It came across as lame pandering to female teenagers to me.
Yep, because everybody knows that only girls are interested in love and romance in movies. Real Men™ do not need any of that shit. We only like punches and guns.
Exactly. Kirk should have just pushed Edith Keeler under the truck right away instead of quoting poetry to her first. All that mushy romance stuff was just pandering to the female demographic.
But at least TOS didn't introduce a mop-topped young Beatles lookalike in a shameless attempt to attract teenage girls . . .