So many plots, from Doctor Who to Homeland, Sherlock and Lost to Fringe, would be much improved by ditching the love interests altogether
When the Doctor shared a kiss with his newest companion this Christmas, my response was not "Aahh" but the distinctly unimpressed "Oh". My disappointment was nothing to do with Jenna-Louise Coleman's performance as young governess Clara Oswin Oswald but because I am fast growing tired of the notion that every show needs a sprinkling of romance to make our hearts beat faster. Some of them, I can't help thinking, would be much improved by ditching the love interests altogether.
Take Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Millions of viewers, myself among them, occasionally entertained ourselves during Buffy's early seasons by imagining a world in which our heroine forgot about her romances with Angel and Riley, and took a walk on the wild side with Spike. That idea started to look less attractive with season five, when Spike decided he actually was in love with Buffy, which proved borderline unpleasant to watch. Then came season six and as Spuffy unfolded, all undead sex with a frisson of violence, culminating in the attempted...