Created by Johnnie Ingram and Stephen “Steve” Warren, Max’s ‘Swiping America’ is a documentary romance series that revolves around four singles from New York City, New York. Tired of the dating scene in the Big Apple, the participants travel to eight different cities in the USA, where they get to talk to people that the showrunners have swiped right for them on the internet based on their preferences.
While not all dates end in a positive outcome, the show does feature some heartwarming stories of blossoming love that one cannot help but eagerly follow through. That said, some in the public cannot help but wonder just how much of the series is real and if certain parts have been scripted for one reason or the other. If you are also in the same boat, worry not because we have your back!
Is Swiping America Scripted?
No, we do not believe that ‘Swiping America’ is scripted. Unlike most unscripted dating shows, the Max series is framed in a documentary-like format on purpose and explores the stories of its stars in a setting that seems to be the personification of a modern-day fairytale. The reason behind this particular setup comes from creators Johnnie Ingram and Stephen “Steve” Warren, who are well known for their work in the unscripted world and wanted to combine that with the world of romance.
“We love romantic comedies, and that combined with our work in the unscripted space, we set out to create a true-to-life romantic documentary…aka ROM DOC,” Ingram and Warren shared with Cosmopolitan. “What makes this dating show unique is instead of going from zero to marriage, we focused on the initial stages of love and human connection mixed with real singles that are frustrated with swiping in their city but still optimistic that their person is out there. Sometimes you have to outsource love to a different city!”
“The beautiful thing about this show is we are the most inclusive, nonjudgmental dating show out there,” Warren told Variety. “We have queer people, lesbians, we have trans, we have nonbinary. There are no judgments because love is love.” The creative duo came up with the idea for the show by watching the people around them, especially cast and crew members, making use of dating apps in small towns, and getting to know the people there. This inspired them to take the whole concept a step further and make New Yorkers step into the online dating world of other places across the country.
“I wound up having a drink with Casey Bloys [Chairman and CEO of HBO and Max Content]. He was telling me about a show that he was thinking about, and I said, ‘No, no, no, no, do “Swiping America.” ‘He said, ‘I want it,'” Warren disclosed. Around the time of the release of the first season of the Max series, the creators shared that depending upon the success of the show, they would like to expand their horizons in the future.
“I would love to do as many versions of ‘Swiping’ that we possibly can with as many different, diverse groups of people,” Ingram confessed. “It’s a very fresh, very relatable real-life format that is queer-inclusive.” The two are undoubtedly proud of the inclusivity they have brought to the show, with Ingram stating that their work is solid proof against those who think that creating a truly queer-inclusive show is a piper’s dream.
Given the amount of passion put into the show by its creators and the overall realistic nature of ‘Swiping America,’ we do not believe that the series is scripted. Though the main idea of the show is certainly not something one might experience every day, the participants certainly react to the unfolding events in a manner that one might expect, and their own frank nature, combined with the passion put in by Ingram and Warren, makes the show quite relatable.