By TOM SPENCER, Staff Writer
New Hampshire raised filmmaker, Michael Sasso, has directed a mini-series that flicks the light on during a purely 21st Century activity: smartphone hookups.
The miniseries Swipe, Click, Bang, explores the use of smartphone ‘early sex’ apps through a series of episodes. The show plays off the inherent comedy and drama that occurs when “strangers become lovers.”
Sasso was interested in the behavior of people he knew using hookup apps.
“ It seems these people meet to have “dates”–get a bite to eat, watch a movie at either party’s house, etc.–but it’s very clear where the date is going to end: the bedroom,” Sasso said. “And it’s also mutually understood that the next day, these two strangers will be strangers once again.”
It is an idea that was born when Sasso and his co-producers, Joseph Amato and Michael Vitale were bouncing around ideas for film projects. When Vitale mentioned that he and Amato had been discussing the possibility of a mini-series about one-night-stands organized electronically, everyone hopped on board immediately.
“It was a great medium for exploring lots of characters, especially people of our generation, in vulnerable situations,” Sasso said.
The first episode, “Who’s This” may be about a one-night-stand via a smartphone hookup, but it delves into psychological possibilities as old as the story of Oedipus, the Greek tragic figure who married his own mother.
Timelessness is an important aspect of the series, according to Sasso.
“My co-creators/co-writers may disagree with me, but I think this type of person’s existence speaks to a great loneliness that we of the Digital Age have found,” Sasso said. “A need for a human connection, but without emotional strings attached. To me, it seems unhealthy, but utterly human.”
Loneliness is certainly a theme of the work. In the very next episode, one gay man fails to understand the ‘get in, get out’ structure of a hookup. One guy wants to get lunch. The other guy cannot wait to get rid of him. It is painful to see.
After that comes an exploration of the pure short-sited irresponsibility of a random hookup. Things turn from casual to dangerous too quickly between a man and a woman who met online.
But the news is not all bleak. The next episode, #yunglove, explores exactly that, as perfect as it always seems, at least at first.
It is the personal favorite of Amato, who feels the episode is autobiographical, but not in a literal sense.
“[I am] a little bit of an idiot about things I feel strongly about,” Amato said. “Love is not self aware and you mean these stupid things you say so deeply and so earnestly that when you are removed you say ‘gee, how could I have said that?’”
In the final two episodes of the first season, Swipe Click Bang explores obstacles hookup partners may run into. There is one woman who is a virgin, and this experience with a stranger will be her first. The final video deals with two neurotics who can’t quite seem to make the whole thing work.
But Sasso, Amato, and Vitale believe the well is deep. That’s why they are working on a second season.
They hope for more production value, and though they also want to delve deeper into the human psyche.
“We’ll keep it mostly comedy,” Amato said. “But we might also go a little darker and psychological. Push those boundaries.”
Overall, the series strives for something more than titillation.
“I want people to know the show’s not really about sex, it’s about people and their vulnerability and their desire to be close to each other,” Sasso said.