In some stories, the main character’s love interest seems designed to be an almost perfect mirror image of themselves. These characters’ lovers share their same personalities, tastes, and motivations, and might even look something like them. "The Umbrella Academy" is one notable show that does this. So far both seasons feature a central character falling in love with someone who is almost exactly like themselves (Vanya in Season 1 and Diego in Season 2). What are some other examples of this trope? How popular is this phenomenon in fiction and what factors contribute to it?
See the story of Narcissus (Ancient Greek figure who falls in love with her own reflection). – J.D. Jankowski8 months ago
There is also a hilarious 30 Rock episode about this concept. They discussed the concept of dating yourself is a "double edged sword" where as your weaknesses as a person are the weaknesses of your partner. 30 Rock: Season 5, Episode 14 – Sean Gadus8 months ago
To add to Sean's point, there's an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry starts dating the "woman version" of himself. He initially finds this attractive until he remembers he "hates himself." – aprosaicpintofpisces8 months ago
Analyse the history and evolution of the Mills and Boon romance novels. How the content and cover art changed throughout the years.
Mills and Boon romance novels have been around for so many years, maybe like 50 or 100. You can analyze how they evolved over the years in terms of their covers (illustrations on the covers) as well as the stories themselves. For example, more recent versions have more explicit language. – nsafwat1 year ago
Pop-culture is infamous for questionable portrayal of romance. What does a healthy relationship look like and what pieces of fiction do a good job at portraying it? A recent good example I can think of is Violet and Tony in The Incredibles 2. While we have yet to see the relationship take off, the fact that he is attracted to her for her confidence sends a positive message. By working on herself first and being strong and independent, Violet was able to attract a nice guy. I think we need more media that sends that message of self-fulfilment being an important ingredient in a healthy relationship.
Good. The usually is girlfriends fighting or couples yelling, since it fits an image of TV drama. A normal relationship where friendship or love matter in healthy ways is an interesting topic. Can TV handle this and find it interesting enough to attract and hold viewers? – Joseph Cernik3 years ago
Love this. Love the idea that relationships do not need to be abusive, unhappy, or negative in any way to be interesting. Hollywood's frequents portrayal of unhealthy relationships--what kind of message is that really sending to kids and young adults? – Eden3 years ago
Analyzing the films that go against the common belief in Hollywood that every great story with a female lead must contain a love story. Meaning, there’s a clear love interest for her character. Looking at films that follow and defy this tradition, and at what cost. From the top grossing film of the year that follows (Rogue One) to indie favorites that don’t (Lost in Translation), what is gained and what is lost by following this trope? And why can male leads go against this tradition? Would Master and Commander be a bigger hit if he had a damsel to rescue? Or could the Matrix survive without Neo’s love for Trinity? Compare the loveless 2001: A Space Odyssey vs. the love-driven Interstellar. Both are successful films with male leads. Why aren’t there more non-romantic films lead by women? Take a look at the film Housekeeping, which stands out from the pack.
That is a great question. However, if you look hard enough you will find many more films being released today that do not follow this pattern. The Underworld series contain a female hero who is seen battling alongside the men and in most cases actually does more damage than they do. She is portrayed as the leader of her people and her main focus is to keep her species alive above everything else. Of, course there is a love story but he is on the opposite side of the war and she will not let her love for him cloud her decision to kill the rest of his people. – AnthonyWright4 years ago
You're right, in that example the love interest is not quite as pronounced as many other films. Thanks for the note! – Nate Océan4 years ago
Every time I watch a TV series, there are always comments from people saying that two characters should become a couple, even though they are portrayed as just friends. I personally don’t have a problem with romance, but it seems like that’s all everyone talks about when it comes to television. There are even characters that are searching for romance.
In real life, love is not something you feel just because you want to, and while it is fun to ship people once in a while, I find that there are very few who understand the idea of friendship.
What is it about romance that makes such good entertainment? Why can’t two people just be friends and be happy with that?
It may also be a good idea to talk about the best way to execute a romance, and what the circumstances should be. – enizzari5 years ago
Difficult to engender narrative energy from just a friendship. Maybe because the power dynamics are too steady, too symmetrical. Generally, dramatic intensity comes from romantic/erotic love/lust, as well as more vertical relationships, ie parent-child, mentor-protege, master-servant. Any number of psychological/psychoanalytic reasons that might be, if you want to go into that. – TKing5 years ago
Considering how much emphasis is put on romantic love in Western society, making characters have a romantic relationship rather than a platonic one raises the stakes of any obstacles that might jeopardize that relationship. Romantic love is often positioned as the ultimate goal of life, so people will go to further extremes to achieve and maintain it. – chrischan5 years ago
I think the purpose is to create sexual tension. In the past once the onscreen couple did get together, it ended the show because there was no longer any interest on the part of the audience. This as called the Moonlighting Effect named after the show Moonlighting, a show that was cancelled after the two protagonists got together. The Moonlighting Effect also had an impact on Superman: The Adventures of Lois and Clark. With Friends the writers were worried about Chandler and Monica getting together and how it would affect ratings. I think a way to develop this topic would be to examine how the idea of friendship and love has changed. Shows don't end anymore once a couple gets together. I think Friends broke the Moonlighting curse. – Munjeera5 years ago
Of Confucius' five relationships, four - ruler to subject, father to son, husband to wife, elder to younger - are based on the tension between inequality and difficulty in severing the bond, while the other relationship - friendship - is based on equality and a more easily dissolved bond. The unknottable blood ties of family, it seems, might make the best heavy dramas, while friendships, requiring a more positive, public face might best lend themselves to lighter dramas and comedies. – Tigey5 years ago
Honestly, I think it's totally possible for two people to be just friends without it developing into a relationship. Take Harry Potter and Hermione Granger, for example. They were incredible friends, leaned on each other through thick and thin, and neither of them ever thought of the other as anything more than a best friend. I just think we've become accustomed to stories having at least a little bit to do with some kind of romantic relationship. And since that's engrained in people's brains, that's what they write about. – Jenae5 years ago
Throughout a growing number of games (one blaring example being Bioware’s Mass Effect or Dragon Age series), players have the option to "romance" a character, through completion of side quests, dialogue, gifts, etc. What does this add to the game, if anything? Does it take anything away?
Another thing that could be focused in is the "role-play" aspect. Some games (such as Bethesda games) have always had that rpg aspect that ties into the general style and playing experience of the game. Other's however, don't really need it. A good example could be the Witcher series. You make decisions and romance, but ultimtaely the game is based and adapted (pretty heavily) off the Witcher book series. Therefore is this rpg aspect really necessary? – Mela5 years ago