Are they siblings or not? To ship or not to ship?!

Okay, I get that families are a key part in the mystery and plot twists surrounding any soap opera, be it the typical American soap opera, telenovelas, or Korean dramas, but do you really have to play the “are they siblings or no” card?

This seems to be extremely popular in dramas, and I frankly do not like it because I’m basically like, “INCEEEEST!” My feelings are conflicted. Although I know internally that they can’t possibly be siblings because then they can’t end up together, and we know that they have to end up together (at least in K-Dramas) because it’s this unspoken rule and if this rule is broken, the whole world is broken–or will break because the viewers will rain down a torrent of hate and anger on the whole production crew. Still, it’s a bit disturbing. (I’m sure, though, that in soap operas and telenovelas, which go on for a very long time, it does happen once in a while where two possible lovebirds or current lovebirds find out that they’re actually related somehow. I wouldn’t be surprised.) I don’t really like this weird trope they got goin’ on in the world of soaps because… I mean… do I even have to explain it?

As a viewer, even though I know the characters can’t be related and this should be revealed later on, I still have this nagging doubt and this feeling of discomfort because it’s like, “Sooo… are we supposed to see that as a sign of romantic feelings or a sign of brotherly affection or what?! Why are you doing this to us?!” It’s weird to think about! For example, Kill Me Heal Me makes us believe that the main girl and secondary guy are siblings, but from the weird glances he gives her way, we can logically deduce he has more feelings for her than that, right? But why even make us think this way without telling us they’re not actually related from the get-go? If we didn’t just know from common sense and instinct, that would mean the writers wanted us to think, “Ah, he’s totes her brother but he has the hots for her. Ooh, conflict. Forbidden love.” Is that what they’re going for? Or do they want us to be like, “No! I want them together but they’re related! Please save me from this agony, writers,” and then later they do the big they’re-not-siblings reveal, and we’re supposed to be super grateful and relieved? My friend watched this with her boyfriend and she said, “Yeah, he likes her,” but he responded with, “Whaaaat? I think he likes her as a sister,” because, well, at that point, it’s not revealed they aren’t siblings, so there’s no reason for him to not think that way. Plus, he actually has a sister, so his initial reaction is definitely not, “Awwww yeeeee, he likes his sis.” Because. Gross. Duh.

Coincidentally, that actor who played the “brother” was in a more recent drama called Fight My Way, which also had this huge “secret of birth” storyline going on, where a woman they lived near was obviously related to the main characters somehow. Later, we see that she had a child, but we’re not sure if it’s with the guy’s dad or the girl’s dad–either way, she seems to have had history with both dads. It was a bit confusing, but I was sensing that the writer was trying to bring in the possibility of the two leads being related. Which was super awkward because of the sexual tension going on between the two leads at the time–they were trying to move on to sleeping together in their relationship. Did the writer not realize that by introducing the possibility of that woman having slept with the main guy’s dad that the writer was introducing the possibility of the main girl being the main guy’s half-sister? If that makes sense–oh, wait, none of this makes sense.

Next, I started this weekend drama called Father is Strange and right off the bat, we’re supposed to sense the chemistry between this sweet girl and this cocky star, but then the whole “fake reveal” of him finding out his father is her father comes up. Of course the viewers know that’s not possible and we’ll surely find this out later, but this drama is telling us they’re related and wanting us to feel their chemistry all at the same time–which is messed up, just sayin’.

So yeah, I don’t get it. I don’t get it at all. The whole thing is based on the writers relying on our common sense to be like, “They can’t be related,” but doesn’t that undermine the whole suspense of finding out they’re not related later in the first place? So why even bother? Why can’t we just go straight to the romance and forego the whole possible incest thing?

This is the trope that has to go.



4 thoughts on “Are they siblings or not? To ship or not to ship?!

  1. Oh man. I have so many feels about the faux incest in dramas thing. I believe there was one k-drama where the secondary guy did fall for the main girl and for the longest time the series went back and forth with, “are they or aren’t they?” until it was revealed he was indeed her biological brother (I can’t remember if he was her full or half sibling). I forgot what the series was called too, but I remember reading a summary for what happened later on and the guy was terminally ill and had told her something like, “Noona, I hope in the next life you are not my sister” or something. I found that to be quite tragic because it made me imagine what it would be like for people who are in that situation in real life. :/

    I do feel there is somewhat of an ick factor in dramas to portray romance in faux incest relationships as normal. I think it is normalized to some degree in dramas because it’s played up for the storyline, but then there are so many weird coincidences in the plot where I’m left thinking, “Okay, there is no way that would happen in real life in that situation…”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry but “noona I hope in the next life you are not my sister” is… the creepiest thing I have ever heard. It does suck for them, though… I do think it happens quite often where people find out they were related after falling for each other… the way it’s normalized in dramas though… *shivers*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL. True, it does come across as creepy for the guy to wish that he and the girl won’t be siblings in the next life. Now that I think about it, there was a recent historical k-drama I saw that featured a marriage between two half-siblings. That was super gross to me even though the marriage was historically factual. But yeah… I don’t get where the heck this trend of faux / real incest in dramas comes from.

        Liked by 1 person

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