Romance Shows Are Better than Romance Movies

Rom-Coms like 10 Things I Hate About You and When Harry Met Sally are no doubt classics, but would they be even better as a show?

Rom-Coms like 10 Things I Hate About You and When Harry Met Sally are no doubt classics, but would they be even better as a show?

Lancy Shi, Photojournalist

Recently, Netflix released one of their most well received romantic comedies by the name of Heartstopper. After watching this show, many viewers have expressed the pure joy they have felt while watching these characters fall in love in a span of the eight episode series. This got me thinking about romance as a genre because I have always felt that people view romance movies as “cheesy” or “lame,” yet when a romance plotline is executed in a show, it tends to be so much better.

When asked about this, Ruby Bittner (12) says, “I think that TV show romances are better than movie romances because you start to grow with the characters and see every step in their relationship.” I definitely agree with this idea that shows have longer run times, so you have more time to grow with the characters. It is so much more refreshing to see characters get together at the end of a season rather than in 20 minutes, which is usually the case for movies. Obviously, I am not saying movies are bad, in fact, many stories have been perfectly made into movies of other genres. However, I feel that since romance relies so heavily on the connection between two characters,if there is so little time, it is very difficult to execute it well. Romance only works if there is buildup of tension, and that kind of buildup takes more than the length of a two hour movie.

Because shows have a much longer run time, there is also room for side characters to have their own romances, which is another reason why I prefer them over romance movies. For example, if you dislike the main couple, there are many other couples to root for so at least you get something out of the viewing experience. So many romance tropes can be incorporated into not just the main two, but also the other characters. For example, I am a huge fan of enemies to lovers, so I might root for the side couple with that dynamic instead of the main one. Not only does this add more drama and rewatchability, but it is also so much more fun because there is so much to discuss within the cast of a seasonal television show.

The reason why I feel the need to rant about this topic is because I feel we need more shows like Heartstopper here in the West. For example in the East, it is very common for shows to be primarily focused on romance, but I have noticed that here in the US as well as most of Europe, we barely have any shows that are purely romance, which is saddening to me. We need more wholesome romances in our lives to fill in the void and relieve stress. At the end of the day, I am sure that even though some YLHS students might disagree with me by shoving a list of their favorite romance movies in my face (politely and respectfully by following the Mustang Way! Obviously), it is extremely fun to discuss this topic of romance as well as how it should be consumed.