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I’ll admit, as a single millennial particularly invested in speculative fiction ( and much the targeted audience for an episode like this.
With a Sigur Rós-esque score to rival ’s soul-rending, almost abusive deployment of Album Leaf’s song “The Light,” the tenderness between them is enhanced, their delicate chemistry ever vulnerable to annihilation by algorithm.
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.
For a moment at least, its final flourish gives audiences still stuck in a 2017 hellscape hope.
episodes of the Trump/Weinstein era, the story arrives during one of heterosexuality’s lowest polling moments in recent memory.
“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.
It turns our misery on its head, making our growing suspicion that algorithms may never be able to “solve” the perfectly human inconveniences of partnership without also eliminating human intuition and choice the solution rather than the problem—the app determines compatibility by observing our tendency toward resistance.It’s smart and even kind to promise those of us trying not to drown that there may be hope for love in such a dystopia as ours—and that that hope can exist somewhere between the 100% human and the 100% mathematical.But the story’s optimistic conclusion can’t quite bury the despair encoded in its DNA.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.Frank and Amy’s shared uncertainty about the System——mirrors our own skepticism about our own proto-System, those costly online services whose big promises we must blindly trust to reap romantic success.