Snapchat has created its first original series: Second Chance. Since the 20th April 2017, they have aired three episodes on their app, once every Wednesday. The premise of this snapchat story (Snapchat stories are videos and photos people and certain companies can put on snapchat for 24 hours at a time) is great: a short two-minute video between real-life couples who have broken up recently for various reasons. Its short, genuine, and much better than most of the snapchat stories, especially those of drunken teenagers on a night out, or the Daily Mail’s constant depiction of near-to-nude women. Yet there are a few major problems with Second Chance, problems I sincerely hope snapchat will rectify in their next episodes.
The first key qualm I have with Second Chance is the fact that the only ones who have done wrong and caused the break-ups are the men. The setup of the scene is of the couple sitting opposite one another, with the one who has caused the break-up having to ask for a ‘second chance’. And currently its only the men who have been asking for forgiveness and the titled ‘second chance’. Now I know men make mistakes and cheat, but women do the same too. Snapchat and the producer of this show, A+E Networks, are currently portraying relationships as if to say that it is only men who cause hurt and distress in relationships. But this is simply not the case. Snapchat and A+E Networks really need to change this by making episodes where the women have done wrong, but in yesterday’s preview for the next episode, it showed yet another situation where it was the guy who did wrong, not the girl.
Another issue I have with Second Chance thus far, is that, in four episodes (I have only seen the preview for the fourth, it will be shown on snapchat on 11th May) only heterosexual couples have been shown. Now I can kind of let snapchat off with this, as most scientists argue that the rate of homosexuals to heterosexuals is about 1 in 5. Yet with the lack of diversity currently – portraying women solely as the quiet, sad victims and men as the brash, promiscuous monsters – I see it highly unlikely that snapchat will show much in the way of lesbian or gay couples. This surprises me for an app whose users are almost entirely in the 13-35 years old age bracket, the section of society most fervently and widely in support of gay rights. The pictures below show this lack of diversity aptly.
Snapchat, as such a young and fresh app, had a great opportunity to positively influence young people in this new series. Even the couples are of similar ethnicity, there was yet another chance missed to show mixed-race couples reconciling the issues they had in their relationship. However, all snapchat have done is portray heterosexual couples with only the men doing wrong. This is sexist, and in no way representative of relationships in general. A fantastic new idea on a fantastic and new app, has been wasted up to this point. Snapchat have gone public recently, achieving less success than previously expected, so maybe this distinct lack of risk-taking is to make sure they don’t affect stock prices too significantly.
But it isn’t all over for Second Chance and snapchat, there are still many more episodes to come. The concept is brilliant. The genuineness of it is phenomenal, especially for something only two minutes long. Snapchat and A+E Networks have the ability to create an original, thought-provoking, raw series, the only question is: are they willing to take the risk?