Jess Mariano from Gilmore Girls may be too "old-school" for a dating app, but Milo Ventimiglia's latest character certainly isn't. In the upcoming digital series Relationship Status, he plays a gay bartender named Jack who's not shy about finding lust and love -- mostly the former -- on Grindr.
MTV News caught up with Ventimiglia and his costar, Brant Daugherty from Pretty Little Liars, at the Tribeca Film Festival, where Relationship Status premiered on Thursday, April 21. Daugherty plays Church, a newly single guy who's navigating the digital dating world.
"I've lived through some of these experiences," Daugherty said. "I've broken up with girls because they were -- in the show, it's because she tweets too much, and [in] real life, it was really similar reasons. I got to that point in the script and I was like, I get this guy immediately. I know what he's going through."
You already know how technology is changing modern love in a huge way. Everyone can download their dating app of choice and get their swipe on. But with so many potential matches to scroll through, it's easy to forget there's a living, breathing human behind each profile.
"It's amazing how much significance [is] put onto social media as it relates to dating and friendships and knowing somebody or not knowing someone," Ventimiglia said. "You can never truly know someone until you spend time with them, and it takes time to know someone."
"I just showed my friends the Instagram of a girl I'm going to go on a date with," Daugherty added, "and they looked at her [and said], ‘I don't know, she seems boring. Maybe you should cancel.' And I thought, this is insanity! Based on a couple dozen photos they'd seen of this girl -- never met her before -- and they're like, ‘I don't know. I don't think she's for you.' It's crazy."
Relationship Status also explores topics like giving someone the "slow fade" -- the show's exact words -- and ghosting, an act that Ventimiglia, Daugherty, and pretty much everyone ever unanimously despises.
"If you ask somebody if they want to be ghosted, everyone says no, but if you ask somebody if they have ghosted, everybody says yes," Daugherty said. "None of us have the balls to break up with somebody, but we all expect that for us."
Ventimiglia echoed this, explaining, "Phones disconnect us in a way that we feel like, oh, if I just don't text this person, they'll just go away. No, no, no, they still exist. The device is that weird buffer, that middleman in between that gets to do shit like ghosting ... It's best to be up-front and honest with people."
"Nowadays everybody wants it fast," Ventimiglia continued. "Everybody is as fast to grab onto and hang onto somebody as they are to let them go and be like, get the fuck away from me."
In other words, as Ventimiglia's character Jack puts it, it's a "swiper's economy" out there. Enjoy the ride and, y'know, proceed with caution.
Relationship Status premieres Friday, April 29 on Verizon's free go90 app.