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Mindy Kaling’s tweet about ‘flirty’ siblings on TV sparks a discussion

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Mindy Kaling has an interesting theory about white families on TV — and it seems like she’s not alone in her opinion.

Earlier this week, the “Mindy Project” star tweeted, “With white families on tv, the brothers and sisters are always, like flirty with each other.”

Kaling’s post was liked more than 52 thousand times on Twitter, sparking a spirited conversation about past examples of on-screen chemistry between TV siblings and stepsiblings.

“Friends” was a prominent example in the discussion, with one Twitter user saying that Kaling’s tweet described Ross (David Schwimmer) and Monica Geller (Courteney Cox) from “Friends,” and their closeness.

One Twitter user said the “inappropriateness” between Monica and Ross was “toe-curling” at times, continuing, “Like the time Rachel describes her first kiss with Ross, and Monica responds like she’s absolutely *not* Ross’s sister? She’s super excited and says ‘oh my god’ like it’s a really arousing story when it’s about her sibling?!”

The tweet also had people revisiting shows from their childhood, like the Canadian TV series “Life With Derek” that once aired on Disney Channel in the U.S.

The show was about two kids who battled for control of their household after they became stepsiblings.

Many Twitter users felt the chemistry between Derek, played by Michael Seater, and Casey, portrayed by Ashley Leggat, was a little … off.

One person wrote, “The older brother and sister liked each other period.” And another said of the stepsiblings’ apparent attraction, “It’s so uncomfortable, but was so blatant the whole freaking time.”

One Twitter user posted an exchange between Derek and Casey in which they discussed the distinction between sibling and stepsibling. Derek seemed to emphasize that there was a distinction.

On the topic of stepsiblings, Marcia and Greg’s kiss in “A Very Brady Sequel,” which took place at a wedding, naturally made the discussion. Actors Maureen McCormick and Barry Williams had an off-screen romance that may have contributed to the characters’ on-screen chemistry.

The “Brady Brunch” clip prompted people to revisit memories of how they initially processed the moment when they encountered it as kids.

“Clueless” is a movie, not a TV show, but still featured an ex-stepbrother and stepsister falling in love, and was part of the discussion.

The Twitter thread also veered to include incidents of outright incest, or relationships that came close. Viewers pointed to the scene in “Seventh Heaven” when siblings Mary (Jessica Biel) and Matt (Barry Watson) almost kissed, before their father caught them.

“Dexter” was another show mentioned. At one point, Debra Morgan reveals she has romantic feelings for her adoptive brother, Dexter Morgan. Stars Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall met on set, married and divorced over the course of the show’s run, per EW.

On the Liverpool-set soap opera “Brookside” from the ’80s and ’90s, a brother and sister acted on their attraction, and openly fell in love.

Similarly, on Élite, half-siblings Lu (Danna Paola) and Valerio (Jorge López) are romantically involved.

“Game of Thrones” went the same route as the aforementioned two series, with Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) carrying out a years-long affair. Jaime pushes Bran Stark out of a high window when he discovers them together, inciting much of the show’s action. (Incidentally, in the novels that inspired the show, Jamie and Cersei’s relationship is only one of many instances of incest).

And then, there’s the relief some characters feel upon finding out they’re not siblings. On the show “Brother and Sisters,” when Justin Walker (Dave Annable) finds out Rebecca (Emily VanCamp) isn’t his long-lost sister, he kisses her. “It’s not incestuous, we do find out she wasn’t a Walker,” Annable told the L.A. Daily News.

The list goes on and on, with commenters throwing out examples in shows like “Elite,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Borgias,” and “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

There’s a reason there are so many examples. With this tweet, Kaling calls attention to a long-held pop culture trend trend, which EW labeled “the almost-incest plot” in a piece from earlier this year.

A 2011 Salon story titled, “Why is incest all over prime time?” pointed to four prestige shows on the air at the time, including “Dexter,” Boardwalk Empire,” and “Game of Thrones,” that featured borderline or outright romantic relationships between siblings.

The normalization of, or fascination with, these types of relationship goes back even further. A 1997 story from the New York Times pointed to a trend of incest as a theme in literature and TV. “Incest is the plat du jour in the 90’s marketplace, the sudden Zeitgeist zapping a jaded American audience,” the article read.

Whether it’s 1997, 2011, or 2022, this taboo topic gets people talking, and watching — as Kaling’s thread demonstrates. For all its controversy, maybe that’s why this plot line keeps making its way to our screens.



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Britney Spears Asks Fans for Privacy After Police Called to Her House

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Britney Spears is reacting to fans calling authorities to perform a wellness check at her home this week, noting that it’s an invasion of her privacy and a line she’s imploring her fans to not cross again.

The 41-year-old singer on Thursday took to Twitter and made her plea directly to fans after cops paid her home a visit shortly after she deleted her Instagram account. TMZ reported that, for unknown reasons, fans grew concerned about yet another deactivation of her social media account, prompting them to call the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

But Britney was none too pleased.

“As everyone knows the police were called to my home based on some rank phone calls,” she said in a statement shared on Twitter. “I love and adore my fans but this time things went a little too far and my privacy was invaded.”

She added that deputies never entered her home and quickly realized there was no issue and left immediately. The checkup left her feeling “gaslit” and “bullied,” she said.

“This felt like I was being gaslit and bullied once the incident made it to the news and being portrayed once again in a poor and unfair light by the media,” she continued. “During this time in my life, I truly hope the public and my fans who I care so much about can respect my privacy moving forward. All the love, B.”

It’s the second time in as many months that either Britney or her husband, Sam Asghari, has asked for privacy. Sam made a similar plea back in December after fans expressed concerns over Britney’s social media activity and her absence from public events.

“Social media can be traumatizing. Sometimes it’s good to take a break,” Sam wrote in a series of posts shared to his Instagram Stories. “She has her voice and is a free woman.”

He added, “I have respect for her privacy and I protect it at all times… Out of respect for her privacy, I don’t post her 247. I ask for permission if I ever do.”

That particular post came on the heels of speculation that the pop icon isn’t actually in control of her social media. Britney later returned to Instagram and explained how she accidentally deactivated it.

 



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People Are Sharing Their Buy Now, Pay Later Regrets, And It’s Sadly Relatable

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Finally, some people said that using BNPL backfired on them after unexpected events shook up their budgets.

“I made several purchases using BNPL. It worked out for the best… at first. But then things started getting lean and money became tight due to being off work following an on-the-job injury, and then it turned sour on me. I was without an income for a while until my worker’s comp benefits started. I struggled; I focused on my basic expenses and paid the rent and utilities, bought food and gas. My accounts have since been sent to collections and I regularly get texts, phone calls and emails about it…and there is nothing I can do about it, short of filing bankruptcy.

BNPL is NOT like a credit card. You can’t make monthly payments or arrange to skip a payment or use payment protection or whatever. These companies will hound you until the end of time for their money.

It’s just not worth it. It’s really not.”

—Shannon, 43

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Jessica Biel celebrates husband Justin Timberlake’s 42nd birthday with sunny photos

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Justin Timberlake is officially 42!

The pop star’s wife, Jessica Biel, celebrated her husband’s birthday with a sweet post on Instagram.

“Happy birthday to the person who challenges and inspires me every day. The person who keeps me laughing and creating and risking it all,” she wrote on Jan. 31. “The person who makes the ordinary extraordinary. You know who you are. I love you.”

In the photos, the couple appears to be on a boat somewhere sunny and warm to celebrate the big day.

Timberlake and Biel started dating in 2007 and eventually tied the knot at the Borgo Egnazia resort in Fasano, Italy, in 2012.

They renewed their vows in Italy last year in honor of their 10th anniversary.

When Biel visited TODAY in November 2022 she explained it’d been an “intimate” ceremony with only a “couple of our friends.”

“We literally barely put this thing together. We almost canceled it,” she told TODAY’s Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. “We thought, ‘Oh, is this silly? Are we going to feel goofy doing this?’ And, actually, it was so moving.”

She added that as parents of two young sons — Silas, 7, and Phineas, 2 — they try to make time for just themselves.

“Justin always says, he goes, ‘We cannot stop dating. We have to keep dating.’ That’s always what he says, and he’s right,” she said. “You got to go on date nights. You have to take that time for yourself. It’s so hard,” she said.

“I’m trying to take my own advice. I’m not good at it. I’m still working on finding that balance in my life.”

In a post for their 10th anniversary on Oct. 19, Timberlake celebrated his marriage to Biel with a sweet note.

“10 years ain’t enough!” he captioned the slideshow. “You make me a better husband and father every day! I love you so much you beautiful human! Run it back!”



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