It’s the 21st century, and dating has exponentially changed from what was considered the norm. Thanks to the growing digital age, the use of social media and apps, dating is an emotional roller coaster that blossoms endless love and gut wrenching despair.
Three web series in particular brought to screen the ancient ‘art’ of dating in a contemporary light – Arena (BRA), Technically Single (GER) and Cluster F*ck (CAN). Have you ever wondered what dating is like outside of your own city? These series span across three continents and show us the similarities, proving we are after all, just looking to make meaningful connections.
Creator of Brazilian web series Arena, Kallyo Malcher, says the series portrays the lives of young-adults and dating in the 21st century. Based on the story of a group of friends in their graduation year at the University of Brasilia, the series replicates the importance of being young and having decision making at your feet. Juggling university with romances, and social judgement is never an easy task.
“We always tried to model the series on our lives as much as we could in terms of story and characters. So, I believe that we reached a very personal and real type of people and relationships. Naturally, we want to grow in our next season, to increase and improve this “reality” even more,” says Malcher.
“It was inspired by our day to day life in the University of Brasilia, which has various amounts of diversity and different types of relationships.”
The characters of Arena each represent their own unique universe. “We always wanted to make people know exactly who’s story we were telling just by the colours, cinematography, frames, all that,” says Malcher.
“I think that is very important for the story, because that way you can say exactly why that person is acting like that, since you are almost watching the story from their eyes and perspective.”
Similarly, creator of German series Technically Single Sebastian Stojetz showcases how long-term relationships can sometimes evolve into a toxic winner and loser scenario, “Because let’s be honest, nobody wants to be the dumpee, right?”
“We wanted to catch a glimpse of what I call: ‘high school feeling’. You go to university, you hang out with your friends, you dream big. You think the world is yours!” says Stojetz.
Explaining how the series represents dating in the 21st century, Stojetz says the cast “don’t talk about their feelings frankly.”
“Lukas is the prototype of dating today…in fact, he’s super scared to show his feelings to someone, because it could mean something. And then, it would be hard to maintain your image. I think, this is a big problem for lots of people today. Emotions are so uncool,” Stojetz says.
The name Clusterf*ck represents the Canadian series perfectly. Creator Mazi Khalighi, wrote the web series about dating in your mid-twenties, and the absolute headf*ck that comes with it. Being young and sometimes dumb, the series brings to screen the challenges of dating. “It presents to the audience just how much of a clusterf*ck personal relationships of all kinds can be, whether romantic or friendly, especially when communication between people isn’t clear,” says Khalighi.
Creating this series has been a loooong process for the crew. “If you want to start counting from the first time the script began – it’s been about 9 years. Production began the summer of 2015, so it’s been almost three years before we were able to start screening it for audiences,” Khalighi says.
Aware of the shift in dating, Khalighi says the digital age has been a massive game changer to the way relationships begin. Although relationships often end up in muddy waters and disaster, Khalighi says it’s always been this way “…I believe love, life, friends etc have always been clusterf*cks to a degree whether it’s the 19th, 20th or 21st centuries.”
Messy relationships might be tough to handle when you are slugging it out yourself, but they sure do make for some great on screen entertainment!
So satisfy your dramatic dating craving and watch these series at Melbourne WebFest 2018.