“Yes, you belong to me!”: Reflections on the JaDine love team fandom in the age of Twitter and in the context of Filipino fan culture

Abstract

The concept of love teams—a pair of good-looking stars launched by a mainstream studio to appear in a succession of films, TV series, adverts, mall shows, etc.—is unique to Philippine entertainment not just because of their intense popularity among mass audiences but also because of their rich cultural history spanning decades since the beginning of Philippine cinema. This paper looks into one of today’s biggest Filipino love teams, JaDine, the portmanteau of James Reid and Nadine Lustre. It situates them contextually in the past (how love teams are packaged and sold, how the audiences express their fanaticism, etc.) and present (in the age of Twitter and “block” screenings, the fan behaviour developed in social media, etc.). As equally important for analysis as these stars are their fans, and in light of JaDine’s most recent film, Never Not Love You, this paper also looks into an incident on Twitter that reveals a lot about fan culture enabled by technology that further complicates the often overlooked position of love teams in cultural studies.

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