Did Disney Channel’s Canadian Import, ‘Life With Derek,’ Really Have an Incest Storyline?

Life With Derek is a Disney Channel show that isn’t on Disney+ because it is really a Canadian show that the network picked up. So when the series was trending on Twitter earlier this year, it wasn’t because the show was now streaming, it was because fans were deeming a relationship on the show as incestuous and they were here for it. But was the relationship really considered incest?

'Life With Derek' actors Ashley Leggat, Michael Seater, Ariel Waller and Daniel Madger in 2009
‘Life With Derek’ actors Ashley Leggat, Michael Seater, Ariel Waller and Daniel Madger in 2009 | George Pimentel/WireImage

‘Life With Derek’ was a Canadian series that aired on Disney in the U.S.

Many people have mistakenly thought that Life With Derek was a show that was originally produced by Disney Channel. However, the network only had the American rights to the show.

The show was originally ordered by Family Channel in Canada. Disney Channel landed the rights to both Life With Derek and another Family Channel series, Naturally, Sadie.

The series, which followed a blended Canadian family ran for four seasons on the Family Channel and Disney Channel from 2005-2009. The series also had a television movie, Vacation with Derek, which debuted in 2010 on the Family Channel. The movie did not air on Disney and did not premiere in the U.S. until Starz debuted it in 2011.

Life With Derek starred Michael Seater, Ashley Leggat, Jordan Todosey Daniel Magder, Ariel Waller, Joy Tanner, and John Ralston as the blended McDonald-Venturi family. Seater (who was the titular “Derek”), Madger and Waller were the kids of George Venturi, played by Ralston. Leggat and Todosey were the kids of Nora McDonald Venturi, played by Tanner.

The “Dasey” relationship

Throughout the show, it was heavily hinted at the fact that there were romantic feelings between Derek and his step-sister Casey, portrayed by Leggat. Though they never became a couple, the bickering they did, which bordered on flirting, was a reoccurring theme on the show.

Leggat and Seater supported the relationship and said there wouldn’t have been anything wrong if the two had gotten together on the show. In a 2016 interview, Leggat said, “People can’t get enough of Dasey” and that it would be  “a natural progression for them” to be together.

The show began trending on social media in January 2020 when tweets about the show having an incestuous relationship between siblings went viral. Someone tweeted, “I saw life with derek trending and I thought it was either going on disney+ or getting rebooted only to find out that people are just now noticing the incest.”

And while Derek and Casey being together wouldn’t be technically incestuous because they aren’t blood-related, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that they are siblings, biological or not.

When the show began trending a few months ago because of fans shipping Dasey, Leggat and Seater once again cosigned the pairing. Seater quote tweeted a remark about Dasey and said “trailblazers.”

Leggat tweeted a photo of the two together in recent years, saying “I love the yearly nostalgic Life with Derek trend that happens. BTW I still go down with this ship. #LifeWithDerek #Dasey.”