To Ship the Impossible Ship

Have you ever needed two characters to get together? Have you latched onto any and every brief scene they had together? Have you felt the sinking feeling when those characters go off with others you cannot even stand? Basically, have you known the pain of having a non-cannon opt? I have. I seem to have a habit of willing characters to be together who will never be united in love. The writers obviously seek to plague me with unrequited feels. The following five ships are my personal torment. Try not to judge my weirdness too strongly.

1. The Tudors: Charles Brandon and Lady Mary: I thought I’d start with my weirdest ship. Going into this one, I obviously knew they wouldn’t end up together, but even so, that doesn’t stop me from watching inappropriate fanvids of them on Youtube.com. These two are actually really sweet together in my head. Their tortured love affair would have had to be kept secret from the king–Brandon having learned his lesson after marrying Henry’s sister–and they would have had to have romantic rendezvouz in the woods and fleeting touches in corridors. Sigh. Of course, you kinda sorta have to ignore the fact that she had his granddaughter executed for the romance of it all to work. Still, wouldn’t Henry Cavill and Sarah Bolger have been beautiful together?

2. Rookie Blue: Peck and Luke: I don’t think anyone else ships this. There are no fanfictions for it online and no videos. I must be alone in thinking that these two tortured souls deserve each other. Okay, confession time. I have this weird obsession with Rookie Blue. It’s really not a great show, but it draws you it. It’s like watching a train wreck unfold. In the last two seasons, the only bright spot I find in watching this show has been my desire for Peck and Luke to get together. Unfortunately, Luke was almost non-existent in last season. I was freaking out at the end, however, when he showed up and was interviewing her in the hospital. There was nothing romantic about it, but all the same, I swooned. The writers, like everyone else, don’t care about these two. I alone will languish over their suitability until the show it cancelled.

3. Arrow: Oliver and Felicity: I just discovered her name two weeks ago, but I have shipped them from the very first. Forget Laurel. Felicity is the one for Ollie. It’s too early to tell if this ship is hopeless, but I have a feeling it will be. My only hope rests on that fact that in Smallville, Ollie ended up with another clever blond. Oh gosh, Felicity is awesome and funny and obviously has eyes for the hunky superhero. I’m hoping that she will be brought in on the secret soon and get to spend more time with him. He’ll have to see her amazingness then, right?

4. Once Upon a Time: Hook and Aurora: I’m sorry. This is more about The Tudors than anything else. Colin played the Phillip Mary didn’t marry in that show. I want them to be together now since they didn’t get their proper chance before. Besides, she need someone to make her forget about her lost love. Hook would definitely do that for her. Sigh, oh gosh, I love Hook so much. I think he could legitimately end up with any female (or maybe male) character on that show. Aurora and he are just my top choice. Maybe he and Belle next. All I know is that I don’t want him to end up with Emma because. . .

5. Once Upon a Time: Emma and Rumpelstiltskin: I have shipped these two from the very, very beginning. Yes, I realize that he is her son’s grandfather. You know what? I don’t really care. They would be great together. I was really hoping in the last episode that this roadtrip would be the perfect opportunity for them to fall in love. Unfortunately, stupid Henry had to come along. I still am holding out hope for them. The only thing that complicates matters is that Emma seems to have a veritable harem of men clambering at her heels. I have no idea what the writers’ endgame is. I can only hope she choses Rumpel and NOT Hook or August or her ex or any of the others.

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Historical RomComs: Best of the Best

I love Romantic Comedies. When Harry Met Sally. While You Were Sleeping. Sleepless in Seattle. Sigh. Watching them is like curling up in a warm blanket. Of course, RomComs come in all shapes and genres. My personal favorite subgenre is the Historical Romantic Comedy. The following movies come highly recommended and are even some of my favorites of all time.

1. Casanova: Starring Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller, Casanova is literally my favorite movie. It’s a beautiful film–full of gorgeous Venetian scenery and an equally gorgeous cast. (Natalie Dormer, my fav actress, is adorably hilarious in it as lusty, young Victoria.) The film includes sword fights, crossdressing, and a pet pig. Basically, it’s perfect.

2. Shakespeare in Love: As a romantic comedy for literature buffs, Shakespeare in Love contains the required sword fights and crossdressing which make Historical RomComs the bomb. It also has plenty of Shakespeare-worthy innuendo and the ever gorgeous Joseph Fiennes. This film will make you swoon and then make you want to watch it all over again right away. (Gosh, it is about time I rewatched it.)

3. Hysteria: The word to best describe Hysteria is adorable. You wouldn’t think a movie about the invention of the vibrator would be adorable, but it absolutely is. While there might not be sword fights or crossdressing, the movie is redeemed from this oversight by a spunky feminist heroine and bicycling. Hugh Dancy is, again, adorable as the poor, confused doctor who learns to understand women over the course of the movie. Watch this movie if you haven’t. Trust me, it’s even better than you expect it to be.

4. Mansfield Park: While not the most literal translation of Jane Austen’s novel, the film itself is wonderful. It’s romantic and a bit sexy. Fanny Price is intensely likable as a Jane Austen/Fanny hybrid, and Edmund, played by Johnny Lee Miller, is attractive in spite of being a bit of a flake. This adaptation is much better than the Billie Piper one, and it just an all around beautiful and romantic film.

5. Emma: This is the movie that introduced me to Jane Austen. The cast is absolutely perfect in their roles (you won’t find a better Mr. Elton or Mr. Knightley in any of the other adaptations). The film is hilarious and bright and sparkling in the sort of way that I think all Jane Austen adaptations should be. I like the romantic fantasy of the Regency period, and Emma (1996) definitely delivers the fantasy. I’ve watched it many, many, many times and not yet grown tired of it.

Swoon a.k.a. What Women Do Not Want

For centuries, men and women have tried to discern what women really desire in a man.  Some have claimed women are drawn to power, wealth, and physical strength.  Others have touted women’s attraction to the proverbial bastard. And others still have looked to the great lovers of history for their answers.  The new nonfiction book, Swoon: The Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them, attempts to debunk the myths of feminine attraction by looking at the men who have historically had the most success with women a.k.a. lotharios of the Casanova make.

The following is a handy dandy guide based on Betsy Prioleau’s book that illustrates the difference between what women are supposed to like in a man and what they actually do like.

What Women Do Not Want: Money, Power, or a Good Physique

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                First and foremost, women do not desire men with money, power, or a good physique.   These things are just icing on an already delicious cake.  If a man is not smart, funny, impulsive, a good conversationalist, and sweet, he really won’t have staying power in a woman’s heart.  And yes, while some women might marry for money, most would not live in those marriages happily if her husband didn’t have some of the attributes mentioned above.  Take into account the film Reality Bites.  Lelaina goes out with the powerful television executive, Michael.  He seems perfect.  Compared to her friends, he’s wealthy, powerful, and fairly good-looking.  Unfortunately, things soon go sour when she realizes that he is more interested in the bottom line than herself and her work.  She dumps him because he doesn’t understand her and doesn’t even seem to try. Reenter her friend, Troy.

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Troy is an often out of work musician.  He quotes Shakespeare and waxes eloquently about life, the universe, and everything.  He shows interest in what Lelaina does and, although he is difficult and less powerful than Michael, he is the man she chooses in the end.  I have heard some men question the logic in this, but when I first saw the movie, I had no doubt that Troy was the right man for her.  In her shoes, I would have made the same decision, and I believe across the board, most women would be more drawn to the penniless musician than the business executive.

What Women Don’t Want: Brawn at the Expense of Brains

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Brains will also always trump brawn.  A man might be an excellent physical specimen, but he will have little potential if he doesn’t have a mind to back up that muscle.  Women want to be mentally stimulated.  Truly desirable men can ruminate on poetry, art, music, philosophy, and literature.  Women want to talk about important things and not just the weather or what your significant other did on any given day.  If a man is gorgeous yet a bit of an idiot he won’t have much of a chance to leave an impression on most women.  Talk is a powerful aphrodisiac and brainy is most definitely the new sexy.   In The Hour, Belle is pursued by two men, Hector and Freddie.  Hector is an athlete with medals for bravery and Freddie is a slight journalist.  While Belle originally is enamored with Hector, he doesn’t hold her interest for long because he is both a bit dull and ingenuine. Freddie, however, is smart, passionate, and completely real.  He’s not the sort most would immediately fall in love with, but he is the sort that would draw you in.  It is his mind, conversation, and enthusiasm that are attractive.  In the end, both the audience and Belle would much rather have a Freddie than a Hector.

What Women Do Not Want: Completely Responsible Men

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                Women also don’t want completely responsible men.  Responsibility is hardly sexy.  Men with a bit of a wild side are absolutely more attractive than the staid, buttoned up type.  This is not to say that women are attracted to bastards or shifty men.  Women just like being surprised once in a while. Spontaneity adds interest to life and spice to a relationship.  Women often lead stressful lives.  It is helpful if she has a man who lightens her load rather than adds to it.  Surprise dinners, impromptu vacations, and romantic nights are exactly the sorts of things that add a little sparkle to a woman’s life.  Night after night of home cooked meals, evenings in front of the television, and early lights out are hardly the stuff of epic romances.  A woman wants to feel like she is worth the extra effort.  A woman wants a little adventure and that’s why roguishness is a more attractive quality in a man than responsibility.  This is why the fantasy of the Doctor is so intoxicating.  The very idea of a fabulous man whisking you across time and space is many a woman’s fantasy.   Rose, tellingly enough, quickly falls for the Doctor and leaves behind her responsible and slightly boring boyfriend, Mickey.  Amy also falls a little for the Doctor in spite of having old, reliable Rory at her beck and call.  The Doctor is unpredictable and a little bit dangerous.  It’s not really surprising that he’s a bit of a ladykiller.

What Women Do Not Want: A Man’s Man

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Tough, alpha males with no interest in anything that isn’t deemed “manly” are hardly catches.  Women don’t want men who look down on everything feminine and think that calling another man a girl is a viable slight.  Women want men who are in touch with their emotions, like things that aren’t sports related, and truly love the Feminine.  Good smelling, nicely dressed, and well spoken men are far more attractive than he-man hulks.  In fact, women are often most attracted to men who are more in touch with their femininity.  Pretty men with good grooming are often looked down on by other men, but women like men who take care with their appearance and aren’t slobs.  Women are not, I repeat NOT, turned off by pretty men.  Historically, some of the greatest ladies men had feminine qualities (some even cross dressed).  This is important because this fact totally undercuts the boys should be boys ideology.  Women don’t want rough and tumble men.  They want poets, artists, dancers, and philosophers.  Following “girly” pursuits actually make men more attractive rather than less.  So if a man is dissed by other men for acting like a girl, he’ll most likely stand a better chance with women than his more chauvinistic counterpart.

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 Disney has long since learned this.  It is no coincidence that the villain rather than the hero of Beauty and the Beast is the brawny hunter who is puzzled by books and Belle’s dislike of him.  The Beast, in contrast, is the man more in touch with his emotions.  He dances.  He enthusiastically allows Belle to teach him to read.  He tries to please her rather than trying to please himself.  He’s humble, gentle, and, eventually, well dressed.  The Beast earns Belle’s love not through shows of strength but through the revealing of his heart.  He has a bit of the poet about him, and in the end, we see that his face is just as pretty as his heart.

 

(Images from X, X, X, X, X, X)