‘Catfish: The TV Show:’ A Look Into the (Fake) World of Online Dating
I am almost embarrassed to admit this, but when I get home at night my TV usually stays on MTV. 'Jersey Shore,' 'Teen Mom,' 'Buckwild,' and more are my guilty pleasure shows. But as I was watching one night, a new show came on called 'Catfish: The TV Show.' This show is a documentary focusing on the reality behind online dating. It isn't like the other MTV shows, this one shows real life people in real life situations that people don't really think about. Yet, it's something we subject ourselves to everyday.
A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they're not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.
'Catfish: The Documentary' debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. The movie follows Nev Schulman, a photographer living in New York City, and his journey of finding love online. He befriends the family of 8 year old Abby, who is a painter. He soon falls for her older sister Megan. All of this, taking place over the internet, phone, and texting. When Nev finally goes to meet Megan, he finds there is no Megan. But a woman named Angela who pretended to be Megan.
So, Nev and his brother and crew have created a TV show based on the documentary. The only difference is they help others find out the truth about the one they have started a relationship with online. His experience made such an impact on people in the same position, they are coming to him for help.
In every episode I have seen, not a single person these people go to find are who they say they are. Each person who requests Nev's help has fallen in love with this profile and person they think they know, but in reality it's all a lie. Some cases have been much more dramatic (including one where a girls arch nemesis creates a profile just to mess with her). These online relationships last from months to years before the truth is revealed.
This show is a huge step up from other shows that MTV airs. It takes a journey of the downsides of social media and how easy it is to hide the truth from everyone. All of these people had the mindset of "It won't happen to me", but it did. And it makes for interesting television.
Catch 'Catfish: The TV Show" on MTV at 10 p.m. on Monday nights.