Now, on to answering the question “why are we doing a dating web series?”
It’s a fair question, because there are a lot of dating web series already out there. However, when I originally thought about doing “First Dates” in 2012, online dating wasn’t even close to what it soon became in 2013–nevermind what it is now in 2015. So in my mind, I was ahead of the trend 3 years ago. But having shelved the idea for as long as I did, I soon realized that dating applications like Tinder were becoming a part of the cultural zeitgeist, and that filmmakers, especially those of the web series variety, were taking note.
But why did I originally write it? It was two-fold. One, I was looking for a project I could produce out of my own pocket, and doing a web series around dating made sense, because 95% of dates involve just 2 people, 1 venue and infinite possibilities.
And two, outside of my financial limitations, I thought the female side of online dating was just too funny. The stories I would hear from my single, female friends about the people they met on Tinder, Zoosk or my favorite, Coffee Meets Bagel, seemed like the stories we weren’t seeing on TV or in film. I mean sure, the romantic comedy has been telling the story of the female lead with unrequited love for years, but rarely do they tell the story of the modern female, who uses an app, to go on date after date, only to find out what we already know: my species is deplorable.
And that was that. That was the angle we (my wife, Talibah Newman, and I) used to write “First Dates.” We saw a little-told, hilariously funny slice of life that had to be shared with others. Obviously, the irony of it all is that we both have been in a relationship, our relationship, for so long that neither of us actually know what it is to personally use dating apps. Thus, it took a lot of research, a few friends, and a lot of imagination to get to a place where we thought we could convey what was really happening out there and still be funny. Eventually we got there, and the people we used as “dating consultants” seemed to agree with the script we had come up with. So hopefully, this web series is true to form. If not, at least we think we hit the head on funny. If we failed there too, let us know…we’ll do better next time!