Long-distance romance used to be considered a one-way ticket to a broken heart. But this Valentine’s Day we are happy to announce that far-flung lovers are feeling closer with a little help from Skype.
Last month, Microsoft’s Idea Lab conducted a survey in the US and UK and found that 96 percent of respondents said Skype gives them a closer connection to their faraway loved ones. In fact, the Skype romance phenomenon is becoming so mainstream that a highly regarded new web series, 7p10e, is exploring the emotional, dramatic, and humorous depths of a long-distance Skype courtship.
7p10e, is about a woman named Cora (Avital Ash) in LA and a man named Patrick (Chris Alvarado) in New York who have never met in person but are testing the romantic waters over Skype. The name of the show refers to the time of their nightly date in their respective time zones.
The LA Weekly review of 7p10e says Cora and Patrick “talk every day, through sickness, visiting exes, worst-days-ever, drunken faux pas and revelations about one another’s past that might otherwise end a new relationship.”
The show has a structured storyline with improv acting, but many viewers assume that it’s real footage. “We wanted to create that debate,” says writer/producer/star Avital Ash, “It’s about a very real life experience, so we wanted the audience to be unsure if it was fiction.” In fact, the show is actually filmed in two separate rooms in the LA home of producer Kyle McCullough.
The relatable and often awkward elements of getting to know another person – whether on Skype or in person – has already helped 7p10e to find an audience in the US and in Scandinavia. The show is growing and features cameos from other actors including Alison Pill (Newsroom, Milk), Lucas Neff (Raising Hope), and Lauren Lapkus (Orange Is the New Black).
Just as the Microsoft Idea Lab research found: while Cora and Patrick can’t actually meet in person, they can see each other, look into each other’s eyes, and share a lot of important emotional cues through body language. There’s even a moment in one of the early episodes when Cora asks Patrick to stand up so she can be sure that their heights are compatible.
The study discovered that 61 percent said video calling actually improves their romantic relationships, while 47 percent credit Skype with “keeping the love alive” while far apart.
An additional 29 percent of the survey admitted to participating in a “naughty” call with Skype. Do Cora and Patrick get naughty? You’ll have to watch to find out for yourself (hint: Episode 25). Tune in to www.7p10e.com and see where their Skype romance takes them.
Happy Valentine’s Day from Skype.