Shipping Sterek: A ‘Teen Wolf’ Love Story

1:15 pm EST, January 13, 2014

It’s been really quiet around Sterek lately when it comes to official support or entertainment and media coverage, but the romance of Derek and Stiles is about to achieve the milestone of twenty thousand individual stories on the Archive Of Our Own.

While everyone else may have moved on from the phenomenon, Sterek shippers are busy creating more stories, more art, and more Tumblr gif sets than ever before.

I’m proud to be a Sterek shipper. I met my pack – so many new friends – because of these two characters and the potential they have; to be something bright and amazing, or something dark and awful. To be hot or funny but never, ever boring.

All we want as shippers is to enjoy our boys and their awkward, tension-filled possibilities, but there is always someone asking us why. “How can you ship it?” and “It’s not real” are constant refrains that a Sterek shipper needs to be able to answer. We’re supposed to enter any conversation with “I know it’s never going to happen, but” and to be sure not to offend. Criticism of Sterek is more often than not criticism aimed squarely at shippers and their mental faculties.

So here’s a tale of shipping Sterek.

You can ship it because they’re cute together. You can ship it because they are an example of your favorite tropes. You can ship it because you identify with them. You can ship it because you want to see these rather attractive men make out with each other on screen. You can ship it because you think it’s going to happen. You can ship it for any reason you want and it’s always, always going to be enough. There’s no barrier of entry for a ship to be valid; they’re all valid.

There are people who say they don’t understand Sterek and I want to believe that they are genuine. So maybe we can help. There have been many amazing words said about the whys and hows of our favorite pairing, many of them collected on specialized tumblrs for Teen Wolf meta, pairing specific tumblrs like fuckyeahstilesderek, or individual Sterek shippers’ accounts.

They have undeniable chemistry. Even Jeff Davis has admitted to this much and called Sterek one of the writers’ favorite pairings, although it was presumably in the context of writing engaging dialogue.

sterek-teen-wolf-630

Stiles and Derek follow a long history of pairing tropes that date at least as far back as Benedick and Beatrice, appearing in a similar push-and-pull, banter heavy, slightly damaged and world-weary romance in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Theirs is such a powerful trope that only the best actors are capable of playing opposite that whirlwind. Conventionally romantic pairings, or the typical fairytale romance, often pale in comparison with this romantic archetype.

There are a lot of people who enjoy pairings with a bit of bite, when there’s snarky banter or even initial dislike. They love the kind of stories that put two opposing forces together and watch them collide to create something new. That’s drama and tension and people having to work for romance instead of love at first sight. I think it’s for those of us who want to believe that first impressions aren’t always right and that we can come to love even our rivals, enemies, or the pain in our ass.

Shipping Sterek is very rarely about pretending that they are already having a secret love affair and all their relationship needs is a reveal. It’s largely about the incredible potential they have, the fascinating and multi-faceted story they can tell. Stiles and Derek have the potential to understand each other and comfort each other, but they can also draw blood easily. Derek is already wounded and Stiles has the potential to twist the knife; just look at their argument in season 3, episode 10 when Stiles brings up Kate Argent.

Together, these characters have already come so far, their relationship has been growing steadily from the beginning. In season one, Stiles frequently tried to convince people that he wanted Derek dead, only to turn around and save Derek’s life again and again. He’s now in a place where he is the only source of comfort during one of the worst moments of Derek’s life. Derek goes from wanting to rip Stiles’ throat out with his teeth to being more than happy to indulge Stiles in his antics. He trusts Stiles with important research and believes him over the word of Jennifer Blake. He even lets Stiles get away with the Kate Argent comment because he understands a fundamental part of Stiles – clinging to your only remaining family. They have three years of little moments and long hours stuck in places together, growing to like each other.

Love won’t remove the teeth from this relationship. There is more than enough potential for angst and drama with Scott’s ambivalent dealings with Derek and the werewolf shenanigans and everything else that makes for a great young adult urban fantasy love story.

The show doesn’t have to change to sell them as a romance – it wouldn’t have to be easy for the characters, but from a story-telling point of view, all the necessary pieces are already there. It just needs a spark.

The most beautiful thing about Sterek, though, is that we’ll make our own spark. We will light the fireworks and celebrate like mad and make a thousand worlds where Stiles and Derek find each other, forever, for a lifetime or just for a little while. We’ve already told their stories a hundredfold – we’ve told how they meet, how they fall in love, how they live and how they die.

We ship it because we want, for as long as we want, and that’s the only reason we need.

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

Read full article

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

In related news, the cast and crew kicked off their press tour today in Paris. Disney released the following adorable photo of Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, director Bill Condon and composer Alan Menken as they start publicizing the movie, which opens in theaters March 17:

Can’t wait to see it!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Read full article

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

Read full article

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?