The studio knew the critics were going to hate it right off the bat. Which why they showed the first screenings to about 1000 actual GI's and their families. Which I guess was their way also of saving face after they took out The Real American Hero bit.
Apparently alot of the stuff in regards to The Baroness is from the comic book. In that she is completely brainwashed, CC's sister, and Duke's former love. So that really doesn't bother me. My only issue with the lovey dovey stuff was that Scarlet should have either been after Duke or with Snake Eyes. I realize why they didn't go that way. Snake Eyes would be hard to sell as a love interest and Ripcord needed something to do other then crack jokes.
The Baroness was always sexy because she was evil, not despite that she was evil.
Only recently. The show and comic writers finally figured out that nerdy dominatrixes are hot. In the old show she was shrill, obnoxious, and kind of a dork.