4 Reasons Why Two Main Characters Should Never Get Together

4 Reasons Why Two Main Characters Should Never Get Together

Ah, love! It makes the world go round, right? Well, not always.

When it comes to TV shows, I prefer to not have main characters in action adventure shows have long term relationships. I make this distinction since in other types of shows, dramas and comedies to be specific, it usually is the relationship that makes the drama or comedy.

To be clear, I am not talking about flings, or brief romantic moments that do not detract from the main action. And, let me add that just about all of the couples I mention below happen to be what I consider good matches for each other. The danger, from my point of view, is that the show can too easily focus on the relationship and let the action become secondary.

1. Poor judgment
 

ST:TNG-Picard & Daren, Chuck-Chuck & Sarah

If an action adventure hero is in love with someone else on their front line team, under their command, or even working as their partner, then their decisions become suspect and tainted. There is even the complication of others seeing favoritism.

Captain Picard found this out the hard way, and I will note it was not even a relationship with a main character, in the STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION episode “Lessons,” where he was forced to send someone he loved into a dangerous situation and struggled with what to do. After that, they both realized that it would be impossible to continue their relationship and she requested a transfer off the Enterprise.

In CHUCK, Chuck and Sarah also exhibit this bad judgment. Truthfully, I probably should just relegate this program to the comedy category, and then I would not need to include it here – I happen to think Chuck and Sarah make a cute couple. But, time and again, they disobey orders, put others at risk, or go on a suicide mission to save each other.

2. Vulnerability
 

Smallville-Chloe & Oliver, Clark and Lois

When a hero loves someone, they become vulnerable, in that the bad guys can exploit those feelings by threatening the loved one. Certainly this is an issue for any of our heroes that have family of any sort. But, when they are both members of the same team or are both prominent figures it makes it way too easy for the villain to capture them, and then use the perfect leverage to force the hero to give in!

I have seen this a lot when superheroes are involved. In SMALLVILLE, how many times was Lois Lane captured, or taken hostage, or whatever, just to get to Clark? And, of course, since he loved her, he always took the bait. Ditto for Oliver and Chloe. Yes, I do understand that Clark and Lois are a couple from canon, but it still detracts, IMHO.

3. Weak women
 

Burn Notice-Mike & Fi, Stargate:SG-1-Sam & Jack

In action adventure programs, I like the women to be decisive and strong, the same way I like the men to be. As anyone that watched BURN NOTICE at the beginning of this season can attest, Fi turned into a whiny, needy weakling for the first few episodes. This coincided with her moving in with Michael. Towards the end of the summer run of episodes, we finally started seeing the strong Fi we all know and love, and I hope to never see the whiny version ever again!

Another recent example is from STARGATE SG-1, and it has actually caused a large rift in the fandom. I am referring to the “ship” of Sam and Jack. There are many who embrace it, and just as many who are opposed to it. One of the primary reasons for being opposed (and there are others) is that it took a highly intelligent scientist and skilled soldier and turned her into an indecisive, needy, wimp. The character deserves better and in later seasons and when she was on Stargate: Atlantis, our capable, strong Sam returned!

4. Distracting
 

Eureka-Jo & Zane, Fargo & Holly

In action adventure shows, I want action – that is why I watch them. If I want people making doe eyes at each other to dominate the show, I will watch romances or soap operas. This bleeding over to action adventure shows is fine in small doses, but give me explosions, car chases and suspense – just not about who will hook up with whom!

For instance, the action is frequently interrupted for the long dramatic pause as the two characters exchange significant, sometimes slow motion, glances. I can’t tell you how much it annoys me when the earth is about to be destroyed, and the characters pause for a long glance. Get on with saving the world, people! We have seen too much of this in EUREKA, as the show has gone nuts with pairing everyone up.

Got it right
 

Warehouse 13-Pete & Myka, Sanctuary-Will & Abby

Just to show you I am not impossible to please, let me give you examples of shows that get it right.

WAREHOUSE 13 comes to mind right away. The two main characters, Pete and Myka, work very well together, care about each other in a brother-sister way, and get the job done without all that doe eye stuff distracting us. Their relationship is fun to watch because they are comfortable around each other, tease each other and just generally enjoy working on cases together. They also are extremely loyal to each other, and have each other’s back! That is the definition of good partners.

SANCTUARY is another good example of this. This show gives the characters off team relationships, so that they do throw in a bit of romance occasionally. However, by having the romance off team, it can be controlled in scope and does not dominate the action – no long lingering looks, no desperate attempts to save someone while completely ignoring sound judgment.

So, these are my reasons for objecting to romance between main characters in action adventure shows. Do you have any others? Do you disagree? Please let me know in the comments section below!