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A mini online dating TV roundup

Today is the day my Apple Watch is supposed to get delivered! I can’t WAIT to make you all some videos about how to turn off or better manage annoying dating app notifications. But since it’s not here yet, we’ll have to settle for this other blog post instead. :)

Burger King’s recent Chicken Fries commercial caught my attention. Have you seen this? Kind of morbid since the fries it advertises are MADE OUT OF THE PROTAGONIST, but whatever—I’m an expert in online dating, not fast food marketing. :)

(I have no idea why it plays twice in that video, but it embeds way cleaner than the crazy iframe code from Burger King’s official site so let’s all agree to live with it.)

That got me thinking about how many other online dating references I’ve been seeing on TV shows lately.

Have any of you watched Man Seeking Woman on FX? I was initially kind of horrified by the show, because some of the promo trailers seemed to feature shockingly misogynistic humor. But I recorded it anyway out of weird curiosity, and I’m so glad I kept an open mind.

It turns out that it was much more satire about ALL aspects of masculinity, femininity, dating and relationship tropes, and general single woes. It’s pretty damn hilarious, even if some jokes are more of a win than others. The first season is over now, but I highly recommend watching it  if you can find it.

The vector art title sequence is interesting, too—very different than most shows.

Linking out because their embed code is so angry.

In the pilot, I couldn’t help but study this faux Tinder interface. (Tinderface?) I like the “Nah” stamp after a left swipe, haha. (Sorry about the weird circle-thingy interface overlay; that’s from the tool I used to capture this screenshot. I can’t get in and take a new one since the episodes are no longer on the FX site. Doncha hate that?)

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 3.11.51 PM

The way they showcased the character looking at a Tinder profile when the phone screen wasn’t as prominent was also well implemented.

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 3.07.55 PM

Don’t you think shows are getting better about stuff like that? Like with House of Cards and The Mindy Project showing little text message bubbles right on the screen instead of an awkward fake phone interface. (Ugh, Showtime’s Dexter was THE WORST for that, remember?)

By the way, there’s an interesting video about texting interfaces in film, if you’re interested in that stuff. :)

Then of course there was HBO’s Looking, which I’m SO SAD is coming to an end. :( The season finale (very mild spoiler alert) featured an interesting use case of Grindr, the pre-Tinder geolocation-based dating app for gay guys. I don’t want to say any more if you haven’t seen it, because the show is awesome and you should totally watch it if you haven’t yet.

Looking on HBO

But I loved the way it accurately depicted how totally normalized online dating is, especially in the gay community—the gays have been savvy about how technology can help with romantic connections for WAY longer than hetero newbies who think Tinder is some magical novelty. :)

Then there’s the ABC show Selfie, which I thought was sharp, funny, and totally underrated.

I am done fighting the weird sizing of this clip. Let’s just accept it. (We’re doing that a lot today, I realize. Sorry!)

I’m sort of surprised by how terribly Selfie is getting reviewed.

Not only does it tackle the obvious stuff like the obsessively curated self-image of its female protagonist, but it also takes on modern communication (texting vs. email) and some funny social media stuff like how some people’s only digital footprint is in their effusive Yelp reviews. And of course, online dating, as in the clip above!

By the way, folks, don’t take Eliza’s tips for what makes a great dating pic:

“Can you lick your lips and look off in the distance?”


“…I want to add a photo of you to my contacts, but I don’t… have one… so could you unbutton your shirt, lean against that door frame, and just like slowly lick your lips like this?”

Yeah, not unless you’re looking to appeal to gals like Eliza. ;)

Anyway, between all these shows plus a few throwaway references to Tinder on other mainstream sitcoms, I’m happy to see online dating portrayed as being realistically common.

Know what I’d like to see next? An episode of Girls dealing with online dating. Come on, Lena; you KNOW not all New Yorkers meet their cute significant others at their place of employment. Keep it real for me! :)

What about you? What online dating references have you noticed in pop culture lately? And where the hell is my Apple Watch?

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