January 17, 2019

The Perils of Living and Loving Online

“Midway through “Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age,” premiering on HBO Monday at 10 p.m., a middle-aged mother bestows a bit of allegorical advice upon her daughter and her daughter’s friend, seated at a stool nearby. The fruit at the top of the tree, mother tells child, is the best. But you have to work for it. The low hanging fruit, or the stuff on the ground, is easier to get but often less desirable, if not rotten.

Her point, she says, is that women don’t get rewarded with long term commitment by offering themselves up as if they are items in a catalog.

In response, the younger women silently and stonily look at the elder as if she’s spouted two additional heads before their eyes.

“I think older people, like in their 50s and 40s, they don’t really get what it means to date now,” the daughter shares to the camera, aside from the conversation. She goes on to say that yes, she wants a long term commitment, and kids, all those thing her mother had. But the old-school ways of dating — as in, going out and meeting people — doesn’t work in the modern age.

Cut to another TV show, Lifetime’s scripted series “You,” and its disturbing protagonist Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), who would beg to differ. In the series premiere Joe and Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), the object of his affection, meet-cute in a bookstore. She’s a graduate student and aspiring poet whose artistic aspirations have been put on the back burner to focus on her degree, or so she says.”

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