Pillow Talk: Seeking Simone

Dating sucks. We all know it. If it was such a lovely experience, humans as a species wouldn't always be trying to think of new and easier ways to make it happen. Regardless of whether your goal is to get into someone's pants or their heart, you need to do that dance at least a little bit.

One of the beautiful things about the internet is the advent of dating websites that can take some of the clumsy first steps out of that lambada of lust. These sites can save you much time, embarrassment and headache. And that is exactly what Simone is hoping for.

With its second season soon to debut, Seeking Simone is a hilarious web show highlighting the pitfalls and pratfalls of a lesbian looking for love online. Simone has moved from Vancouver to Toronto after a significant breakup and hopes to find a new lady in her new town. Season One was wonderfully received and with Season Two just around the corner, Sexlife Canada chatted with Rosemary Rowe, Writer/Co-Creator/Producer and Renée Olbert, 'Simone'/Co-Creator.

SLC: How did the show come about?
RR: Well, Renee and I had been talking about "doing a project" together for ages and back in January of '09, we decided to put the money we didn't have where our mouths were and actually make something happen. We knew we wanted to make a comedy—we knew it would be about lesbians—and since porn was out of the question (Renee is all weird about being naked on the internet) we thought a web series might be the way to go.
   We're both theatre nerds and I'd never written for a screen of any size—but Renee'd had some experience with film and TV, both acting and producing, and we thought doing a show like this would be a great way to experiment with the medium. We also felt that web series, as a genre, offer a nice medium between the immediacy of theatre and the "might never happen" of television. It's a great way to get our work out there without waiting for the go-ahead from anyone. We were lucky enough to hoodwink some very, very talented folks, on both the crew and cast side, into working for beer and internet fame—and thus Seeking Simone was born!

SLC:. Have you or others in the creative team used online dating? Any success?
RR: Yes! I met my wife online. We fully lesbian-U-Hauled it—she was the first online date I ever went on and also the last. We met on a Sunday—I moved in with her the following Tuesday on our second date—six weeks later we bought a condo together. It's embarrassing. But it's eight years later and we're gay married and have a dog and stuff. So it's true that psychos and pervs lurk online—but so does true love! Just embrace it.

SLC: You use the classic U-Haul joke in one episode. What is the lesbian dating scene like these days?
RO: Well, Jon, the lesbian dating scene is as varied and colourful as a gay flag flapping on the back of a bike during the Dykes on Bikes parade at Pride. As ANYONE who has EVER gone on a date can attest—dating can be a total blast! It can also SUCK YOUR WILL TO LIVE. I don't think the lesbonic scene is any different. People
make good choices, bad choices, ambivalent choices. And yes, there will always be the lesbians who put a deposit down on a U-Haul right after they make a reservation at the Olive Garden for their first date dinner. You know...lesbians like Rose.

SLC: What advice would you give someone considering online dating?
RR: I'm a fan of online dating because it cuts to the chase. There's no dancing around "are you queer? are you single? can you spell?" We all know what we're here for. It may not work out, but at least there's no months-long agony over whether the barista downstairs "likes" you or "like likes" you or if she's just flirting for tips. So, like Audrey, I say DO IT. What do you have to lose? Just a little dignity, surely. And you'll have great stories! And then you'll tell them to us and we'll base episodes on them! It's the circle of life, Jon.

SLC: Season 2 is about to begin! How will Simone feel about still being "on the market"?
RO: Well, Simone feels many things—often at the same time and often at inappropriate moments. With regards to Simone still being on the market, I can say that she's resolved to make the best of online dating, despite having had some really bad experiences in the past. Some may see her as a glutton for punishment, but I see her as a hopeless romantic. 

SLC: Will she ever find her girl or will she find happiness as a dater?
RR: I certainly think that Simone would like to find a nice girl and settle down—but having just come off a really destructive "emotional crabs" type relationship, I think she needs to sew a few wild lesbian oats! I can see her having a lot of experiences—hopefully really sweet, funny or weird experiences—maybe with clowns—before she meets her match.

SLC: Web series are really coming into their own of late. Do you think Seeking Simone would work on network television?
RO: Hells YEAH! Wait a minute, I just realized someone from a network may read this, so let me expand on that and try to sound smart. We absolutely believe that Seeking Simone has a place on television. When we created this web series, Rosemary and I developed it with the intention of demonstrating the potential our concept had, to not only be a success on the web, but also on a broadcast network.
   We have worked hard to craft stories that are funny and relevant to our community. But we have also made sure to speak to the universality of all the themes we deal with—love, pain, dating. Our series works not only because we are serving an under-represented community, but also because people from many different walks of life can identify with the show. That, and everybody loves to laugh.

SLC: If you were to find Simone's profile online, would you want to hook up with her?
RO: Ummm..... that's a little too meta for me. And also creepy. But what the hell, Simone's a fox!
RR: No. I'm not cool enough to date anyone who buys their boots at Gravity Pope.