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11 April 2012 @ 06:36 am
McShep Essay; or, why these two gay space idiots have captured my heart  
Some time ago, I promised silvarbelle and allofspace a McShep essay. Here it is! Big thanks to jamesie_boy for being my enabler, as well as thebiggest_lie for being, well, herself. They've dealt with my crazed McShep love for some time, and never tell me to shut up.


*
I jumped aboard the John/Rodney ship late.

The wonderful sapphirestar_ already loved the show, and in an effort to get me to watch, she linked me to Kaneko's Intersections. I had no idea what was going on or who those people were, but I was charmed either way. I started the show, and as I've said before: I immediately fell for Rodney McKay, cuddly and warm looking in his orange fleece.

The show itself didn't grow on me until The Storm/The Eye, where John BAMF'd and Rodney was a brave little toaster. Due to Intersections and Essi's love for McShep, I went into the show already shipping it - and I asked her for a rec post - she happily obliged. That was posted in July 22nd, 2009 - one day before my birthday. It gave me a starting point, a place to discover an author I liked.

I have this method to my fandom exploration: once I have a starting point, I read everything by an author I like. Then I check out what fics they LJ memorized, and when I find an author I liked out of that list, I read all of their stuff and then raid their LJ memories. sheafrotherdon was probably one of my first favorites, which led to aesc, dogeared, and so many more.

I can't thank Essi enough for getting me started.

Despite going into the show already shipping it, John and Rodney themselves convinced me to love the ship. They have a fantastic dynamic that I can't get enough of. Stargate has so many possibilities all on its own, and you add in the possibilities that the characters themselves bring, and there's so much to write and theorize about. Joe and David have fantastic chemistry together that translates well on screen, and nothing brings out the emotion in their characters more than the other. Rodney is palpably worried about John in 38 Minutes, The Siege II, and Common Ground. John is visibly near tears during Tao of Rodney and The Shrine. Even from the beginning, they had fun together.

When something big happens, they look to each other. They support each other - John supporting Rodney in Miller's Crossing, Rodney showing John support in Outcast. They play games that turn out to have real life applications, they race cars, they talk about superheroes. They click. They argue and stumble away and work their way back toward each other. Rodney wouldn't let John go in The Last Man, and John refused to say goodbye in Miller's Crossing and The Shrine. Rodney calls for John in that same episode, despite the woman he supposedly loves standing just a few feet away. When Rodney is whale watching in Echoes, he calls John to his location so he can share his excitement - and John, military commander of Atlantis, indulges him. He shows up, he teases, and smiles at Rodney's excitement.

When events conspire to separate them, send them back to a place they don't fit in, not before Atlantis and certainly not now, they call each other. They set up a time and place to have dinner, inviting other friends along - but we actually see these two men on the phone with each other. They get jealous - Rodney in Sanctuary and Travellers, John in Tracker. They cockblock one another in Inferno, fighting over the same woman, and yet we see neither spending the night with her. They've been in each other's heads, seeing one another's dreams. John remembers Rodney's password, and knows the meaning behind it.

Both men are loners, and both found their family on Atlantis. They snark and they bicker. Rodney panics and John snaps at him. Even if you don't ship it, you have to admit that they have a deep friendship, a connection that cannot be ignored. For all that they say, what they do is more important, and what they do is support and shelter, care and worry and save each other. Mutual respect, friendship, family.


The Fandom
One of the best parts of John/Rodney is the amount of love they get, how prolific and frankly amazing the fandom is. I've heard people say they haven't seen a single episode of the show, others confess they watch the show but find it rather crappy - both say they're only in it for the fandom.

There are amazing fanvids:







Fantastic fanart by crysothemis [x], rainy_d [x], chkc [x], and gnine [x], and so many more. We have great manips. We have graphics [x] [x], wallpapers, and icons [x] [x].

Fanfiction
Greatest Hits Rec Post
Happyfest
Why I Love McKay/Sheppard
Turn The Page
My Favorite Things
Solsbury Hill
Master McShep Fanfic Recommendations List
It's Only Just Begun

Comment Fests!
Bellies
Hands
Skin Hunger
→ Kissing [1] & [2]
John and Rodney are Sleeping
Secret Touches
→ "How the heck did I get that bruise?" Day
Domestic
sandwich / making out / bed + John and Rodney
On this day in McKay/Sheppard history . . .
Would you please get married already? Let's just quit this shilly-shallying and make it official, yeah? THANKS

Meta/Review things
Doppelganger
Miller's Crossing
Miss you, big gay space show!
Forty Reason Why You, Too, Should Get On The SGA Train (And Ride It).
Revisiting Love: Why John and Rodney Rocked My World
→  The Shrine & McKeller/McShep
Fandoms I Have Loved: Stargate Atlantis

Links of Interest
"I love you, Doctor McKay."
Joe jokes that John's girlfriend on the show was Rodney.
David makes the same joke.
McShep Theorem
Were you looking for the story where...?
McKay/Sheppard manifesto
Giant McShep AU Masterlist
Crossroads
sga_episodefic
Archive of Our Own
Wraithbait
The 'I love [this thing] about SGA!' post
mcshep_awards
SGA Big Bang
atlantisbigbang

And now a little appreciation for the men behind the characters!

Joe's Message to David (the *wink*!)


.
Rub my belly!
.
.
.


.
It's been nearly three and a half years since I first fell in love with John Sheppard and Rodney McKay. I've loved every minute of it. They make me feel so much. They've made me laugh, made me cry. They make me smile helplessly and feel full to bursting with emotion. They've introduced me to the kindest, most generous group of people I've ever met. I've found the best fanfiction I've ever read here.

I hope I continue to love them for many years to come.
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
thebiggest_lie: Stargate Atlantis- Mcshep OTPthebiggest_lie on April 12th, 2012 04:45 am (UTC)
THIS POST IS SO PERFECT.

You hit on pretty much all of the reasons this show, and this pairing appeal to me. Those last three paragraphs particularly made me all verklempt over how much my boys love and support one another. I especially like how you highlighted what a relationship of equals they are. That there is a give and take constantly between them because to me, that is what makes a ship truly brilliant and well...shippable. When you can look to them and see all the tiny and large ways they depends on each other. When you can't imagine either character without the other.

They have a fantastic dynamic that I can't get enough of. Stargate has so many possibilities all on its own, and you add in the possibilities that the characters themselves bring, and there's so much to write and theorize about

SO MUCH THIS. THIS is what makes a fandom. A show that may technically not be perfect, (in fact, if you notice the more 'perfect' shows rarely have big fan fic fandoms because there is nothing left for the fans to imagine) but inspires the imagination and lets the viewer see all of the places the plot and characters can go.

Also, yay for all of those wonderful resources! You should post this to the McShep group on LJ.
popkin16: ☂ rodney loves youpopkin16 on April 16th, 2012 04:49 am (UTC)
ask;jfa; I AM SO GLAD YOU THINK SO.

You hit on pretty much all of the reasons this show, and this pairing appeal to me...When you can look to them and see all the tiny and large ways they depends on each other. When you can't imagine either character without the other.

That was my goal - to try and explain why these two are so good together, why they work, with examples to support my feelings. I'm really glad I expressed what about them appealed to you! John and Rodney's lives are so intertwined, both professionally and personally; I imagine that kind of thing leads to a closeness that's undeniable, giving people a sense that they're a "pair". It's not often that it's just John or Rodney, it's usually "John and Rodney".

(in fact, if you notice the more 'perfect' shows rarely have big fan fic fandoms because there is nothing left for the fans to imagine)

You know, this never would have made sense to me if I hadn't seen Farscape or Castle (despite the drawn out will-they-or-won't-they of Castle). But those two shows handled the relationships between their respective leads so well that there's not much to be said in fic. There's not much to explore, because the show itself is so satisfying.

Haha, I'm tempted to post it to mckay_sheppard, but I'm so shy.
if it bleeds, we can kill it;: stargate; on a date.jamesie_boy on April 12th, 2012 04:53 am (UTC)
THIS IS AMAZING ♥

agree with absolutely everything. :DDD love reading your thoughts on these two.
popkin16: ☊ oh can you comfort mepopkin16 on April 16th, 2012 04:51 am (UTC)
AH. Thank you bb, I'm so happy you think so :D Even after all this time, I still have so many feelings about these two, it's nice to get them all out and have people appreciate them. Thank you very much ♥
pinkdiamondsq on April 12th, 2012 06:34 pm (UTC)
YES! Exactly this.

Great post.
popkin16: ☊ i just can't make it alonepopkin16 on April 16th, 2012 04:52 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you agree with everything here :D
hoktauri on April 13th, 2012 03:51 am (UTC)
Oh, my heart. *mems for life* This compendium of John/Rodney awesomeness is a veritable cornucopia of the love and the deep and abiding friendship between these two wonderful characters.

Fabulous job, bb! *gives you lots of cookies for your hard work*
popkin16: ☂ rodney loves youpopkin16 on April 16th, 2012 04:56 am (UTC)
Ahhh *flails* Thank you :D I'm so glad you liked. This post kind of got away from me - it went from a simple essay about my feelings and why I shipped John/Rodney into this massive resource post. I don't know where I went wrong right. But I hope it reflects my love for this ship, as well as the feelings everyone else has for them.

Thank you so much, your appreciation means a great deal ♥ ♥
(no subject) - hoktauri on April 18th, 2012 02:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - popkin16 on April 18th, 2012 05:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
allofspaceallofspace on April 15th, 2012 11:42 pm (UTC)
oh. my. lord. I finally finished this. UGH WHY ARE YOU SO PERFECT MELISSA. SO GOOD AT EXPRESSING HOW PERFECT MCSHEP IS. ugh THE GIFS THOUGH. SO PERFECT. anything from the shrine kills me 100%. everything about mcshep kills me. ughgghghgh
perfect post is perfect
popkin16: ♥ close at handpopkin16 on April 16th, 2012 05:21 am (UTC)
sj;fa I AM SO GLAD YOU LIKED. I WORKED HARD ON THIS.

SO GOOD AT EXPRESSING HOW PERFECT MCSHEP IS.

Haha, well I try :D I wanted this post to be ~wonderful and I'm pretty pleased with it. I wanted each gif to be from an episode that I didn't link a clip to, for variety's sake. But I have so very many SGA gifs, I wanted to include them all!

Thanks very much, I'm super happy you like this :D
i feel the madness creeping inaadarshinah on April 16th, 2012 01:30 am (UTC)
oh, *giggles* Just reading this made me fall in love with them all over again.
popkin16: ♥ stuck with mepopkin16 on April 16th, 2012 05:23 am (UTC)
Mission accomplished, then! I was really hoping this would remind some people of how much they love the boys XD Your comment pleases me greatly~
rufios_girlj_2am on April 21st, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
I am so glad you posted this. In just a few paragraphs you captured the essence of mcshep. I too, fell into SGA late, 3rd year the show was on, I think. You are so right. Joe and David just burst with chemistry. I've not seen anything that quite compares to the sparking these two have, onscreen or on stage at the conventions. The Shrine & The Last Man are excellent examples of the love we see thru our "slash goggles". But really, how amazing would it have been to see TPTB actually develope a gay relationship for John and Rodney? We see it, it's already there, if they could have just gone with it, like the Torchwood producers did for John Barrowman. I honestly think they could have created something special, noteworthy, maybe even award winning if they'd been brave enough
popkin16: ☂ rodney loves youpopkin16 on April 23rd, 2012 11:46 am (UTC)
In just a few paragraphs you captured the essence of mcshep.

Thanks! I tried my best to keep it concise, but still get my point across. Joe and David truly have fantastic chemistry, on screen and off as far as I can tell. I'm holding out hope that maybe Joe will show up in one of David's movies :)

The Shrine & The Last Man are excellent examples of the love we see thru our "slash goggles".

I like to think those two episodes show how much they love each other, no matter what form that love takes: familial or romantic.

But really, how amazing would it have been to see TPTB actually develope a gay relationship for John and Rodney? [...] I honestly think they could have created something special, noteworthy, maybe even award winning if they'd been brave enough

It would have been extremely amazing. There aren't that many shows willing to be that brave, however, to take the risk of offending homophobic viewers. And there's always the risk that their relationship wouldn't have been written well, considering the writers of the show were most likely straight men. Still, it would have been fantastic, a forward thinking idea. Everyone should take a page from Torchwood and treat LGBT couples as no big deal.

Thanks for your comment, I am *so* happy you liked ♥
talula: wax liontalula728 on May 11th, 2012 01:27 am (UTC)
Sometimes I think I'm nutso for continuing to love these two so much; two characters from a tv show over years ago. Sometimes I feel so out of date and behind, when I read a fic that was posted in 2008- four years ago- that just fills my heart to bursting with love. Sometimes I think I have to be the only person still loving them, still watching the episodes at night and rewinding a scene because I never noticed the intensity on john's face in 'the seer,' when he says 'It was my call, Rodney,' with such a fierce protectiveness and love that outweighs any sex scene I've ever seen.

But then a post like this comes along and I realize WE are the awesome ones and everyone else is MISSING OUT. Your post will keep me happy for days clicking every single thing. Thank you!
popkin16: ☂ asghfk;plpopkin16 on May 11th, 2012 04:40 am (UTC)
Sometimes I think I have to be the only person still loving them, still watching the episodes at night and rewinding a scene

I feel this way too, especially since the friends I made when I first discovered the show have moved on to other fandoms.

But then a post like this comes along and I realize WE are the awesome ones and everyone else is MISSING OUT. Your post will keep me happy for days clicking every single thing. Thank you!

I'm so very glad you appreciated the post, that it helped you feel reconnected and less alone :) I wanted to write something that reminded people of what they fell in love with in the first place, to share that love and keep it alive. I'm happy that it worked!
sgamadison: Balcony Boyssgamadison on May 11th, 2012 01:27 am (UTC)
DAMN, this is a mighty fine essay. You nailed it! I was nodding along the whole time, and then you provided all these great rec lists, vids, and photographic proof!

*draws hearts all around your post*
popkin16: ♥  falling togetherpopkin16 on May 11th, 2012 04:44 am (UTC)
Why thank you ♥ I created this post because I wanted to share my love and remind others of their love, so it's extremely pleasing to me to read these comments and feel the appreciation!

The rec lists, vids, and photographic proof were a last minute add-on, tbh. It was only meant to be an essay on my feels. But the post felt somehow incomplete without them XD I hope people find them useful!
mezzo_cammin: johnpointingmezzo_cammin on May 11th, 2012 03:43 am (UTC)
I ♥ this post SO much!!

Yes, to all of the above. What a wonderful post! \o/

*mems*
popkin16: ♥ touchpopkin16 on May 11th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC)
Ahh, I'm so glad :D I wanted to share my love and remind people why they fell in love with these two :) I'm so happy to have succeeded~
sweetp000433sweetp000433 on May 11th, 2012 06:08 pm (UTC)
Felt like I was in church and you were preaching the word of Slash....Amen Mother Popkin!!
popkin16: ☂ close my eyes just to look at youpopkin16 on May 12th, 2012 12:17 am (UTC)
\o/

We all worship at the altar of slash. And McShep is one of the bigger saints :P
margec01margec01 on May 11th, 2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, you have just saved me so much time. I recently became friends with a person who reads m/m published fiction (who knew how much of that was out there, and some of it excellent stuff!). She has heard about fanfic, wanted to try some of it, and is interested in McShep. Now I will send her the link to this post and some of my favorite stories and I am done! A simply marvelous post in and of itself, but a great resource as well. Thanks!
popkin16: ♥ a kiss for luck and we're on our waypopkin16 on May 12th, 2012 12:19 am (UTC)
Oh, wow! I'm so glad this post has come in handy! I'm also doing some McShep fic recs under my 125 things tag, if you want to check that out. I post 5 new fic recs per day - the majority will be McShep, with some gen and other fandoms thrown in. I enjoy some m/m published fiction as well - especially this one series by Josh Lanyon :)

Edited at 2012-05-12 12:20 am (UTC)
(no subject) - margec01 on May 12th, 2012 06:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - popkin16 on May 12th, 2012 09:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - margec01 on May 12th, 2012 06:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - popkin16 on May 13th, 2012 12:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
fenchurch1fenchurch1 on May 13th, 2012 11:30 am (UTC)
I miss these boys so much - they were so close and the flirting... every week I used to squeal every time they looked McSheppy - a lot! Drove my husband mad! At least they left it at a point where we could all see McKeller falling apart and Shep moving in! Thank you for this post that just reminded me, all over again, just how cute they were! Sigh! I like other pairings in other shows (Hey! I have to watch something!!!!), but none of them are as sweet as these two!
popkin16: ♥ a kiss for luck and we're on our waypopkin16 on May 14th, 2012 10:09 am (UTC)
I miss them a great deal too! I have to comfort myself with repeatedly viewings of the episodes and all the fic, but I definitely wish there were more episodes.

You're so welcome! Thank you for reading my post - I appreciate it! I have other fandoms and pairings as well, but I always return to the boys. I can't help myself!
shelianasheliana on May 14th, 2012 09:42 am (UTC)
As a fellow late-comer to SGA and McShep, I really love this post!
popkin16: ♦ no ships like partnershipspopkin16 on May 14th, 2012 10:10 am (UTC)
jas;ak; Hello late-comer! I feel you :P I'm glad you liked my post, and I hope you find the resources useful :)
No Whimsy, Sugartaste_is_sweet on May 16th, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you for all the links!

And thank you as well for reminding me why I loved this show so much. Before the show started I thought I might ship McKay and Beckett, because Sheppard seemed way too cool for school (or at least the sciences). But the chemistry was so perfect right from the second episode that I couldn't believe I'd ever imagined McKay with anyone else (at least among the men; I was always disappointed that the show never went for McKay/Weir, because I also loved her character).

I prefer my relationships less contentious, I'll admit, so I liked season two and season four much less than one, three and five because John and Rodney seemed to be fighting so much. There were episodes where it seemed like the only reason to wince through the constant bickering was to be able to read the fanficiton afterwards that explained and even fixed what had gone on. When Rodney ended up kind of thrown at Jennifer I was happy that for once the geek got the beautiful and smart woman, but it was impossible to think of their relationship as anything beyond Rodney's striving for something he'd been told he should want. I loved the fic that had Rodney realizing his mistake (especially ones that didn't bash Jennifer). My personal canon is that Jennifer stays on Earth after Enemy at the Gates and back in Pegasus Rodney realizes that John is who he really wanted.

At the risk of pimping myself, may I humbly offer you a list of my fics? I haven't written very much since about 2008 so they don't get recc'ed often anymore, but I know a lot of people enjoyed them. :) You can find them all here if you're interested.

popkin16: ♦ no ships like partnershipspopkin16 on May 17th, 2012 12:53 am (UTC)
You're welcome! Thanks for reading :D

I can see the basis for McKay/Beckett, though I confess McKay/Weir eludes me. I can see Rodney having feelings for her, but I always had the impression that she liked Sheppard. I'm such an OTP type though, it's difficult for me sometimes to read fic where they're with other people.

I can't see the Rodney/Jennifer relationship lasting long-term. It's my head!canon that she stays behind on Earth as well, because the two of them have realized that their relationship just wouldn't work. Jennifer wants someone nicer, Rodney probably finds her youth exhausting, and as you said - Rodney was going for what he thought he should want. Also, he may have had Jeannie's words ringing in his head from Miller's Crossing, where she essentially says take what you can get, because you won't do any better. And then Jennifer comes along, and she's beautiful and young and she likes him, so why not? And then he ignores the problems with their relationship. velocitygrass wrote some wonderful Rodney/Jennifer meta starting with The Shrine here that made a lot of sense to me. sgamadison and I have also had a discussion about Rodney/Jennifer you might find interesting.

I've read some of your stuff before, and I know I've loved it, so thank you so much for the link ♥ I'm sorry for such a large paragraph about McKeller, I have quite a lot of thoughts and feelings about them.
(no subject) - taste_is_sweet on June 26th, 2012 04:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - popkin16 on June 27th, 2012 11:01 am (UTC) (Expand)