Netflix has gone all-in on dating shows — “Love Is Blind,” “Too Hot to Handle” — and its latest series adds a new twist: dating with a sibling in tow.
In “Dated & Related,” streaming Sept. 2, sibling pairs (and one set of cousins from New Jersey) were cloistered in a Cannes, France, mansion, including Corrina and Joey Roppo of Monroe, Snohomish County.
The sibs were recruited in spring 2021 after a casting producer saw their TikTok dances. The comments on their posts often included people writing, “That’s a really cute couple,” Joey Roppo said, and he’d have to explain that he and Corrina are brother and sister. An explanatory hashtag led to the reality TV stint.
“I started using the hashtag #siblings,” Joey said, “and that’s how they found us and then reached out on Instagram.”
Initially, producers sold the Roppos on the series as a sibling competition show, possibly with a dating component.
“We never really considered reality TV before, but since it was a sibling thing, we were like, that sounds perfect for us,” Joey said.
Only shortly before production began did the Roppos learn it would be a true dating show and the platform was Netflix.
“We both had pretty disastrous love lives so we were like, why not?” Corrina said. “This is an adventure of a lifetime.”
Joey pushed back gently on Corrina’s characterization of their preshow love lives, but in the series, the Roppos come across respectful and kind (especially in comparison to some other cast members). Joey even seems a little shy.
In “Dated & Related,” Joey, 29, and Corrina, 24, and the other cast members expressed initial dismay about dating in front of their siblings.
“If I meet a guy in the villa, Joey will be lurking around,” Corrina says in the first episode.
“A lot of times she goes for the bad-boy type,” Joey counters.
But over the 10-episode first season, the awkwardness mostly dissipates as the siblings go to bat for one another.
“Going into the show we were best friends,” Corrina said in an August phone interview. “I didn’t think we could get closer, but through this experience we definitely are.”
The Roppos hope to parlay their bit of reality show fame into new careers.
“We both are wanting to pursue a career in entertainment and the show could potentially help with that,” Joey said. “We’ve been working on music, writing songs for five or six years, and we’ve also been taking acting classes and doing all that stuff, so we can do that as well.”
The Roppos moved to Los Angeles a month ago.
“We want to be down [in L.A.] where the action is so we can collab with other cast members,” Joey said.
Corrina has been writing music since she was 12 and will soon self-publish an album. She previously auditioned for “American Idol” and “The Voice,” but said she “never had much luck with those.”
Graduates of Monroe High School (Corrina in 2016, Joey in 2011), Corrina is a former music teacher. Until recently, Joey worked in supply chain logistics.
Corrina’s interest in music started with school and community musical theater performances (“Annie,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie”) including through Anderlin Arts.
Joey was more into sports and played college basketball for Central Washington University, graduating in 2016.
“That’s where I fell in love with music and guitar, and I started teaching myself how to play guitar and then started writing music as well,” Joey said.
Filming on “Dated & Related” took place in August and September 2021, and though the show concept is designed to raise eyebrows, Corrina said it was awkward at first but not as awkward as she expected.
Joey’s initial reaction: “This is going to be hilarious,” though he was worried he might get into fights protecting his sister. That didn’t prove to be the case, though.
“Because everyone had a sibling there, everyone was really respectful,” Corrina said, noting the whole cast stays in touch on a text chain.
“It was definitely a mutual understanding with the guys to be respectful because we all had a sibling in there and knew what it felt like,” Joey said.
“All of us were in equally awkward situations,” Corinna added, “so everyone seemed to understand.”
Gather the fam: The entire first season is streaming Friday on Netflix.
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