Parks n’ Rec is the show that taught me that I don’t mostly hate romance in media for aromantic reasons*, I hate it because most romance in media sucks. The narrative will just say, “These characters have the hots for each other now!” and either neglect to build any fucking chemistry, or neglect the entire fucking character in favor of making their everything all about the lurve, which in turn makes any chemistry they flail at fall somewhat flat because love is something experienced between people, not weird hollow romancebots with little else to their name, I’m pretty sure.
I mean, it happened in Weeds for fuck’s sake, right before I started barely paying attention and about a season before I realized I didn’t care anymore and gave up on it. Main lady had gotten knocked up by the drug kingpin and told her family about it, and while her kids were angry at her for very organic-feeling and narratively relevant, “YOU’RE TEARING THIS FAMILY APART,” reasons, her brother-in-law was pissed because she’d slept with someone else. He called her a slut like eight times. That was love, apparently: ignoring someone’s negative effects on other things you care about (your nephews? your safety, up to and including your life expectancy? your continued ability to keep living peacefully in your home? or, hey, if you’re so in love: her??) in favor of insulting her like a petulant, misogynistic teenager. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but his character was weakened for it. He was reduced to the Petulant Misogynistic Teenager and In Love With Protag aspects of his personality and it felt shallow and boring. And that’s what happens all the fucking time when major love plots manifest in media. Boring boring boring.
Then Parks n’ Rec, a sitcom of all things, came along and was like, “Nah, they are and always will be people beyond each other,” and I will always appreciate that.
*I think aromantic reasons definitely play a part, since my particular manifestation of it does play into my lack of fundamental appreciation for romance, so shows can’t pull that shit with me where they say, “It’s (romantic) love,” and I’ll care about it just for it being (romantic) love’s sake, but I mean, that’s by no means an exclusively or universally aromantic trait.