Yes, I’m still on a romance kick. I’m afraid I’ve been giving the impression that I’m anti-romance, when that’s not true. I’m against forced romance, romance placed in a story simply because someone, somewhere deemed it “necessary” even if it doesn’t fit.
There are cases of romance I really quite enjoy. For example, on NCIS, they have started introducing, very slowly and casually, a romantic relationship for one of their leads. Tony’s a playboy – up until this point, the interactions he has with women have been overtly sexual and flirty and completely not serious. It’s been a facet of his character that’s not particularly endearing, and it has enhanced his general immaturity.
Enter this new woman. The first time we saw her, they were on a dinner date. It was apparent immediately that this was different from how Tony usually behaves around women. He was serious and focused. And sincere. In subsequent viewings of this relationship (which are very few, and very small), the differences in Tony continue. He’s gone out with this woman for a month and hasn’t slept with her yet. He’s nervous about it.
It’s SO nice to see romance in this case because it gives Tony added depth, where before he was just a player. It doesn’t overpower the storyline-of-the-week. It isn’t the focus, it’s just a part.
Contrast this romance with last year’s bombarding flashbacks of Tony’s boss with the NCIS director steaming it up in Paris, and it’s a very welcome change indeed. Last year, they shoved it at us to the point of nausea. This year, subtlety is the word.