Tinder's 'Swipe Night' Cast Teases the Groundbreaking Interactive Series
Relationships have begun with something as flimsy as a shared favorite TV show — “You love Fleabag? I love Fleabag!” Now the dating app Tinder is taking that a step further with an interactive scripted series (think: the Netflix Black Mirror episode “Bandersnatch”) that will send potential love connections the viewer’s way.
Over four streaming episodes of Swipe Night, each five minutes long, members can watch their own first-person apocalyptic adventure unfold, based on instructions they deliver. At key moments, the user will be asked to swipe right or swipe left, within seven seconds, to decide what happens next — say, “Look for friends” or “Journey alone.”
Episode 1 alone includes more than 20 choices, from moral dilemmas to more practical concerns. (It is, after all, the end of the world.) Later, users will receive Tinder matches who followed a similar line of thinking, which the company hopes will spark conversation and encourage connections among Gen Zers.
The tale stars Angela Wong Carbone (Chinatown Horror Story), Jordan Christian Hearn (Inherent Vice), and Shea Gabor, and was directed by Karena Evans, a 2019 BET Award winner for the Drake music video “Nice for What.”
The plot kicks in with the user at a party, where guests first learn of the coming apocalypse. For Carbone, the project sounded “like a hell of a lot of fun” — partly because her character, Lucy, is not who she appears to be. “Think Marie Kondo on the outside,” the actress says, “but a cherry bomb on the inside.”
As the viewer navigates the emergency response, she adds, “Lucy finds out she's way stronger than she ever imagined herself to be. She becomes this badass firecracker and totally breaks out of the conventions that hold her back.”
Costar Hearn plays Graham, whom he calls “the glue of the group.” The goofball character does realize the gravity of his situation… at first. “Once everyone else starts to freak out, he not only jumps on board — he’s steering the ship,” the actor explains.
Gabor — who describes her character, Molly, as “the user’s hard-spitting best friend” who’s also the perfect ally in a crisis — says the format is inherently exciting: “Nobody wants to choose between Coke or Pepsi — it’s just boring,” she explains. “You want exciting and deep choices, and that’s all there is in this apocalyptic setting.”
And just as the characters have only three hours left on Earth, users have only six hours — from 6pm local time to midnight — to view each episode before it disappears. The series starts October 6 and continues every Sunday throughout the month.
Swipe Night, Sunday, October 6, 6/5c, Tinder app