Whether a tense is necessary or not depends on the speaker's intention and the idiomatic background from which they cull their language.
The present tense can be modified with words such as now, currently, at present, at the moment, lately, etc.
As to whether present tense expressions that use these adverbials sound "artificial" "stilted" or "phony" is a matter of opinion. Often, what sounds "correct" to a native speaker is just a matter of their idiomatic background--even on "official" matters of grammar.
The verb "like" isn't used in the present continuous (not by me, at least) so those adverbials are normally used. Now, I like vanilla ice cream, is perfectly fine, as is, Currently, she likes Sherlock Holmes stories. There are a number of stative verbs that aren't normally used with the present continuous, love or hate being others.