Thursday, February 21, 2013

But Where is the Romance?

By Desiree Holt
Okay, I’m on my soapbox. Call me  crazy but where has the romance gone in television? The good feeling? The “Oh, I love this show” feeling? I don’t know about everyone else but when I watch a television series and a couple has really great chemistry I want them together and I want them happy. I want to feel the love!!!  In an ensemble series with a large cast and the story line basically about the lives of the people involved, I want one couple that’s the anchor. One couple that is sold despite everything.That you can always depend on no matter what.
I’m a romance writer right? So I want the romance! However small it might be.
Buy Overnight Sensation 
Yet television seems to have this wild notion that if you don’t constantly break people up you’re not creating “conflict.” Maybe that’s because they don’t know how to write “conflict.” Or maybe it’s because they think the only way to keep the viewers coming back is to give them a weekly dose of angst.
Now I’m not saying every show ahs to have a romance. Some, like the police procedurals, aren’t even built around romance. But if they introduce couples and their private lives are only peripheral to the show, then why can’t they be happy? In love?
Oh, yeah, I know, I know,  couples fight in real life and they deal with problems. That’s okay if it’s not too intrusive. But if you want to watch “real life” then tune into lone of he gazillion reality shows. Or take a look at life around you. Lord knows there’s enough angst and “conflict” to go around.
When I watch television I wan t escapist entertainment. I want to feel good. I want a break from the trash I deal with every day.
And what’s the argument when shows get complaints about splitting up key couples or not putting them together when the chemistry between them is son strong is about ignites the screen? The Moonlighting Curse.When David and Maddie got together the show tanked. Jumped the shark. Well, hell. Moonlighting was a long, long time ago and I’d like to think writers have learned a lot since then about how to do it right. How to make it work.
I must have every book written by the Dell Shannon, the queen of police procedurals. The story of the crime and the police department was primary but she skillfully wove in the personal stories of the detectives. And guess what? They didn’t break up, or if they did it was instantly resolved. They didn’t do things to hurt each other. Although I’m sure she didn’t think of it this way, her books had “strong romantic elements”.
Just like many of today’s shows, like Grey’s Anatomy. I watch shows like  Flashpoint, where poor Ed has to decide between his job and his family. Why? It’s not even close to being primary to the show. Or Hawaii 5-0, where Danny and Rachel are finally getting back together and she’s pregnant with his child and he ditches her at the airport. Why? It’s not germane to the story line.
So if this bothers you like it bothers me, let me know. Let the producers know. Maybe they’ll take pity on me.

Meanwhile check out my latest releases at Amazon and Barnes&Noble and come visit me at and

1 comment:

TK Anthony + said...

All is not lost, Desiree...Tune into ABC's Castle!

Yes, Castle and Beckett have had their mixed signals, missed moments, and close calls. But throughout the series, the writers have been building heat while building friendship and trust. The producers specifically stated at the beginning of the series that they weren't afraid of the "Moonlighting Curse." And they've proved it: Castle and Beckett have become "Caskett" this season--without any loss of ratings, I might add. In the meantime, Detective Ryan is a happily married man; Detective Javier Esposito and Coroner Lanie Parish run hot and cold--but you know the ice is pretty thin over the heat.

As for eye candy, when I wrote "Forge," I cast the "ruggedly handsome" Nathan Fillion as my hero, Keir. And Stana Katic would make a good Nica (although I originally thought of Anne Hathaway when I wrote it). I love this show!

Oh, and on CBS's"Blue Bloods," Det. Danny Reagan is a happily married man with two kids.