'EXchange' producers hope for similar response to 'My Sibling's Romance'

The panel members and producer of upcoming dating reality show "My Sibling's Romance" pose for a photo at a press conference on Wednesday. From left are Han Hye-jin, Patricia, Miyeon, Lee Jin-joo, Jonathan, Bambam and Code Kunst. The show will premiere on March 1 on JTBC and be available for streaming exclusively on Wavve. [JTBC]

Upcoming JTBC reality series “My Sibling’s Romance” aims to once again expand the boundaries of dating shows, following the show creators’ success with the ex-lovers dating series “EXchange” (2021-24).

But romance wasn’t on anyone’s mind at the press conference held by the show’s production crew and celebrity panel cast on Wednesday, ahead of the series’ premiere on March 1.

“My Sibling’s Romance” is a reality dating show that revolves around a non-celebrity cast looking for love under the same roof: nothing viewers haven’t seen before. The twist is, all participants are brother-sister pairs; and they’ll have to watch their siblings try to worm their way into someone else’s heart, or vice versa, right under their noses.

None of the participants know who is related to who when they enter the shared house, so viewers can expect to see some unabashed flirting and gauge the reactions of the siblings as they watch everything unfold in front of their very own eyes.

Producer Lee Jin-joo [NEWS1]

“The inspiration for the show came after talking with a friend whose brother was going on a dating show,” Lee Jin-joo, the show’s head producer, said. “All I could think during the conversation was how it would be fun if this friend and her brother went on a dating show together.”

“Dating programs are open to a lot of variations. Romance plays out differently depending on the type of social relations and the situation in which it occurs,” Lee said.

Lee avoided giving specific answers about the show’s plot devices, non-celebrity cast’s personalities or their dynamics, saying it would spoil the show. This comes as no surprise, given that the producer’s signature work “EXchange” was made up of tightly woven character narratives and raw confessionals that, according to viewers and critics, were key in creating suspense and keeping viewers emotionally involved.

“EXchange” was a commercial and critical hit, setting records by topping weekly viewership rankings on streaming service Tving. Lee hopes to replicate its success in “My Sibling’s Romance” by using her and the production team’s past experiences working on the show.

“The production crew conducted in-depth interviews with the participants when recruiting the cast for the show. We all wanted to tell the participants’ stories to the best of our abilities,” she said.

Model Han Hye-jin [NEWS1]

Like many other Korean dating shows, “My Sibling’s Romance” is interspersed with live commentary from a celebrity panel who watch the pre-recorded footage together in a studio.

The six-member panel consists of model Han Hye-jin, music producer Code Kunst, girl group (G) I-DLE member Miyeon, boy band Got7 member Bambam and the Congolese-Korean entertainer duo Jonathan and Patricia, who are also siblings.

The panel members, who say “My Sibling’s Romance” is more lighthearted than “EXchange,” demonstrated the show’s tone through their wit at the conference.

Jonathan and Patricia [JTBC]

“Someone like me,” Patricia said when asked what type of person she would recommend to her brother as a romantic partner. “Someone who can take care of his shortcomings. Such as I do. Or someone patient. He should meet someone like me.”

Jonathan shot back with: “She needs to meet someone with a very forgiving heart. Maybe someone who is training to reach nirvana.”

The sibling’s back and forth jabs at each other, one of the highlights of the press conference, will also be featured throughout the commentary in the upcoming series.

“They have their own segment within the show,” Han said.

The panel members also pointed out not the romantic chemistry or budding love between participants, but the familial aspect of the show.

“I have a younger brother who is now married […] but my perspective of him sort of changed after [watching this]. People who are enemies with their siblings may start loving them after watching this show," Han said.

"I was surprised by how open siblings were with each other nowadays,” she added.

“The show watches like a sitcom,” Miyeon said. “I laughed and cried at the same time while watching.”

"My Sibling's Romance" will premiere on JTBC on March 1 and will be available online exclusively on streaming service Wavve.