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30 December 2007 @ 05:51 pm
Not Another Sam/Daniel Meta! Part 4/4  

Part 4: The Whole Brother-Sister Thing


I've been given this excuse by anti-S/D shippers (most of whom ship S/J and/or D/V; interestingly I've never really gotten it from slashers or from Sam/Cam, Sam/McKay, Daniel/Weir or Daniel/Janet shippers) more times than I can count. Either that Sam and Daniel are way too much like siblings to ever work romantically, or even that they ARE siblings. Funny, I don't recall Sam and Daniel sharing a set of parents (or one parent), or having the same last name.

Additionally, both Michael Shanks and Amanda Tapping have said fairly recently that the two characters view each other as brother and sister; Michael at the Burbank con in 2006, adding they have a rivalry between them (am I the only person who doesn't see this? Could someone elaborate?), and Amanda at the GABIT con in 2006 saying that kissing Daniel would be like kissing your brother. In the past year there was also a feature in the official Stargate magazine that went through the A-Z's of Samantha Carter. For “Daniel” it mentioned the two forming a close friendship, but then saying that after Daniel descended, she settled back into working with him as easily as a twin brother.

This thing irks me in more ways than one. I personally have never really seen anything to indicate that Daniel or Sam view each other as mere siblings. Maybe I am biased because I don't have any siblings myself. I have friends who do, however, so the way I see them interact colors my view of the whole thing. I also have an uncle on my mom's side. They never really got along as they were growing up, and still really don't to this day. They had a huge rivalry, my grandfather favoring my uncle over my mom, and in more recent years before she died, my grandmother doing the same thing. If it wasn't for the fact they were related, they probably wouldn't even bother with each other. It's sad, but there you have it. Most of my friends would fight constantly with their siblings and didn't have a great relationship with them as well. I've heard from various people that they have exceptionally good relationships with their siblings and consider that relationship special, so they could see Sam and Daniel's relationship like this. I don't know why, but it cheapens the notion of friendship or the possibility of more for me.

The way I view it is this: Sam and/or Daniel viewing each other like siblings is not canon. Why? Because neither have expressed such a notion outright. We've never gotten a “He's like a brother to me” or “She's the annoying sister I never had.” This is the same reason why I don't view Sam/Jack or Daniel/Vala romantic relationships as canon. Neither pairing has actually come out and said “I love you.” It's all subtext. And yes, I know what Daniel and Vala said to each other in Unending before time reversed and they were taken out of the bubble. But, one, if they had to say such a thing to each other, then they couldn't have explicitly stated “I love you” the whole time on that ship; and two, it was only one version of the future, and was thus not absolute. Michael Shanks himself said such a relationship wouldn't carry over to the movies.

So, until such an actual declaration of love is uttered, I don't see either of these two being canon. Shippers can rely on all the subtext they want to feed their love of the 'ship. In the same way, until Sam or Daniel actually state that they view each other like siblings, it's not canon. Others want to see it that way, then they are welcome to it. But it's never been stated.

And before you say it, yes, I count Sam/Daniel as not being canon either. But in the way that most other shippers rely on subtext, I do as well. At least for fanfiction.

Going back to what Michael Shanks and Amanda Tapping's comments, I think we need to consider the time and place in which they were stated. They'd just wrapped Season 10. Michael had a ball acting with Claudia, has praised the Daniel/Vala dynamic to the heavens, and thus sees Sam/Daniel as small potatoes compared to that. He apparently doesn't have as much fun acting with Amanda as he does with Claudia, and may still be somewhat bitter about the Sam/Jack stuff. I hate being presumptuous and I mean no disrespect toward Michael; I'm just trying to rationalize his comments and the reason he made them. I still don't understand how Sam and Daniel have a rivalry between them. But I guess that's just his take on it.

As far as Amanda's comments go, she'd made them in a room full of S/J shippers. A friend of mine who attended that con said she had talked about the various ships of Sam – mostly Sam/Jack and Sam/Martouf. After a break, the friend told Amanda at the autograph session she'd forgotten to mention Sam/Daniel. Amanda apologized and said she'd bring it up during the next discussion. When she did, she asked who liked Sam/Daniel. Apparently no one raised their hand, except for my friend whom Amanda couldn't see. She replied something like “No one, huh? Well, it would be like kissing your brother!” One wonders if she would have said that if she'd seen my friend raising her hand. But the funny thing is, during that same con she was interviewed for Gateworld about Season 10. She said she wished Sam had more interaction with Daniel, that Sam missed Daniel in the past two seasons, and SHE missed Daniel. She went on to say that Daniel and Sam have such a special friendship. The thing that's odd to me is that it almost contradicts the whole “like kissing your brother” thing, which sounded kind of insulting to me. But I would assume she did that because she was in a room full of S/J shippers. Maybe during the one-to-one interview she let more of her true feelings come out.

I was left feeling a bit sad after both of their comments, because it reminded me of some earlier interviews that made it sound like Sam/Daniel ship (or even just great friendship) would have been possible. During a Wolf con in 2000, someone had asked AT about Sam/Daniel. She replied that Daniel is very lovely and who wouldn't be in love with him. She said she and Michael actually talked about it during Season 1. Michael had said “wouldn't it make sense for our characters to get together and be in love since we're both scientists and passionate about what we do?” She replied, “Yeah, but you've got this wife.” I'd also read somewhere else about this, and that since Sha're was still in the picture, they just let Sam and Daniel flirt a bit more in the early seasons. But after she died, the writers concentrated their efforts more on Sam/Jack. It's a bit sad that both actors were so receptive to the idea in the beginning of the show, but other circumstances seem to make it repulsive to them.

Well, at least as far as ship is concerned. It is nice that Amanda misses the friendship. I haven't heard much of Michael's thoughts on it, but apparently he doesn't seem to care too much about it. At least I'm assuming, anyway.

So, there you have it: A detailed (maybe too detailed... sorry) description of the Sam/Daniel friendship...dynamic... whatever you want to call it. If you made it this far, I thank you for reading. Even if you don't share any of my opinions. I know this was going to be chiefly about friendship but I ended up sticking a wee bit of 'ship discussion in it anyway.

For the newer fans who don't even fancy a friendship between these two, I suggest you watch the first few seasons of the show, because once upon a time they had a very nice dynamic.

In closing, I'm left somewhat saddened by this apparent deterioration of the Sam/Daniel relationship and I don't hold out much hope for it being repaired or given more due in Continuum. I guess the only way I can entertain my squeee is through fanfic. So, get those pens...er...keyboards moving. ;)  And I'll try to do my part as well.


Whew, last part finally.  Any questions/comments/things you think I should add? Please let me know. :)
 
 
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Jenn: sam grinsurreallis on December 30th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, the sibling thing drives me NUTS. I mean, if people want to think that then fine, but it seems like people have this undying need to actually *tell* S/D shippers that their ship is 'incest', and that just drives me crazy.

They don't have the same parents, and they didn't grow up together. End of story.

I think the actors' comments recently are just the culmination of so many years working together. S/D was never a huge, vocal shipping camp, and I really do think there was some bitterness on Michael's part about the S/J ship. I know he said that he didn't want any romance in the show period, but I tend to think it was more personal than that, especially as he seems okay with it now that Claudia is around. Pure speculation on my part, obviously.

The actors just see the show so much differently than we do, and they take the ships far, far less seriously, so I think they just have a good time discussing whatever ship is in attendance at cons. We can feel relieved that anything they say has no effect on canon. :)
jessm78: Sethjessm78 on December 31st, 2007 03:17 am (UTC)
Yep, same here. stargazer put it so eloquently in her Sam/Daniel bingo card. And I know someone had commented there that it seems like we're unique in that others feel this need to *tell* us that the ship is incest. I've heard people talk about other ships, that the two characters involved are like brother and sister, but I haven't seen the "incest" outcry that I've seen with Sam/Daniel.

That sounds about right to me. I was talking about it with a friend a while back, and she mentioned some interview in S9 Michael gave, about how it was such fun working with Claudia in the first 5 eps, and then when Amanda came back he was annoyed that they had to get back into that old routine again. I didn't know what to make of it really, but I thought the bitterness might have been creeping out then. I've heard that he doesn't mind D/V romance so much because he's involved in it, that it gives him more screen time. But that's speculation on my part too.

Yeah, that is a bit of consolation there. :)
amyheartssiroc on December 31st, 2007 02:15 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this meta a lot.

The sibling thing drives me crazy, too. It seems to be the loudest objection voiced against any ship where the characters are good friends. I know I have a few close friends, and while I might not view them as romantic interests, I also don't view them as siblings. It seems silly to me to pretend that "related" and "romantic" are the only two categories of human relationships.
jessm78: Fire and Waterjessm78 on December 31st, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
Thanks!

Exactly. I used to think it was used as other shippers as a defense mechanism for their own ship, like they can go and ship characters A and B, but not B and D because B and D are too sibling like and it's therefore not a threat to their own ship. Or something like that.

Same with me. I don't see what that special something is that makes two good friends seem sibling-like. Because they get along too well? Because they squabble like siblings? Because they seem too much alike? Because they are too different to be romantic?

The whole thing is quite silly. Why just have "romantic" or "sibling like" as the two relationship choices between characters? Why can't "good friend" exist alongside it? *shakes head*
Demelza: S/D - What's Between You and Irightxhere on December 31st, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)
I'm personally of the mind that the argument of Sam/Daniel, and yes, even Cam/Sam, are pointed to being 'like siblings' is because they are the most compatable -as a ship-, compared to the ship that the shows writers and the 'more promiment shippers' believe themselves.

I have been in the Third Watch fandom since the end of season two, beginning of season three. There was so much fandom wank from those fans who hated Faith Yokas' character, yet worshipped the ground Maurice Boscorelli worked on....and they could not see outside their blurred goggles of a 'Mother/Son' relationship between the duo, that they told all we 55-David shippers that our ship was, as I said, that of a mother and son. Which is utterly sick, considering the amazing amount of UST the two had.

When I first saw some of Stargate SG1, I didn't see the whole Sam/Jack thing, I honestly thought that Sam and Daniel were MARRIED. It was a season two ep too, i believe. They just had this great chemistry, and I loved it.

The show pushed the Sam/Jack thing, so I found myself liking them (all that angst), but I got so bored with that ship a friend introduced me to Sam/Daniel again. And I've loved their friendship since!

For me I guess, I think the reason there was so many negatives shown to us in regards to Sam/Daniel is for two main reasons. #1: TPTB want us to ship Daniel/Vala. #2: TPTB want us to ship Sam/Jack.

I really can't stand it when tv people push these kinds of things. They did that in Third Watch and have done it in SVU, and it annoyed the fudge out of me when they did it with SG1. I think that's why I liked to Sam/Cam in seasons 9 & 10, because it wasn't forced by the writers, everything we shippers see is played on by Amanda and Ben. Which is why I think I loved geek!verse Sam/Daniel so much, because it was Amanda and Michael having fun.

TPTB annoy me. Joe Mallozzi in particular. Him and his 'like brother and sister' labels on Sam/Cam and, i believe, Sam/Daniel, are damn rude to fans.


And this kinda turned into a rant, so I'll go now, sorry! lol My point I guess is that I support your posts (which were wonderfully written, btw!).
jessm78: groovyjessm78 on December 31st, 2007 04:54 am (UTC)
LOL - no worries about the rant. Happens to me more than I'd like, so I totally understand. Thanks so much for the support and for the kind words. :)

That makes perfect sense to me. I hate it when TPTB try to push ships to the point of knocking us all over the head with a sledgehammer. I've never really shipped Sam/Cam much (though I adore their friendship), but I feel the same about it as I do Sam/Daniel. It's all subtle and doesn't feel so forced. The other two - Daniel/Vala especially - were just too forced IMHO.

Funny you should mention Joe Mallozzi. He admitted in an interview that he was a Sam/Jack and Daniel/Vala shipper (it was an interview about Memento Mori if I remember). And then there was that comment about satisfying "that contingent" in Unending, meaning Daniel/Vala shippers. I can't remember who said that, if it was Mallozzi or Cooper. Don't believe I've seen Mallozzi say the "brother and sister" thing about Sam/Cam and Sam/Daniel, but I wouldn't put it past him. That's pretty insulting of him. I'm compelled to go and ask him how he sees it that way, but there'd be no point I guess. *shakes head*

I've gotten to the point where I'm basically a non-shipper onscreen. I save it for fanfiction mostly. TPTB have disgusted me so much. Ship is in the eye of the beholder and if some fans choose to see things differently than TPTB intend, they shouldn't be insulted for it.

I think I've turned this into a rant now. Oops. ;) But thanks again for the kind words. :)
ticklie: sam/daniel+leatherticklie on December 31st, 2007 07:59 am (UTC)
I tend to see the S/J and D/V factions' insistence on S/D being sibling-like as a consequence of a 'sparks must fly for there to be romance' type mentality.

Personally, I like the extent to which Sam and Daniel are comfortable with each other and I see that as a sign that a romantic relationship between the two could work out healthily and without too much angst.

But the show's producers don't seem to believe in that kind of thing so I've pretty much resorted to superposing my fanon perceptions on the last two seasons to make them easier to watch. So I explain away the lack of interaction as them not even needing to speak to each other to know what the other is thinking. It works for me.

It intrigues me that I haven't noticed very many romantic relationships on TV where the two were as close friends as Sam and Daniel are (or were in the earlier seasons). Maybe the raging UST thing works better to bring in an audience so S/D type ships are pretty much sunk from the get-go. The only exception I can think of is Jim and Pam in The Office, who tended to be very high on the aw-cute-meter in the first seasons. And there have been vocal objections against that ship precisely because they have a relationship that appears more sibling-like to some people than romantic.

Um, yeah. I suck at commenting on meta. I just wanted to say I read the whole thing and agreed with a lot of your points.
jessm78: hairsprayjessm78 on December 31st, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, very good point. That was one thing I was thinking of bringing up, that a lot of people don't care for S/D (or see it as sibling-like) because there aren't any sparks flying and so it's too boring.

I know a lot of people who love the "sparks must fly" notion but to me it sounds so cliched. Boy meets girl, girl beats boy up, boy rolls his eyes or calls her names, they go at each others throats, then stop and look into each other's eyes, realizing how much they love each other, fall into a heap of gooey, gummy passion, live happily ever after, the end.

It's been done so many times before, it's basically formulaic. No offense of course to people who love that sort of thing. I just find it boring. I'm with you - I love the fact that Sam and Daniel are so comfortable with each other and that fact could lead to a nice, healthy relationship, if it was ever entertained.

I guess that's really all we can do. If I'm not doing that, I resort to missing scene types of fan fiction to fill in the nice interaction that I miss onscreen.

Yeah, it's possible that TPTB think that type of thing is really popular and will draw in more fans. Plus, as far as S/J is concerned, maybe they liked the idea of the main "girl" on the show getting together with the leading man. And as far as D/V goes - they have the benefit of MS and CB loving to work with each other, that a lot of CB fans from Farscape followed her over to SG and since more Daniel scenes mean more Vala scenes, they love it too. I don't like it but I'm just trying to explain it away.

*grin* Well, I thought I sucked on meta. This is the first meta discussion I've ever posted and I had no clue if I was even doing it right. But I'm glad you hung in there for the whole thing. And nice to meet someone who feels generally the same way. :)
Chibi Hoshi: Shipshoshi_reed on January 4th, 2008 04:52 am (UTC)
I always though TPTB started with SD as the official ship until they got the green light for the 3rd and 4th season. Once that happened they knew they wanted to free Sha're/Daniel from their marriage (the obstacle for a SD relationship) and didn't want to fall under the moonlighting curse (since they had no other valid reason/obstacle to keep the ship apart once the marriage card was removed) so they switched to SJ because the military regs would be an easy obstacle that would never go away. (That and one RDA disliker said he threw around his weight as the lead/star and wanted the "hero" to get the "girls")
jessm78: groovyjessm78 on January 4th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
That makes sense to me. It's like they have fun with "forbidden" relationships. And I guess that would include SD since Daniel was still technically married to Sha're and wouldn't think about cheating on her. When Sha're was killed, they removed that element and I guess figured such a relationship would be boring.

It all comes back to that type of relationship (the "forbidden" ones or the ones wtih a lot of tension) so boring and cliched to me. Which is why I don't care for SJ or DV. When shipping I try to go beyond what just seems popular at the time because it's played up mercilessly by TPTB. I look at the characters, how they interact and have interacted from the start. And with SD, I love what I see. Even in the first couple of seasons everything between them was subtle. A nice, quiet, subtle relationship between them that could have gone farther (and does go further to some of us ;)).

Even though they've tried to portray Daniel not caring much for Sam in recent years, I'm still a SD shipper. It goes beyond the whole "old habits die hard" notion. At the heart of it, I love their harmonious relationship and if it means I have to handwave certain things or fill in the blanks with my imagination (cue fanfic), so be it.

Oops I think this is turning into a rant. *blushes* But I think you knew what I mean. :)
amounet on January 10th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
So, I read the meta from beginning to end, and really enjoyed it. As I have posted comments along the way, I won't bore you again. :)

However, something has occurred to me, and I will attempt not to make this a rant.

Perhaps the reason writers and TV producers continually give us this sparks flying, angst ridden romance that seems to make for good ratings is because it is essentially fantasy. That is why we watch film and TV is it not? To escape, and be part of another world for a while.

I really think it's an indictment of the 'romantic love' syndrome that people want to believe that this is the way relationships are. But how many of your friends and family had an explosive relationship like that which actually lasted? If it doesn't settle into a quieter rhythm, it explodes in the opposite direction.

All of my most meaningful relationships, including friendships, have been a much calmer, quiet and most of all, easy thing. It's a shame that TPTB didn't have the courage to continue depicting that side of S/D, be it purely friendship, or a romance. It would have been much more believable and real for me than a S/J or D/V relationship ever was.
jessm78: cam/valajessm78 on January 14th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, I'm glad you liked it! This was my first ever meta and I had fun writing it out (ended up being 12 pages...*whew*). Your comments don't bore me in the least. *grin*

That's a very interesting point. There does seem to be quite a contingent of people who enjoy this sort of thing. IMHO those types of relationships are more like fantasy, and I guess I can see the ones that could be more realistic not appealing to people because they find it boring or too easy.

There was a time when I was a hopeless romantic and sometimes it can be nice to entertain, but my line of work has turned me into a realist big time. I can understand why people would enjoy seeing things this way and rooting for these types of relationships, but I personally don't know of many in real life that have lasted, especially for the long term.

CB herself said she'd see Daniel and Vala as an old married couple that would fight all the time. My uncle had a relationship like this with his ex-wife and they were only married for about a year. Just too many differences for them to get along (and too much bickering).

Same with me. I cherish those relationships. If anything, portraying the S/D relationship (be it friendship or more) would be a nice contrast to S/J and D/V. It might have given fans, particularly newer ones who aren't too familiar with the characters, something like "Oh, this may not be a bad thing. Nice to see these two interacting." Something easy and calm.

Sad that TPTB dropped the ball there.
aiyana2112aiyana2112 on September 3rd, 2012 04:07 pm (UTC)
The great thing (I think) about Stargate is that they never 'officially' hooke anyone up (ok except Pete), and there's enough subtext among all charecters to support any ship pairing. I do think they totally over did the Sam'Jack thing (and I do like Sam/Jack, it's just soooo over done and there are more realistic pairing IMO).

I'm a multi-shipper, I ship many pairings (mostly Sam centric) and I've recently gotten into Sam/Daniel. i think the only person I can't hook Sam up with is Teal'c. I do like Daniel/Vala too but not as much.

I also HATE how lost Sam/Daniel's friendhip became in the later seasons, especially the last 2. This was looong before I was even remotely a fan of a Sam'Daniel pairing. It' like Vala took over every role in Daniel's life from friend to love interest to royal pain in the ass. The 'gang' seemed so broken after season 8. Season 9 almost seemed like season 1 where everyone had seperate lives outside of the team, more broken. Season 10 I liked the show again because Been Browder seemed to finally meld his charecter into the team. If it wasn't for the loss of the Dam/Daniel science twin dynamic, it would have been an incredable season. I still think the shoe could have lasted a few more seasons. It' like once they hit that record of longest running sci-fi series they quit while they were ahead. Scifi or whatever the channel is called now seemed to have a habit of this with all thier great shows, I despise that channel!
jessm78: Stargate: S1 Daniel (DJ + kisses)jessm78 on September 6th, 2012 01:11 am (UTC)
Oh, absolutely. It was all pretty much subtext. Anyone could see it any way they wanted to. And yep, I agree that Sam/Jack was overdone. Some scenes were so awkward I was cringing.

I'm a multi-shipper of sorts, too. I've also shipped Daniel/Sha're, and I'm a Vala multi-shipper as well. Yeah, I adore Sam and Teal'c's friendship, but I can't really go beyond that with them.

Thank you! I'm so glad there are more of us who feel this way. It really got sidelined in the last two seasons. I think the writers just loved the interaction between Daniel and Vala (and I suppose the chemistry between Michael and Claudia) and wanted to use that as much as possible. Sad that they didn't realize it was overkill. It annoyed me how they paired the team off exactly the same way in most of season 10. You'd have Daniel/Vala off somewhere, then Cam/Teal'c somewhere else, and usually Sam off on her own in yet another place. I thought Cam really came into his own in season 10 too, shame like you said about the Sam/Daniel dynamic being sidelined because it would have made it a lot better for me. Haha, I agree with you on SciFi! ("SyFy"? Really??) My annoyance with them started more than 10 years ago when they canceled Mystery Science Theater 3000. And they just keep it up.

Thanks for commenting! :)