What with "Spoils of Babylon," "August: Osage County" and the approaching premiere of Lifetime's update on "Flowers in the Attic," it feels like incest is just really in right now. Although, when it comes to entertainment, familial love is nothing new -- Oedipus was already making out with his mother in the fifth century B.C. Now, as you wait for the campy yet terrifying greatness that will surely fill this latest version of "Flowers in the Attic," we bring you 13 incestuous couples in preparation of the onslaught of taboo.
Chris & Cathy, "Flowers in the Attic"
The essential slumber party reading material is infamous for its incest plot line involving the Dollanganger children as they are locked and hidden away in the upstairs of a giant mansion, but wait, there’s more! Not only is there a romance between brother and sister Cathy and Christopher, but it turns out that their mother and father are actually uncle and niece! The original book is dark and terrifying while the 1987 film version is a campy cult classic. The new Lifetime version has a lot to live up to.
George Michael & Maeby, "Arrested Development"
After she kisses him to make her mother jealous at George Sr.'s retirement party, George Michael's love for Maeby is interrupted only briefly by his bland for egg. By the time he grows interested in upcoming film "Les Cousins Dangereux," their trip to second base in the model home is inevitable. George and Maeby soon find out that they are definitely biologically-related cousins, before later discovering that they are definitely not biologically-related cousins (Maeby is Lindsay and Tobias's biological daughter, but Lindsay is not Lucille and Georges'). Oh, also they accidentally got married in an old folks' home.
Dexter & Debra Morgan, "Dexter"
Dexter and Deb are not biologically related, but the way they were raised and their closeness as siblings rendered Deb's affection disgusting at a truly visceral level. Initially it appeared that Deb's romantic feelings might have been simply an uncomfortable suggestion by her therapist -- an unsettling aside, perfectly capable of finding its way out of the show's consciousness. Yet, when she pursues her feelings to the extent of confessing her adoration for Dexter, things go from complex to just bad. In the words of Deb herself: "You’re a serial killer and I’m more fucked up than you are.”
Norma & Norman Bates, "Psycho" - "Bates Motel"
Norma and Norman Bates have a very close mother and son relationship. Initially shown in the 1960 film “Psycho” by Alfred Hitchock, the relationship receives the origin treatment in A&E’s new prequel series “Bates Motel.” The series shows how Norma and Norman spooning one another in bed will eventually lead to Norman keeping Norma’s skeleton in the basement and dressing as her, while he kills the tenants of his motel. Happy Mother’s Day?
Margo & Ritchie, "The Royal Tenenbaums"
Margo and Ritchie's taboo love may have been created for the sole purpose of inspiring Halloween costumes. As an adopted daughter, Margo and her fake finger don't biologically count as part of the Tenenbaum clan, but she and her tragic tennis player know their feelings are wrong. The stress of it all culminates on the court, with Ritchie sinking down, while a sportscaster narrates his struggle: "He's taken off his shoes and one of his socks and ... actually, I think he's crying."
Luke Skywalker & Princess Leia, "Star Wars: Episode IV"
These unwitting siblings really didn't have much chemistry in the first place. Leia only initially kissed Luke to make Haan Solo jealous, which is never a good reason to kiss someone (even if they don't turn out to be your fraternal twin). Eventually, Luke and Leia discover that they are the children of Padmé Amidala and, well, Darth Vadar: "Luke, [she is your sister]."
[Spoiler] & [Spoiler], "August: Osage County"
We won’t destroy a major plot point in the play/film, but two members of the extended family fall in love only to end up being related even more so than they originally thought. Get ready to gasp along with the rest of the audience when the secret connection is revealed.
Marty & Lorraine McFly, "Back To The Future"
Don’t blame Lorraine (Lea Thompson), the attraction is purely innocent when she falls for her time-traveling son (Michael J. Fox) instead of her future husband in 1955. Whether she knew it or not, she was hitting on her offspring, but we have to give her credit for comparing kissing Marty to kissing her brother.
Jaimie & Cersei Lannister, "Game of Thrones"
Brother and sister Cersei and Jaime of the House of Lannister have been carrying on a secret affair since they were children. The sibling lovers have had three children Myrcella, Tommen, and the sociopathological King Joffrey. Similar to Cathy and Christopher from “Flowers in the Attic,” but only if they had evil royal children as a result of their affair. Even in Westeros incest must be kept secret.
Cynthia & Devon Morehouse, "Spoils of Babylon"
The IFC miniseries from Funny or Die spoofs, the major television events from the ‘80s like “North and South” and “The Thorn Birds,” follows the wealthy Moorhouse family over the span of 50 years. The star-studded miniseries stars Kristen Wiig and Tobey Maguire as star-crossed adoptive siblings. Over the years, war and money tear the two apart, but their love burns eternal. We’ll watch Wiig in anything, even if she is kissing her (adoptive) brother.
Kathryn Merteuil & Sebastian Valmont, "Cruel Intentions"
Katheryn and Sebastian aren't hopelessly drawn to each other so much as they feed on mutual manipulation in an economy of sex, power and, well, coke. Sarah Michelle Gellar is so flawlessly evil, it's difficult to explain her actions through anything other than sociopathy. No word on whether "Les Liaisons dangereuses" (upon which the movie is based) played any role in inspiring George Michael's obsessed with "Les Cousins Dangereux." (See: George Michael & Maeby, "Arrested Development.")
Cher & Josh, "Clueless"
Had you asked Cher Horowitz, if she would ever date Josh, her brother from another mother / by marriage, she would have gawked at you, before disappearing into her massive closet: "As if!" Alas, the tides of Jane Austen's "Emma" threaded throughout this parodic teen movie, our endearingly pretentious heroine drew ever closer to making out with her brother. Their eventual coupledom is emotionally satisfying enough to be justified. Hey, they're not really related.
Greg & Marcia Brady, "A Very Brady Sequel"
When Carol’s first husband moves into the Brady household, Greg is forced to share his “far out pad” with his sister Marcia. It isn’t until their first night in the attic together (what is it with attics?!) that Marcia and Greg realize their attraction toward one another. The spark prompts them to realize that if Carol’s still married to her first husband then they aren’t even technically related. Though they’re not related by blood, thinking of the Brady kids as sexually attracted to one another is just wrong, and we’re glad Marcia and Greg agree on that when they finally kiss at the end of the movie.
"Flowers In The Attic" premieres Jan. 18 at 8 P.M. E.T. on Lifetime.