One of my favorite magazine subscriptions, The Week, an aggregate publication which pulls the very best articles from around the world to create their own multi-sided editorial arguments recently re-ran a very interesting article written by Gina Piccalo for LA Magazine.
It details the collateral damage of actors with on-screen love interests, and how that affects their real-life relationships. The interesting thing about this article is that these people are affected the same way you know YOU would be in the same role. You would feel super awkward kissing someone else. And your spouse would hate it.
For some reason, I was under the impression that since these people are actors, that they're able to easily separate acting from their real lives. But, after reading this article, I think that's just something they have to tell themselves. Because they're human. And practicing being in love with someone for hours on end each day does create a bond. (think Brad Pitt / Angelina Jolie)
And now, I no longer want to see love scenes between people who aren't in real-life relationships. But, I'm a realist, and I understand the effect that would have on digital entertainment. But, I also remember the first two seasons of The Office. The Jim/Pam relationship had some of the most romantic moments I've ever seen. And no touching took place. (Note: It was after the Jim/Pam relationship became hands-on in the show that Jenna Fischer, the actor who played Pam, separated from her husband) (Note #2: I also know that bonds can be/are formed without physical contact...but I don't have an answer to that one yet.)
So, rather than looking at a lack of touching as a roadblock to good television, perhaps producers should see it as an opportunity to create true romantic moments?