I think many people assume that because I say Sam and Gene are my OTP and because the past, oh, two years I've been a little single-minded in this regard, this means I am automatically anti-any-other-ship that may involve them --- but I don't use the term for 'the only two people who should ever be together, ever'/'they can never, ever be with or love anyone else'. I have never been that person. OTP, for me, in this instance and every other I may use it roughly translates to, 'my favourite!', 'the coupling that gets me right there!', 'everything about them interests me --- everything!'
This shouldn't feel like some weird sort of confession, and I understand all of the people who didn't --- but I grew to really like Alex Drake. Even love her. Flaws and all. She became a character I became interested in and emotionally invested with. From series two onwards my issues with Ashes to Ashes were, for the most part, not Alex-related. And it does, it actually does, give me a sad when people hate her with the passion of a thousand suns, because I think it was bad, bad, bad writing and some bad direction-giving that got us to this point, and that, actually, the writers and directors pulled it together in the end (or, even, by A2A 1.08.) It took more time than it should have for me, perhaps, but I do think it happened. I never, ever had a problem with Keeley who I think is delightful and a fantastic actress and is, all in all, one of the women I have a crush on despite being ostensibly for the men.
In the name of full disclosure, I admit I still sorta wish A2A had never been made, or at least, if it had to have been made, been made after at least a year where Matt and Ash could get their shit together, but I do not think the show was without merits.
And so, even though, as I said the other day, I don't actively ship it, I don't have a problem with Alex/Gene, or Gene/Alex (I do have a problem with the term 'Galex', because I am singularly WITHOUT HUMOUR about aaaaaall pairing smush names. Every last one. Even Shassie, which is now Psych-canon.) You cannot convince me that Gene never loved Sam, but I do not subscribe to the theory that it's impossible to have loved deeply and then love someone else. I, personally, don't think Gene ever quite got to devotion with Alex, but I do not have rage for the concept that he did. And their friendship, in the end, charmed me.
The reason A2A isn't my canon isn't because I hate Alex, because there's no Sam (although. guys. there's no Sam :(), because it's got het ewwww. It's because it's so damn restrictive. I can happily fanwank and wave away the contradictory elements of Life on Mars that do not conform to whatever theory I am choosing to apply to a story. To me, there is nothing definitive that says 'this is the answer'. I do see ambiguity. I think there's really only ever one element you need to ignore or discount in order to get to anything you want to, really, within, you know, limits. But because I am a 'yay canon' writer, I find that very, very hard to do with A2A and chose, for the most part, not to use A2A canon as the show was running because we didn't know the Grand Mystery. Now we do know the Grand Mystery, it's actually super interesting and rife with awesome possibilities which were not always brilliantly executed yet do have miles of potential, but, as I said, it's so damn restrictive.
Also, there's no Sam. SORRY! It's a thing.
So. Um. In the end? Sam/Gene makes me happy in my heart, but isn't the sole reason I am ever 'BOO, HISS' about A2A. Or even the reason at all. And, in fact, all 'boo, hiss'ing has to be tempered by the fact I did actually enjoy a lot about A2A all the way through.
... I am feeling like sufficient time has passed that I can now rewatch A2A and make icons, even. I think I've got over my damage. Guuuuys, I may be Growing Up. Hold me. :(