Double the Fun, Half the Character? A Critical Look at Twins in Pop Culture

In the last few days of the star sign Gemini, I wanted to talk a bit about twins in pop culture. I think television writers struggle with how to portray twins, and that’s putting it lightly. Identical twins seem to be the ones featured most prominently—why bother making two characters twins if they don’t look alike? Never mind the hundreds of fraternal twins actually out there who get less representation on TV because they’re less of a curiosity. Identical twins tend to be used as visually striking additions to TV shows, typically in sort of a gimmicky way: “oh look how kewl, they look exactly like each other!” However, the line between novelty and fetishizing, and even dehumanizing, is terribly thin. It contributes to what is honestly a freak show mentality, which leads to poor writing, poor character development, and overall less than ideal portrayals of twins. Spoiler alerts for Teen Wolf Season 3 and Heroes Season 2 below.

Identically adorable.

Identically adorable.

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Teen Wolf Season 3A: This Might Hurt.

[Warning for Spoilers]

Lady Saika: Well, Lady Geek Girl has dragged me into this fandom as well, and I have to say: the season three tagline was a bit of an understatement. “Might” hurt? My ass.

But now we’re on hiatus (does the Teen Wolf fandom have a silly word for hiatuses like Supernatural‘s ‘hellatus’ and Hannibal‘s ‘he-ate-us’? Howlatus?) until January, and we can sit back, lick our wounds, and collect our thoughts about the first twelve episodes of season three.

Lady Geek Girl: Now, Madame Ace and I have delved into Teen Wolf before. We discussed both seasons one and two, as well as feminism in Teen Wolf and race issues in Teen Wolf. I have praised Teen Wolf before, because, while not perfect, it is a very feminist show. This season I had high hopes for the show to continue with its usual feminist themes. And while we still have many strong female characters and feminist themes, the ladies certainly took a hit this season.

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