Dating is dumb. Stop making me watch people fall in “love”.
by Meredith Mclaughlin
Everyone loves romance, right? It’s just such a wonderful thing to be in love with the right person. The one thing that can almost replicate that feeling for those like me who are romantically illiterate is watching two characters in a show or movie get together. When romance in a show is done well, it can be a great part of the plot that really helps the characters shine through. But I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that sometimes these TV love affairs can feel really forced and out of place. While a good romance can make a show work, a bad romance has two times the opposite effect. I am here today to take a stand against dumb romances in shows and movies. It’s time Hollywood realized that it’s sometimes ok for the main characters to remain friends.
I’ve found this problem in the show Archer. While I really enjoy the show and love all the characters, I don’t think the show is serious enough for me to expect a real relationship from it. The main character is egotistical and insensitive. I know this is far from a problem, but his personality makes it difficult to believe one of his colleagues would have deep feelings for him. The show keeps trying to push Archer and Lana as a couple on me; they’ll shove in scenes where one of the characters will say “I don’t like Archer/Lana, right?” Meanwhile, another character snorts, climbs through the screen, puts the viewer in a headlock and whispers “Of course they do. They are really very in love and should ‘just screw already.’ This is something you’d like to see.” Archer’s problem is that it expects the viewer to support a relationship between two people who just seem to hate each other. It doesn’t matter if they say they’re “friends” if they don’t show it. I couldn’t care less about their relationship. Their “love” feels out of place and messes up the flow of the show. And every forced romance is like this. The show would be the same without that specific plot point, so why bother?
The worse a forced romance is, the more obvious it is to the viewer. A good romance shows chemistry rather than tells it; it usually does a good job of making the viewer want the characters to get together. However, sometime the best romances are the ones that aren’t there at all. Can you imagine how much better Captain America: Civil War would be if there wasn’t that obnoxious romance subplot between Steve Rogers and his old girlfriend’s niece, Sharon Carter? That monstrosity is a perfect example of terrible, trite romances. No one asked for them to get together, no one wanted to see them kiss, but they did! Who’s idea was it to have him date his old girlfriend’s niece? I can not iterate how little it matters to me if they get together in the comics because that’s one of those things that should have stayed in the comics. It added nothing to movie, and the only thing it served to do was to make Captain America look like an even bigger asshole. If the romance in your movie can be taken out with no change on the story, then it is best left taken out. People don’t want to sit through mushy dialogue with no heart when they could be watching sick action scenes. If you’re going to have a romance in your film, you have to commit to it and make it work (just like in real life, apparently.)