|Brian/Justin (QaF) -- So what's the deal here?
||[Sep. 16th, 2011|02:27 am]
Warning: Brian/Justin shippers! If you are sensitive to discussion of this paring in non-fangirling terms, you may wish to not read or at least proceed with caution. There is NO bashing here, however, I discuss quite candidly what doesn’t work (and what works or would work) for me in this ship and why. If you feel such a discussion will upset you, please move on without reading further.
So, more soul searching on the Queer as Folk shipping front. Brian/Justin. SO DAMN POPULAR in fandom and also canon. So nice to watch for most of the show but…why don’t they work for me fandom wise (and what versions may work and why) and why do I suddenly take issue with most of Season 5 (although the season’s fine overall.)
I think this has a lot to do with what Brian is and Justin is not to me. That is: Brian IS my favorite character. He’s the guy I squee over, he’s the guy I can and kinda did fall in love with (him being gay aside). Justin is NOT anywhere near my favorite character. I don’t hate him or anything and there are characters I like a lot less, but there are also a lot of characters I like more. I also have a hard time relating to Justin, I don’t adore him the way the rest of fandom does (nothing against Randy, the actor, this is a lack of liking aimed strictly at the character). I also don’t hold to the “poor Justin” trope of fandom.
What does all this mean?
Firstly, fandom has a love for the trope of “the guy with the commitment problem realizes he’s found the love of his life and turns into mush.” I don’t want Brian turning into mush. I don’t want him to be dependent from…well, anyone. Not Justin, not anyone. At all. (Not even Michael, though I am a B/M shipper.) I like Brian the way he is in season 1 and 2 and…anyways I like independent Brian who may care about Justin but who’s happiness doesn’t depend on Justin or any other boyfriend.
Now, one of the characters in my all-fandom OTP (Theodore/Anatole) is sort of like Brian – independent, self-sufficient, doesn’t need anyone to be happy, strong, cynical, etc. I’d venture to say that I like Anatole more than I like Justin, but I don’t think that’s the issue. At least, not the bulk of it. The thing is, in the T/A case the Protector character – Theodore (Brian’s analogue) -- is fully allowed to be the caretaker. Anatole is either hopelessly in love with Theodore – and shows it – or even if he has “moments of doubt” he still remains dependant on Theodore. He is neither mature enough or independent and self-sufficient enough to be without someone who would act as a shield from the real world. Therefore, no matter how in love the Protector character is, he is still in control of the relationship, the Protectee character is always dependent on that love, either by being hopelessly in love himself or dependent in other emotional/practical ways without realizing, or only partly realizing, the romantic aspect.
With QaF and B/J it is NOT like that. Justin is too self-sufficient, mature enough, and independent enough to not have a constant need for Brian. Actually, they have a very nice Protector/Protectee thing going on in seasons 1 and 2. Then it slowly starts to break down. I mean, it’s natural, Justin is growing up, becoming his own person, etc etc. His personality is just not the sort that I like with Brian. Justin, for me, can’t fulfill that Protectee role.
In season 5, Brian changes. Rapidly. It’s aweful. Fandom falls over into mush and focuses on the Brian-loves-Justin aspect, perhaps making up for lost time in canon. I want Justin with the angst, I want the Justin-loves-Brian aspect, perhaps because I want to relate to Brian’s partner, I want him to be as in love with Brian as I am. More, even. This doesn’t mean that Brian can’t love Justin back. He just shouldn’t be falling all over himself because of it.
IDK, I just want to like this paring more so I’m trying to figure out what works for me with them and what doesn’t.