Due South is the only fandom that I can say that I was ‘pimped’ into, and even then things didn’t go quite according to plan of the person who tried to pimp me into the show :-)
A good friend of mine, whom I had first met via Starsky & Hutch told me in early 2002 about this show that had she had been pimped into, that had a lot of similarities to S&H, and how the partnership was also very similar to that of Starsky and Hutch. So I was keen to see some episodes. She very kindly sent me a couple of tapes and I started to watch them.
The first episode was Burning Down The House and I watched virtually open-mouthed as the most slashy telephone conversation I had ever heard took place. ‘Wow’, I thought, ‘what a wonderful relationship; I see what she means’. Then I watched the rest of the episode, and although I enjoyed it, I found myself wondering when the character from the phone call was going to reappear so that I could see this wonderful slash relationship - not realising at the time that I was already meant to be seeing it
I was still enjoying the episodes enough to want to see more, but this was never going to be a fandom or a slash pairing as I could barely see friendship between Benton Fraser and Stanley Raymond Kowalski, let along anything else. Please F/K fans do not take this an attack, it isn’t meant to be. Three of my closest fandom friends are F/K fans, and I have great respect for them and their opinions. I just can’t see the relationship, but then I can’t see other slash relationships whom my friends can see. I enjoy some of the Kowalski episodes, in fact one of my favourite Due South episodes is a Kowalski one - Dead Man Running. I love the humour and slick exchanges, as well as the characterisation, but most of all I love it because it shows just how much Fraser cares for the real Ray Vecchio.
Anyway, when I had finished watching the pimping episodes, I was keen to see something of Fraser’s history. I’ve never enjoyed coming into something half way through, I’m a bit of a completist in that respect. Thus I asked my friend if she could let me see some Season One and Two episodes, which she did. Once more the rest is history.
Within a few minutes of seeing Ray Vecchio and Benton Fraser together I knew that I had finally found for what I had been looking and waiting whilst watching the Kowalski episodes. From almost their first scene together something clicked and seemed so ‘right’; they had the indefinable thing that for me makes a slash pairing. I adore the way that Ray calls Fraser ‘Benny’, and also the way he put a different slant on Fraser’s surname calling him ‘Frasier’; both names are so personal to Ray, especially Benny, and show deep love and affection - and Fraser returns Ray’s affections. Their bond is so close right from the very beginning and just grows closer and closer and remains there even throughout the Kowalski seasons.
So once more I have a collection of DVDs, zines, folders full of stories (my own and other peoples’), information, pictures and bits of memorabilia. My biggest problem (apart from writing American English) when writing Due South, is that I can’t ignore Seasons Three and Four, thus I have to explain and find ways around Call Of The Wild , but actually that’s quite fun to do.
Apart from my Fraser/Vecchio slash pairing, I also adore Diefenbaker (he can come and live with me anytime, although what my little Westie would think, I’m not sure), he really adds to the storyline and is an asset. I also really like Fraser’s father, Frannie and Lieutenant Welsh, in fact all the regular characters add to the show and have depth. A few of my favourite episodes are: The Victoria Arc, which I consider to be: Victoria’s Secret, Letting Go and North; another favourite is Pizzas and Promises.
I have a preference, albeit a slight one, for Ray Vecchio over Benton Fraser, as I find him more complex and dichotomous - the main things that I look for in my favourite.