Updated 9/24/13 — Agents of SHIELD is finally here! You can find thoughts on the pilot episode here, as well as my hopes for Fitz/Simmons.
Anybody here ever go into a show or movie already knowing which couple you'll be rooting for, or shipping? Because I absolutely do, and not only when it's a book-to-screen adaptation where I'm already attached to a version of a couple.
No, I mean brand-new-to-me pairings that I get prematurely hooked on with very little to go on, like promo pictures, interviews, or even just character descriptions. Such was the case for me with Jack/Rose in Titanic back in the day (yes, I admit it!) and Clint/Natasha in The Avengers just last year. I also blame a certain recent post on LiveJournal's Oh No They Didn't community for my recent marathon catchup of The Borgias, which, let me tell you, will really make you wonder what TV is doing to your moral compass, even when it's all fiction. Anyway. This ever happen to you? Just me?
I'm wondering now if this will be the case for me with a show reportedly a lock for the ABC fall TV schedule: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., an Avengers spinoff from Joss Whedon starring Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson and Ming-Na Wen's Melinda May that'll focus on lower-level agents in Nick Fury's Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.)
spy intelligence agency.
It is still VERY early days for this show (I'm literally only going on character descriptions, some throwaway lines, and, let's face it, WILD SPECULATION), but already two characters in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s supporting cast have caught my serial-shipper imagination: Agents Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons, described as “A twosome so connected to each other they're known as 'Fitz-Simmons.' ”
Intriguing, if you're a friends-to-lovers fan, amiright? *whistles innocently*
Though, full disclosure, the description also says:
They're in their late 20s but already highly respected agents. Nerdy yet attractive, they bicker like brother and sister. His specialty is weapons, gadgets and cutting edge technology. Hers is life sciences (both human and alien).
The “brother-sister” part of course makes me think I could be waaaaay off-base, but another Whedon show, Dollhouse, had another inseparable pair—Victor and Sierra—that I was crazy about. Oh, and Battlestar Galactica's Starbuck and Apollo were seen by some as sibling-like and I love them to pieces. So...I dunno, maybe? Plus, the actors picked to play Fitz and Simmons—Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge—were cast on the same day. Makes me wonder if a chemistry test between them was the final stage of their auditioning, or something.
(I mentioned this is ALL based on speculation, right? Apparently Marvel projects do this to me. I blame Black Widow/Hawkeye for turning out so well on screen. And see, there's another duo I've fallen for...)
At the very least, it sounds like romance will play at least some role in the show, even if it's with different characters, since ABC president Paul Lee had this to say about the pilot episode a few months back:
Absolutely Marvel has the ability to bring the whole family around it. The truth about Joss is he has some great relationships in [S.H.I.E.L.D.] so there are a lot of really funny, male/female relationships – very flirtatious ones that go through it. But it’s also Joss too and it’s Marvel and there’s a lot of action to it.
Whatever the case, can't wait to find out exactly what he means by those comments.
So could Fitz/Simmons (or Leo/Jemma, I guess) have potential as a ship? Or will it turn out that there's NOTHING romantic between them—that they are in fact more brother-sister than anything, like Firefly's Mal and Zoe—and I'll feel silly even thinking there would be when OBVIOUSLY Ward/Simmons, Fitz/Skye, or Simmons/Skye (or any number of other possible pairings) is way more interesting? Maybe they will be a thing but what sounded interesting to me on paper has no appeal in reality? At this point, I have no clue, but I have a feeling that's a big part of why I enjoy shipping in the first place—you never know what'll happen!
Tell me: Do you ever tune into a show with preconceived shipping ideas, or do you go with the flow? Is there anything out there recently (S.H.I.E.L.D. or otherwise) that's caught your eye that you want to be sure to check out for potential shippiness?
Updated 5/14/13: We have the first cast pictures! And this one of Leo and Jemma is an interesting one, no? That doesn't seem platonic to me, at least Leo's side. Guess we'll see!
Be sure to check out our post on ABC's Upfronts presentation for where S.H.I.E.L.D. will appear in the schedule (Tuesdays at 8pm!) and for more pictures/trailers/teaser videos.
ETA 7/20/13: The whole S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot was screened at San Diego Comic-Con! And afterwards IGN interviewed Iain de Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge about the Fitz/Simmons relationship (apparently we're not the only ones who think that there could be some romantic potential there!) Henstridge has called the relationship brother-sister before but here says, “We've either gone for brother-sister or old married couple...” Sounds like friends-to-lover could still be possible after all...
Heather Waters is the site manager of H&H, and a 24/7 fangirl. Tweet her @redline_