Grindr to a Halt


Hilarious New Series Explores Trying to Find Mr. Right via the Hookup Apps

By Matt Blanco

Danny Will Die Alone dives deep into the hellscape of being a single gay man in his forties trying to find love via the hookup apps.  Loosely based on Jack Tracy’s own dating life in New York City and his “Dying Alone Together” podcast, the series depicts Tracy as Danny: a man on a mission.  Recently single after a devastating breakup and freshly entering a mid-life crisis, Danny finds the dating scene markedly different from the last time he was on the market.  Emotional unavailability, fear of commitment and hypersexuality abound and Danny is forced to navigate his way through unhinged flakes, fakes, and bots, all while remaining blissfully unaware of his own multitude of flaws.  

In addition to its jaw-droppingly vulgar humor, the series presents a critical look at modern dating and its shifting relationship styles.  It explores how gay men use the apps, treat one another, and the differences in their behavior when interacting virtually and in-person.  “On the apps, you’re never quite sure if the man you are speaking with is looking for something real or if he simply enjoys the chase,” Tracy explains.    

“It’s as if long term relationships and traditional dating structures have been abandoned by men in their 20s and 30s,” he continues.  “Once you get into the 40s, it’s a whole other macrocosm of messiness; mostly married couples who have opened their relationships and are looking for a temporary third to complete their throuple.”  

Jack Tracy explains more from his NYC home.

Is Danny will Die Alone the gay man’s Sex and the City?

Jack Tracy:  Not quite. There’s certainly a fair amount of sex but Danny’s dating life is wildly depressing.  I’m not sure any of the SATC girls were as unhinged as Danny is. 

Isn’t it ironic that the apps that were supposed to make it easier for gay men to connect with each other have actually driven us further apart?  What went wrong?

JT:  I think it depends how you use them. If you get off the app and meet in person fast, it can work well. But in person chemistry is critical and you’re a step removed from that on the apps, so you’re going to get a lot more misses. Plus, the apps open up the dating world to more people with casual interest who would never approach in person so you’ll get more time wasters.  I can’t stand the “still figuring it out” ones. Girl, go figure it out and come back when you have. 

What inspired you to create a series about being single in NYC?

JT:  My dating life is so wildly unsatisfying that I was determined to make something good from it.  If I have to be constantly disappointed, I’m going to make the most of it. 

Have you really dated guys like the men Danny meets in the series?  

JT:  Every single episode is based off of a real-life date, most not veering too far from what happened. I think the wildest one was the guy who told me I had Trump Derangement Syndrome and he needed to find a new church because his fellow parishioners were losers.  I walked out of that one. 

Do you think Danny realizes that he may carry some of the blame for being alone?

JT:  Not at all. But the audience sure does. This will be explored a lot more in season 2. 

I’m ducking as I ask this next question… but do you think, perhaps, that you may be part of the reason that you are not married?   Maybe you work too hard?

JT:  Well, I don’t think the answer is ever diminishing oneself in order to find someone. I am certainly part of the problem in that I know what I want, how I deserve to be treated, and will not settle as I’m perfectly happy alone and am already a complete person. So yes, my pool will be smaller as a result. I had a much better time dating in the past when my self-esteem came from the validation of a boyfriend, which is no longer the case. And my person likes an ambitious hard worker. If he doesn’t, he’s not for me. He can go be happy with some vacant f-boy whose entire personality is brunch and travel. Mazel. 

Maybe if you moved out of NYC?  Have you considered it?  Where else might you want to live?

JT:  I consider it all the time. Since I work from home, I think next year I will do some nomading around the country to see if I fall in love with a new place. I certainly always have better dates when I’m visiting somewhere else.  

Well, you’re not going to be alone for long because you’re about to have a boatload of new fans after they watch this hilarious series.  

JT:  Oh yes, I’m sure the boys will just be lining up for the risk they may be the subject of a future episode.

Danny Will Die Alone begins streaming Thursday, May 16 on Dekkoo.