Why Gwevin failed (or Why Bwen is still so popular)



  • Why Gwevin failed (or Why Bwen is still so popular)

    Sorry Anti-Bwen and Gwevin fans, but if you give me a chance, I will explain what I'm talking about.

    If you search on youtube “Bwen” and sort by views, you will see that the most viewed video is this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv5JPnU5vJE&spfreload=5 with 8,887,153 views and 14,754 thumbs up. If you search for “Gwevin” and sort by views, the most viewed video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egKna_zWK90 with 6,012,879 views and 3,614 thumbs up. The most popular Bwen fan-vid has over two million more views and ten thousand more thumbs up than the most popular Gwevin video (at the time of this writing)

    If you go to Fanfiction.net and search for romance stories with the Ben/Gwen pairing you will see that the most favorited Bwen story is Little Moments https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8440324/1/Little-Moments-Director-s-Cut with 508 favorites, and the most followed story is Breaking Point https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8588746/1/Breaking-Point-Revised with 363 follows. While the most favorited Gwevin story is Car Arguments https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5466373/1/Car-Arguments with 166 favorites, and the most followed Gwevin story is No way! https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6708661/1/No-way with 120 follows.

    .
    The two first paragraphs were to prove my point, even though Gwevin is the canon pairing in the sequels, and even though Bwen has a lot of haters because “cousins”, Bwen still manages to be the most popular fan pairing in the franchise (I admit, I ship it too)

    .
    Why didn’t Gwevin manage to sink Bwen? I can think of three reasons.
    .

    1. The first problem is Kevin Levin.

    Kevin tried to kill Gwen in the original series… twice (Kevin tried to burn her alive in “Framed” - Ben saved Gwen’s life shielding her as Diamondhead - and Kevin threatened to kill her in “Back with a Vengeance” - Ben gave up the Omnitrix to stop Kevin and Vilgax).

    “What’s wrong with people? Bwen is sick, they’re cousins, Gwevin is a beautiful romance” I think any girl would rather date a cousin who loved her than an unrelated guy who tried to murder her in the past, but ok, I get that most Gwevin shippers are casual AF/UA fans and are not familiar with the Original Series (not all, I’m sure there are a lot of exceptions)

    And the Gwevin romance wasn’t developed at all. In the very first episode of AF, Kevin goes from a criminal to a hero, simply because Gwen asks him to. Like, what?!

    The last problem with Kevin Levin is not exactly a problem. He is like The Joker to Ben’s Batman, the Green Goblin to Ben’s Spider-Man. In the future episode, Ken 10, he shows he is capable of hurting his own son Devlin when he tries to stop him from killing Ben. Original Series’ Kevin is a murderer and a psychopath, and he is really good at it (I really love him as a villain). There is a reason why most Bwen fanfics set in AF simply make Kevin revert back to his villain ways. Kevin Levin is a natural born villain, and a lot of fans were angry that the Gwevin thing robbed us of the Evil Kevin we love to hate.
    .

    1. Ok, the writers really want to pair up Gwen and Kevin. And Ben, who he stays with?

    This question is actually the main problem, because it means that the writers focused on Gwevin and left the love life of our main character Ben Tennyson as an afterthought! Because, really, folks, the show is “BEN 10”. We like Ben, we are rooting for Ben, we want Ben to succeed, we want Ben to get the best girl!

    Well, the writers came up with Julie eventually. And she is a very nice girl, she could even be a good love interest for Ben… if not for Gwen. Because Gwen simply outshines Julie in every way. Gwen is more interesting, more powerful, more pretty, it’s even unfair to compare the two of them. So our boy Ben got the short end of the stick in his own show, cheated by none other than his arch nemesis.

    There is only one female character in the entire Ben 10 franchise that has the potential to be as awesome as Gwen, and she is… Charmcaster. Since they were going to redeem Kevin, they could have easily redeemed Charmcaster too. If the writers had made Charmcaster a main character showing up in every episode (like they did with Kevin), with proper character development she could be a great love interest for Ben. The age difference could be easily dropped with magic, fountain of youth, something to make Charmcaster and Ben the same age.

    If they had chosen to explore Ben x Charmcaster, I think the Bwen ship would take a huge hit, but...

    .

    1. Maybe the sequel writers simply had no possible way to sink Bwen, no matter how hard they tried to.

    Not after the slow dance Bwen scene in “Big Fat Alien Wedding”.

    Not after Ben showed to be willing to sacrifice everything for Gwen in “Back With a Vengeance”.

    Not after Gwen stood up for Ben when Kai Green turned him down in “Benwolf”.

    Not after Gwen comforted Ben when they found out the Omnitrix falling into his hands was a mistake in “The Visitor”.

    Not after Ben comforted Gwen when she found out she wouldn’t be allowed to join the academy she wanted in the end of “Ghostfreaked Out”.

    Not after Gwen confessed “I love you, Ben Tennyson” in “Race Against Time”.

    Not after “The Secret of The Omnitrix” showed us how much Ben cares for Gwen.

    Maybe the Bwen ship is simply unstoppable.



  • @csgt I honestly perfer Ben with a harem to be honest, I know it's inappropriate for a show aimed to younger audiences, but he deserves it. With all the constant crap he goes through with villains like Vilgax and others that want to kill him. He needs more love and support.



  • A polygamous relationship would be interesting to see in Ben 10 or any cartoon in the US, it can really help explore the girls lives and develop them better (as well as their love for Ben), sadly it was seen as a joke in Omniverse and I hated it.





  • I'm just saying if the Bwen fans got there wish we would have a reason for Kevin to full on enemies for life with Ben. A reason that makes sense in character for Kevin to throw away his 2nd chance and go villain. Not only will Ben have " stolen his girl" the entire gwen x kevin relationship could have been the pair using Kevin. At first because they needed his help in Alien Force, and then to cover up the fact that Ben and Gwen were " dating ". I mean they are out together till all hours of the night on " missions ". Whats an extra night or two every so often without Kevin ? Ben dates off and on through out the series Gwen and Kevin were mostly steady. Who would even ask the question?

    Kevin's not stupid he'd figure it out sooner or later. When he did he'd know exactly how powerful both Gwen and Ben are, and have to mutate himself again to try and match up.

    God I feel evil just writing that.



  • The problem is that Gwen was changed to cousin at the last minute. The romantic chemistry that Ben and Gwen could/would had were leftovers from the pre-production of the original series. Gwen was originally intended to be a classmate of Ben.



  • @ultraalien

    I know I'm just playing devils advocate.



  • I ship Gwevin (apparently it is a popular ship here in Brazil, judging by the comments of two pages in Facebook: Girls of Comics and Girls on Power), but I agree with you: It is very wrong. I kinda hope they develop it in the right way in the reboot (it is the first Ben 10 series I take a genuine interest, so I'll defend it even though it isn't perfect)... About Ben's love interest, I really like Julie (she appeared in half of the very few UAF episodes I watched) but I wouldn't be complaining if he ended up with Charmcaster in the reboot, as long she was at the same age as him. It would be interesting and, if they decided to make her ambiguously tanned like the original series, would be a nice way to add racial diversity in the series.



  • I always took Ben and Gwen's relationship like this. Ben was an only child, and kind of lonely, Gwen was the sister he never had. After the summer they spent with Max ( the original series ) I could see the secrets they learned making them pretty close.



  • @goodvibes1999 I don't think Gwevin will happen in the Reboot, because the people responsible for the Reboot - Man of Action - are the same writers from the Original Series. And in the Original Series, Kevin appears only in 5 out of 52 episodes: "Kevin 11", "Framed", "Grudge Match", "Back With a Vengeance" and "Ken 10".

    In "Framed", Kevin tries to burn Gwen alive, and in "Back With A Vengeance", Kevin drops Gwen to die in the Null-Void, after hurting her. alt text

    "Ken 10" is set in the future, and in this episode Kevin was still a villain and had a son named Devlin (and obviously, Gwen wasn't the mother), a proof that the Original Series' writers never planned a redemption for him, much less a relationship between him and Gwen.

    But since Kevin was UAF's Creator's Pet, so they retconned/ignored his past, redeemed him, turned him into a main character, and wrote a relationship between him and Gwen. I might be wrong, but I really really doubt the Original Series' crew would ever do something like this.

    About the ship popularity in Brazil, I think Bwen is quite popular over here too. Eu sou brasileiro, e prefiro Bwen kkkkkkk

    I'm fine with Ben/Kai and Ben/Charmcaster. I just dislike Ben/Julie because Julie was a satellite love interest and it was clear Ben/Julie was always in second place to Kevin/Gwen for the writers.



  • @oldtaku_dd Well, it would be very out of character for Ben and Gwen to do this (but, well, it was completely out of character for Gwen to say "Why haven't you asked me out?" to a guy who had tried to kill her multiple times after just spending five episodes with him in the first season of Alien Force, so it all depends on what the writers want to do xD)

    I think even if Gwen were to decide to break up with Kevin to pursue a relationship with Ben (no cheating), it would be enough reason for a mentally unstable Kevin to feel betrayed and try to kill both of them (again).

    And in the OS original timeline, Kevin was enemies for life with Ben (Ken 10) and it had nothing to do with Gwen, so Kevin doesn't really need a good reason to hate Ben, he just does XD



  • @csgt Kevin being on TeamTennyson was mandated by cartoon network. The fact that it turned out so well is because the writers on Dwayne Mcduffie and co were good at there jobs and wrote a good show.

    My inner crazy man wants me to write a story were Kevin still ends up evil. The fall of Kevin Levin if you get my drift. I don't know if I'll ever do it, but its an idea in my head.

    But my fanfiction musing aside I don't think Gwevin failed it's go to many fans for that. Bwen doesnt die because because some people have different ideas about dating relatives. :P



  • @Oldtaku_dd I don't think it turned out so well. Let's see the evidence:

    1. With all the respect, Mcduffie and co messed up real bad with their retcons, and Omniverse had the thankless job of fixing it.
      Writer #1 "So Kevin's dad Devin Levin and Max Tennyson were partners? So why in the Original Series Max doesn't recognize Kevin nor do anything to look out for him - breaking the promise he had made to his partner?"
      Writer #2 "Well... Hm... Crap... Let's make Devin Levin a false memory implanted by Servantis on Max's head."
    2. The justification "Kevin was insane, his crimes were not his fault" was just too little, too late.
      Plothole #1 It took seasons before they told us Kevin was insane as a child. Ben and Gwen forgave him BEFORE they knew "the powers made him do it". (The answer: this was a later retcon, at the beginning of Alien Force the writers weren't planning to do it.)
      Plothole #2 Is it really a justification? If so, why didn't the team give a second chance to Aggregor - after all, he's an Osmosian just like Kevin, his evil ways are not his fault.
    1. We all know there was a huge viewership decline in the first two seasons of Alien Force, The writers subtle acknowledged the problem in-universe, but ignored it.
      Dialogue from Alien Force Season 3, episode The Final Battle
      Ben Tennyson: It's a sequel to the original show, but they kinda messed it up. It's like five years later and the bad guy, Kenko, has teamed up with the hero, Ishiyama. It's not very realistic, is all I'm saying.
      Kevin Levin: Aha...
      Ben Tennyson: Anyway, there's only five more of these before they cycle back to the original show. You'll see, it's way better.
      Later, UA lost even more viewers than AF, which led CN to take a different approach with Omniverse - and they got rid of Kevin as a part of the main cast. And now, they did cycle back to the Original Show with the Reboot, with Ben and Gwen back as the main heroes once again.
      So, even though many many fans like Gwevin and Hero!Kevin, I think we can say these concepts weren't very successful.

    About Bwen not dying, well, it's not that people have different ideas about dating relatives - I know many people wouldn't support a relationship between cousin in real life, even though they ship it in fiction. And, do you see, for example, fans shipping Superman and his cousin Supergirl together? No. Bwen is actually one of the few popular pairings between relatives, and Gwevin didn't sink it.

    I would love to read your "The Fall of Kevin Levin" fic! Do you have a profile on Fanfiction net?



  • Not really Max might not have recognoised Kevin or ever met him. He could have looked into things in between episodes and dug up information we will never know.
    Ben and Gwen Trusting Kevin was a matter of taking a risk because they had no other options. That worked out so they trusted him.
    This isn't novel writing where its all planned out ahead of time by one author, the writing is done in installments be many different writers like a comic book or manga. At some point someone needs to say " whats next" and what they write might not 100% work with what the last person was thinking.

    Yea I have a FFN profile but ive not written any stories were Kevin goes evil again. I have done Kevin concentric stories though. I'm thinking about that fall of Kevin one, so maybe one day, ill write it. Link to my stories is in my signature :)



  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRReRF7uKK0
    The best way to describe Why people ship Bwen.



  • @oldtaku_dd said in Why Gwevin failed (or Why Bwen is still so popular):

    planned

    Ben and gwen had very odd subtext for cousins when the first series aired back then. People shipped the cousins because of that said subtext back then. Also as many people pointed out during pre production they weren't related and the creators changed that at the last minute because cartoon network thought it was weird to have a unrelated girl travel with an old grandpa and a young boy for so long. It also really dosen't help that the original series creators forgot to remove all the subtext completely and only make slight tweaks then call it "cousin love".

    I remember watching the episode benwolf the subtext really showed there and kai felt more like a romantic false lead. If the writers wanted to fix this mess, man of action should have really revised the script and rewrote the script from scratch even if the show was gonna get delayed a bit ether that or the sequal series acknowledges that something might have been there between ben and gwen but have them move on to someone else because its wrong to date family. And put a lot of effort and consistent development towards the non ben and gwen ship.



  • @bwen329 To be fair, any subtext beyond season 1 was probably intentional. I understand changing the scripts for the first season would be hard, but, for example, the Bwen slow dance scene happened in Big Fat Alien Wedding - Season 4. And it's almost impossible to believe they had scripts for the entire series before they even started. So I guess they acknowledged the Bwen shippers and decided to add some Bwen subtext every once in a while. Many shows with popular taboo ships go this route, and it's the safest way (they don't make a taboo ship canon, but at the same time they don't alienate the part of the fanbase who ship it)

    Of course, for the sequel shows, the producers hated Bwen. But they had terribly bad ideas to sink it. For starters, they put zero effort on Ben's love interest. Julie was a satellite character whose only purpose was to show up every five or six episodes so the writers could say "Look! We gave Ben a girlfriend!". The couple they actually cared about was Gwevin, and either due to their lack of knowledge of the OS, or due to their belief that 'viewers are morons and will forget everything' they failed to see that Gwevin in real life would be WAY creepier than Bwen - I've heard of cousins dating, but I've never heard of a girl dating a mentally unstable guy who attempted to murder her multiple times - outside of a very abusive relationship context.


  • Bwen fans

    I agree cgst



  • I can't believe anyone on that show wanted it to be ok for Ben to have romantic feelings for his cousin.



  • Wtf this is incest.


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