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Before | After

Ship manifesto

Day 21 - Favorite ship

I actually wrote a Ship Manifesto entry for this one, many years ago. I had to think about this one a lot, because there are many great 'ships, for me, but rarely have any 'ships given me as much joy and heartache as Nikita and Michael on LFN. The show's producer's were basically on crack the entire time they worked on the series, which is evident in the course the relationship tracked over the four and a half seasons of the series. (Anyone who watches 24 knows what kind of crack Surnow and Cochran smoked; they didn't change their stripes much after they went on to do 24 from LFN.)Continuity of story was pretty much unheard of, and when we finally got a real relationship and some sexin' up after three seasons of keeping them apart, we only got to see it afterwards, not when it actually happened.

But still, I think we were pretty much happy fans -- I don't believe you could really like that relationship without being the kind of person who likes thwarted love and suffering and angst and sacrifice. Nikita was Michael's polar opposite, which is why it worked so well and was so grandly operatic in the scheme of things. He was stoic to the point of seeming robotic, she wore her bleeding heart all over her. But we knew they were hopelessly in love, no matter what they showed on the outside.

When Nikita was brainwashed into believing she didn't love Michael, he was completely lost, and had this attitude of "if I can't bring her back, I'd rather die" and that was pretty much heaven to me. I also loved the fact that Roy Dupuis and Peta Wilson were both willing to get nekkid and had no problem with the intense love scenes they often did. (This deleted scene from S5, when Michael comes back at the very end of the series, is a good example. Apparently, they spent an entire day on a closed set filming this, but USA cut out the longer shot of the two of them in that "graphic" position and on airing all we got was the clutching from the shoulders up.)



Like a lot of Michael/Nikita fans, I hated the ending of S4, when the show was originally canceled. The last thing we see of the two of them is a completely different Nikita cruelly telling Michael she never loved him, and it was such a lame conclusion to something we'd invested our hearts and souls in. They were trying, I think, to make us believe that she did it out of love, to let him go, but it was handled unbelievably badly and didn't work at all. Fortunately, at the time, USA was failing, and so they brought the show back after a fan campaign, and the eight episodes they did to wrap it up were cheesy but much, much better in terms of how the relationship ended. It felt right, and hopeful, and incredibly bittersweet, with an emphasis on bitter, just the way it should have been for those two.

The CW is going to remake Nikita this fall, which I'm not especially happy about, but I'll reserve judgment. I think 'ships like Mikey and Nik's comes along very, very rarely on TV, and you can't buy that kind of chemistry, so they have a long way to go in that regard.

This is making me so nostalgic. I really should remaster some of those old LFN vids, even if there are only two people I know who'd enjoy them.

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Comments

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nikitangel
Jun. 21st, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
Wow, I'd never seen that scene before. I only have S1 and S2 DVDS, and fan-made VCDs for the rest. Interesting.
gwyn_r
Jun. 22nd, 2010 03:49 am (UTC)
Oh, you should definitely get the real DVDs if you can. There's not a lot of material, but the extras are so worth it.
misscam
Jun. 21st, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
I remember Michael and Nikita! I shipped them back in my younger years, though I don't think I wacthed season four and five. Aw, this makes me nostalgic.
gwyn_r
Jun. 22nd, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think very few of us still carry the torch these days. ;-)
avrelia
Jun. 21st, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, Michael and Nikita! I used to love them so much! - not that I stopped loving this ship, it's just kind of faded in memory...
gwyn_r
Jun. 22nd, 2010 03:51 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think that's pretty typical for most people. I think I'm one of the few still out there from the original days still producing material. What I often see these days comes from people who discovered it much later.
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