It is a truth universally acknowledged that disaster blind dates are wildly entertaining, as long as you have had no participation in the date whatsoever. Matchmaking apps like Tinder have only increased the possibility of cautionary tales — and Local Attraction is the web series that gives these humiliating encounters the treatment they deserve.
Actor and series creator Connor Hines anticipates making eight episodes; he’s already on the third. His Kickstarter funding for the series quickly reached over $15,000, double of what Hines proposed. Over coffee, he talked to the Cut about avoiding blind dates and finding inspiration outside of bars.
Local Attraction seems to take the female side of the story — the men so far have been crazy obnoxious.
Well, I have three sisters, so there’s a lot of material there. The original intention behind these episodes was for my portfolio as an actor, since I wasn’t really anticipating anybody watching it; I thought I wanted to have as much fun as possible, so I want to make the characters big and outrageous. Now that we have a bit of a following, I’m going to feature the actresses more. For the fourth episode, we’ll have the actress as the perpetrator of the discomfort on the date.
Do you use Tinder?
I do not. I don’t have the strength to put myself into the first date, blind date experience. I think it would be too nerve-wracking for me. I’ve been set up with people, so I have experience with that discomfort, that anxiety that everyone goes through. That first date experience is pretty universal, especially in New York City.
I’ve had friends that are so open to putting themselves out there and doing multiple dates a week — kudos to them, because I wouldn’t be able to do that — but they can go out on several dates a week. So spending all my time with them and hearing their stories, that’s where a lot of the inspiration came from. Just listening to their disaster dates.
Are there any characters that you really want to play or have written into the script?
I was out at a bar in New York City — Brass Monkey — and this guy comes up to me in these ridiculous designer sunglasses with a ton of hair product and this ridiculous sweater on. He asked me for a cigarette and I said no. We started talking and the things that came out of his mouth were just so outrageous and so entertaining, I ended up trying to talk to him for 20 minutes and within that conversation, I had pretty much written an entire episode in my head. Wherever he is, I’m eternally grateful to that particular gentleman for episode three.
He was asking me about certain places that I’ve never attended — what’s hot, what’s not, and where can he and his boys go, and what’s a good place for this, and where do we find this kind of woman. And it was nighttime and he was still wearing his sunglasses, which made it all exponentially better.
Are you seeking out weirdos to write about now?
The thing is, I don’t necessarily consider myself a writer, because I feel to rope myself in with real writers is disrespectful to them and what they’re capable of that I could never do. I would describe myself as a really observant person and I’m a very curious person. But for me, that’s where my writing is rooted in. Observing people.
One of the things you show well is how people treat waiters as a way to reveal something about their personality.
I wish it was required that everyone had to wait in a restaurant — like serving in the military.