“You can’t just tumble into a girl sideways”: Shipping with Mr. Sorkin

To talk about shipping is, for me, to open a can of worms that will never end. It gets particularly bad when it comes to television shows that I like. I could and have had hours long talks about why it totally sucks that Lucas Scott and Peyton Sawyer ended up together, why Veronica Mars always belonged with Logan Ecchols, Rory Gilmore and Jess Mariano clearly deserved a real chance at a life together and the fact that Serena Vanderwoodsen and Nate Archibald didn’t ever really get it together is criminal.

But unless you really want me to bore the pants off of you, don’t ask me about the collective television work of Mr. Aaron Sorkin and the many, many couples that have quickly walked and talked at each other while falling in love on his watch. Oh God, the epic uncomfortable nerd love! The unending analysis and rippling consequences, there’s nothing else on television like it.

There’s always so much of it, it’s always woven so beautifully into the stories and when it’s done right, it’s some of the most incredible relationship based television ever. When it’s done wrong, it’s Jim Harper and Maggie Jordan.

I used so much energy wishing for them to get together. Now I just want them both to fall off a roof!

I used so much energy wishing for them to get together. Now I just want them both to fall off a roof!

But, oh, the glory of when it’s done right! When it’s right we get Josh Lyman and Donna Moss and their seven year long flirtation. The quote that titles this post is from Donna about Josh’s dating habits, regarding Joey Lucas, who was another amazing Josh Flirtation. It was brought about again when Josh was with Amy Gardner. When I first watched the show, I didn’t care much for Amy, but I’ve come around to her. Josh wasn’t ready for Donna in season 2.

When it’s good, it’s Matt Albie and Harriet Hayes. I don’t just love this relationship because it’s loosely based on Sorkin’s relationship with Kristin Chenoweth.

I've read her book. I understand that their relationship toxic. They were still totally adorable.

I’ve read her book. I understand that their relationship was toxic. They were still totally adorable.

Matt and Harriet were funny, smart and she was a complicated Christian female character. (I love these. There aren’t enough of them.) They ended ambiguously. Of course, everything about Studio 60 on The Sunset Strip ambiguously, because well, it didn’t really end. But still, I would have liked to see him work out his Chenorkin issues over our TVs. Alas, it was not allowed, because Studio 60 was not actually that good a show. But Harriet and Matt were great.

When it’s done right, it’s Casey McCall and Dana Whittaker. It’s two old friends that have loved each other for a long time and are just coming to realize it. It’s that feeling of worry that if the relationship part doesn’t work you’ll wind up trashing the friendship that means so much to you. But in Sorkin-land it’s always worth it. The pay off is witty sexually charged banter, and cute dresses and fancy restaurants at implausible times of the day. Oh, for Casey and Dana it was so worth it.

Sometimes it’s tragic, because sometimes, it’s C.J. Cregg and Simon Donovan. She’s being hunted, he’s protecting her. They’re attracted to each other, but can’t be together. They catch the guy, they kiss. He gets gunned down in trying to stop a convenience store robbery before he can file the paperwork. I ship C.J. and Simon so hard that I get teared up just thinking about them. Luckily, there was the convenient back up of C.J. and Danny. I rarely ship more than one couple over the course of a show. I tend to be very loyal. C.J. was the exception, because she was so damn awesome.

But with The Newsroom, there are so many of them. The show is such a clusterfuck of Sorkin awkward relationships, that my fangirl head can’t keep anything straight, it changes so much. Do I want Will and Mackenzie to be together? Yes, no, I don’t know. I love Jim and Maggie together, I hate Jim and Maggie both together and as individuals. I want Neal to be with the Occupy Wall Street Girl, no, I want Neal to be with Taylor Warren! (Shut up, I couldn’t have been the only person watching on Sunday who wanted to see that happen!) I want Don and Sloan to be together!

It makes me ache inside when I think about how much I want Don and Sloan to be together. I want them to giggle and hold hands in the newsroom, in front of Jim and Maggie. I want Sloan to give smug new happy relationship advice to Mac about her and Will. I want them to get into awkward misunderstandings and go to dinner parties at Elliot’s house, if only so that we can meet Elliot’s wife and children.

I just don’t want them to go away. Because sometimes these things just go away.

Sometimes these things are Sam Seaborn and Mallory O’Brien.

How great would that have been?

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