Why is Superhero Romance So Boring?
I’m a fan of most of the Superhero TV shows that are out today. However, there continues to be a glaring issue with many of these shows; that issue is romance storylines.
To clarify, I don’t hate romance on Television, I actually like it a lot. But, I hate when it’s done poorly. Instead of finding ways to organically insert romance into weekly episodes, it’s shoehorned in. For example, anytime Barry and Iris have romantic scenes on The Flash, it often feels like a totally different show. The transitions between romance and action are rarely subtle and that’s the most frustrating part. Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tommorrow are all guilty of this as well. Not only do the romance scenes feel out of place on these Superhero shows, they’re usually boring too.
I realize these shows are on the CW and their target audience is primarily pre-teens who want to see romance, but that’s not a valid excuse. iZombie and The 100 both spend a lot of time on romance and developing relationships, but unlike their superhero counterparts, it feels earned.
The other thing that bothers me about the romance in these shows is that the character dating/in love with the hero usually suffers because of it. Iris on The Flash, Jimmy on Supergirl, and Kendra on Legends of Tomorrow have had very little development because they’ve been relegated to more or less the “love interest” role. In defense of The Flash, they’ve done a better job as of late giving Iris more to do, but her lack of screen time outside of talking about her feelings for Barry is still noticeable.
I don’t want this post to come off as me hating these shows because that’s not the case. Other than Arrow, these series are some of my favorites to watch every week. I just wish these shows would be a little bit better at making the romance fit the Superhero narrative and not the other way around.