either/both of them but there are just too many times when they push Britta aside for their friendship and she deserves more. Jeff managed to be super devoted even before anything happened, I live how he offered her first right of refusal before going after Slater. And seeing him be a good boyfriend must've been a sock, though his openness there is a pretty good indication that his feelings weren't deep at all for Slater, when something means something to Jeff it's much harder for him to talk about it ( year of secret sex!)
im_ridiculous
Mar. 9th, 2013 03:16 am (UTC)
Re: Mutual agreement society ftw!
someone perchance who doesn't wear underwear because she hasn't done laundry in three weeks :-)

Y'know what? Someone like that would work, yes ;D

I'm glad you agree - it's always nice to find your fandom people!... speaking of which - HOW GOOD WERE THE J/B SHIPPER MOMENTS IN THE LATEST (Thanksgiving) EP?! I won't go into detail in case you haven't seen it yet :D

But it was just another episode where it seemed clear that neither the characters nor even the writing staff don't care about Britta/Troy, which brings me to this:

I can see how they'd find each other attractive and I more get Troy having a thing for Britta than I do her having one for him, regardless of how sweet he can be.

I completely agree with you. I know there's a whole swathe of fandom who are like, 'wut? he likes Abed!' but, well, I know they love each other, but I don't think they're *in love* with each other. I can totally see him having "a thing for" Britta, as you say, because I don't think either of them are *in love* with the other one. And yes, Annie fits into the Troy/Abed thing, while Britta really doesn't. And you're right: she deserves more. Damn straight. (I mean seriously: 'Britta can wait in the car'?! THIS is what they think we should buy? Eesh.)

And I think there's a reason for that. Because she's a grown up. And Annie, Troy and Abed, while I love them all, are in a completely different headspace/time of life than Britta and Jeff.

Anyway. I completely agree with you - and thanks for coming to chat! Please drop by anytime!

(I would respond to your last comments about when something means something to Jeff it's much harder for him to talk about it .... but again, that should wait until I know you've seen the Thanksgiving ep :) hee.)
im_ridiculous
Mar. 11th, 2013 08:16 am (UTC)
So... about that Thanksgiving ep...
I figure I'll just comment on my own post, because it doesn't really feel worthy of a separate entry when all I want to say is basically:

OH MY GOD THE THANKSGIVING EP AND ALL THE WONDERFUL JEFF/BRITTA IN THE THANKSGIVING EP AND BRITTA ACTUALLY NOT BEING AN IDIOT!!! IT WAS LIKE SEASON 1 BRITTA MADE A COMEBACK (albeit with seasons 2-4 crazy Britta still there, and that's fine too, because I love her as well, I just don't like 'Britta is actually dumb' Britta) AND SEASON 1 JEFF/BRITTA MADE A COMEBACK ALL IN THE SAME EPISODE.

But.

Why are you doing this to me Show? You build me (and J/B) up only to tear me (and J/B) down. And you tear them down so much, I come to terms with the fact you'll never let it happen.... only for you to BUILD THEM BACK UP AGAIN AND YOU NEED TO STOP PLAYING WITH MY EMOTIONS!!

THIS IS A COMEDY, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!

I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS INVESTED IN SHIPS IN A FREAKIN' COMEDY

i blame lj and its fangirling enablement.

i regret nothing.

that is all.

Oh. Except to say that this episode made it painfully obvious - again - that neither the actors, the writers or indeed the characters care at all about Troy/Britta. So can we please - please - just move on from that epic awkward party of awkwardness as soon as possible? Geez.

Edited at 2013-03-11 08:19 am (UTC)
(Anonymous)
Mar. 24th, 2013 09:02 am (UTC)
Re: So... about that Thanksgiving ep...
I concur. That was a good ep. And yes season 1 Britta. But right after giving a good bucket of milk why did they kick it over with the last episode and the stupid Troy/Britta ship moment at the end.

Britta use to be a sort of: feminist, fight the man, type of woman. Now she allows a kid (Troy) to kick her out of bed over liking different chips. Or waiting in the car...really. She had a similar story line kind of with that one shirtless guy. But there was a reason for it. I don't get the B/T thing at all. Makes no sense. At best he could have a crush on her but even that seems off to me. His character seems so wrapped up with Abed and quirky fun kid stuff that he would go for someone like that, a geeky weird girl maybe.

Now I'm just getting annoyed.
im_ridiculous
Mar. 26th, 2013 10:09 pm (UTC)
Re: So... about that Thanksgiving ep...
Hey there Anon! Nice to see you round these parts again!! :)

(And sorry for the delayed response... Real life: why must you kick my arse? Eesh. Anyway...)

Oh the Thanksgiving episode... it feels so long ago now, doesn't it? Because you're so right. They kicked the damn bucket of milk in our faces. ..... UGH! JUST BREAK THEM UP ALREADY! I've read some people in various comment threads saying 'but! but! but! Troy would be devastated if they broke up and she hooked up with Jeff instead! It would ruin the group!'... To which I say, what-the-f*&%-EVER. Seriously, given the way Troy ostensibly feels about her (which seems to be indifferent at best) I just can't see him caring that much at all. It's the most chemistry-deficient relationship in all of television history.

I watched back over a couple of old episodes the other day, and it reminded me just how much Troy has ALWAYS been dismissive of her. The 'you're the worst' stuff, the 'you ruined my analogy' stuff, the 'you're the opposite of Batman' stuff... he's CONSTANTLY dismissive of her and putting her down, and that just makes me even MORE angry that they've shoehorned her into a relationship with someone who treats her like that. It is insulting to BOTH of their characters. And I call bullshit on all these people going on about how with Troy, Britta's actually in a stable and healthy relationship for the first time in her life. Please. It's neither stable nor healthy. It's humiliating. And the sooner they let her be free of it, the better. UGH.

Once again, I am nodding furiously as I read your comment because I agree with all of it. Vehemently. With ALL OF IT.

And now I'm getting annoyed too, Anon. Humph. *solidarity fistbump*

Edited at 2013-03-26 10:11 pm (UTC)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )