Swipe Left, Swipe Left has just premiered its first season of seven episodes, all featuring stories of dalliance, committed to sharing experiences of “dating adventures and misadventures”.
The podcast was inspired by the telling of a story involving a bizarre Tinder date, during which two personalities, and more importantly, two political ideologies, sharply clash. Each episode features a storyteller, who, rather giddily, recounts funny, awkward or exciting tales from their romantic pasts.
The podcast itself is well executed. All the creators involved have clearly put a great deal of attention into carefully constructing something that is of high production quality, with commitment to sustaining the interest of the listener. Each story is paired with a musical score that seems to have been perfectly composed to fit the tone of the story, that sets the scene and sparks the listener’s imagination, allowing a sudden plunge into the narrative.
While the stories themselves aren’t particularly compelling or entertaining, it is the sharp post-production editing that creates a cohesive and engaging series. Each episode sets a nuanced and particular mood that ultimately becomes rather addictive for the listener. After the first few episodes, the playfulness of the podcast’s delivery method is so fun that it becomes nearly impossible to stop. Before you know it, you will have listened to all seven episodes in one sitting.
In 2016, the American author Garth Greenwell gave a lecture during which he warned audiences of the danger in the ‘swipe left culture’, arguing that dating apps leave little room for singletons looking for love to be surprised in their dating adventures, because they will follow the lead of pre-existing preferences. Swipe Left, Swipe Left , however, seems to deny this claim. Each story indicates how truly impossible it is to ever know how any experience of human interaction will unfold. Swipe Left, Swipe Left provides proof that spontaneity in the digital age is not at all dead.
In reality, there are many podcasts that deal with topics of love, dating, desire and the awkwardness that accompanies them all. Swipe Left, Swipe Left is not particularly unique, and while it is fun, it doesn’t possess the mordant humour or delicate emotional sensitivity of other dating podcasts. It has a conviviality that attracts, but upon further reflection, Swipe Left, Swipe Left is significantly lacking, particularly in non-heteronormative relationship stories.
Ultimately, Swipe Left, Swipe Left is a worthy listen if you have a few free hours, but don’t expect anything radically revealing or out of the ordinary.
Image: Santeri Viinamaki via Wikimedia Commons