The Tinder Swindler: Why we love fake it 'til you make it stories about con men (and women à la Inventing Anna)
What else we’re watching (01:20)
On to the chat! Maybe it’s us, maybe not…
Tinder Swindler first impressions (08:07)
Jeff: I wouldn't have picked it either Tinder Swindler or Inventing Anna to watch on my own. I wonder if it's a convergence between the popularity of Tinder and true crime stories.
Mat: There's this massive trend of ripped from the headlines shows, you bring in Tinder, which is a little passe now, but still a buzzword. So you make something like this, people are going to get talking about it. Delivers some really interesting twists and turns and builds up in a really interesting way.
Shindy: I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was two hour documentary. The preview didn't really do it justice. So I went into it with a little trepidation But within 15 minutes, I was hooked.
Docu-dramas vs. documentaries vs. ‘based on’ true stories (13:54)
Mat: Just give me a straight up documentary every time. Unless it's a really faithful drama, or it's done by an auteur who takes it somewhere interesting, which to me is not Shondaland. Exemplified by the fact that we talked about watching Inventing Ana, and I preferred instead to listen to the Tinder Swindler podcast. I think there is so much to be learned by these situations, by these cons, by these stories that I want to learn as much as possible. And it's a much more efficient to watch a documentary when these series are never just one episode.
Shindy: If it's done well, then I don't mind docu-dramas where there's a little bit of fact and a little bit of like drama reenactment, as long as it's not cheesy.
Jeff: I prefer just a straight up documentary. The very first true crime thing I ever watched was the Thin Blue Line by Errol Morris in 1988. He was one of the early directors to include dramatizations in his portrayal of this story. So I don't mind them, but they can be cheesy
Skilled direction and storytelling (20:27)
Mat: It has this slow romantic start. And when the revelation starts to come in, there's a couple of little jaw-droppers. There's a couple of times you go “oh shit…” And it's kind of fun to guess where it's going. These girls are in a bar, in an intimate setting. Their eye-line is very close to the camera and that was really effective as well.
Jeff: I love how much time they spent with the women. I thought it was both intimate and great journalism.
Shindy: I liked the way that it did feel very intimate and that the victims got a lot of face time. I mean, you see these women. And it, you know, it helps you like rally for them.
Stream It or Leave It? (24:08)
A unanimous “Stream It!”
Spoiler Alert and Deep Dive (24:17)
Naïveté, materialism, and complicity (24:45)
Social media ‘love rat’ strategies (26:03)
Sympathy or sociopathy? (33:04)
Juicy details not in TS (37:19)
Should Simon be in jail? (41:24)
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