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I know that they’re short flings, and they’re just meaningless, so I get really detached.
It’s like I’m not really there.”But then, miraculously, Frank and Amy match again, and this time they agree not to check their expiry date, to savor their time together.
How could even the best dating app algorithm today factor that in?
“Hang the DJ”’s twist is admittedly clever, and for a moment at least, that final flourish gives audiences like me, still stuck in a 2017 hellscape, a moment of respite.
Something about this story had left me existentially upset.
Amy is furious, both are bereft, but fear keeps them on course, off to another montage of hollow, depressing hookups; it isn’t until they’re offered a final goodbye before their “ultimate match” date that they finally decide they’d rather face banishment together than be apart again.
But when they escape, the world waiting for them isn’t a desolate wasteland.
Alone, each wonders aloud to their coaches why such an obviously compatible match was cut short, but their discs assure them of the program’s accuracy (and apparent motto): “”They spend the next year apart, in deeply unpleasant long-term relationships, and then, for Amy, through a parade of meaningless 36-hour hookups with handsome, boring men.
Later she describes the experience, her frustration agonizingly familiar to today’s single women: “The System’s just bounced me from bloke to bloke, short fling after short fling.
In fact, the past five or so years of dating men might best be described by involved parties as bleak. Among its six episodes, which hit Netflix on Friday, is “Hang the DJ,” a heartbreaking hour that explores the emotional and technological limits of dating apps, and in doing so perfectly captures the modern desperation of trusting algorithms to find us love—and, in fact, of dating in this era at all.(Spoiler alert: major spoilers for the episode “Hang the DJ” follow.)The story follows Frank (Joe Cole) and Amy (Georgina Campbell), millennials navigating an opaque, AI-powered dating program they call “the System.” With disc-like smart devices, or “Coaches,” the antiseptically calculating System leads participants through mandatory relationships of varying durations in an enclosed campus, assuaging doubts with the cool assurance that it’s all for love: every assignment helps provide its algorithm with enough meaningful data to eventually pair you, at 99.8% accuracy, with “your perfect match.”The System designs and facilitates every encounter, from pre-ordering meals to hailing autonomous shuttles that carry each couple to a tiny-house suite, where they must cohabit until their “expiry date,” a predetermined time at which the relationship will end.