By Jeff Siniawsky
The unknown of a first date always presents the promise of, at least, an interesting experience. I remember one in particular where I had a first nighttime date with a woman whom I had only seen for lunch. We went to a soccer game. Mid-way through the first half the rain began. Well, this being soccer and all, it was outdoors and in the open with no covering over the stands. The rain wasn’t pouring down, but it was enough that we were getting pretty wet. It was clear she wasn’t happy, but she wasn’t saying anything, I decided we’d leave at the half if she didn’t complain. Little did I know that she was sitting there steaming mad saying to herself that if I didn’t get her out of there she was calling a cab and leaving. Sayonara. It turns out, we left at the half. That was the last first date I ever had.
After a bad break-up, Jon Paul Stevens (Bryan Patrick Stoyle) is back to dating. Jon Paul is a low key, seemingly nice guy. He works in social media and he likes comic books, sci-fi and laser tag. He does not live at home with his parents. The show’s title kind of clues you in on the stories of Jon Paul’s dates – failures, whether of Jon Paul’s making or that of his date.
Failed First Dates is presented in a sketch comedy format. Episode 4 is less than a minute long and is comprised of just one very funny joke. The episodes stand on their own. In most episodes, Jon Paul meets his dates for dinner at Perfetto, his failures watched by the server, Ashley (Hilary R. Walker). Things begin to change a bit with Episode 5, which takes place at the movies and introduces Jon Paul’s nemesis Chester (Nicholas Lama) in a recurring role. The cast is further expanded with Donny, Jon Paul’s brother and roommate, and Lester (Jeffrey Coyle), Chester’s brother and Donny’s nemesis, and a story begins to take shape over the later episodes. It begins to feel more like a show and less like a series of sketches. The season’s story is confirmed in the bittersweet season finale where Jon Paul realizes what the viewer might have already suspected; that maybe what Jon Paul was looking for was right in front of him.
Failed First Dates was written by Bryan Patrick Stoyle and produced by NDstudios. They’ve created a show that’s funny and witty, and ultimately displays those attributes with warmth. Season 1 was our first date with this show, and this first date was no failure.
Watch the series on YouTube!