The MTV show Catfish is hosted by Yaniv “Nev” Schulman, a film and photography artist who started a production company with his brother, Ariel Schulman.
In 2010, Nev directed a hit documentary that went by the same name as the current TV show.
After the documentary received rave reviews, people began sending Nev their online dating stories and asking if he would help them find their “other half.”
When I think of online dating, I immediately think “it will never work.” Call me ignorant but I just don’t trust that people will be completely honest when it comes to talking to strangers on an internet connection.
It doesn’t surprise me that most of these stories end in disappointment and in being let down. It is incredibly easy to create a fake Facebook profile complete with pictures, friends, stories, jealous ex-lovers and even extensive background stories.
I understand that this type of thing can make a great one-time documentary, but the fact that Catfish has become a series blows my mind.
How many times can you see someone have their heart broken? How many times do you have to watch an average guy duped into believing that a super hot blonde girl is on the other end of that Ethernet connection typing for hours, pouring out his feelings and deepest emotions?
Sure, it makes great television. And sure it’s entertaining. The show has everything you need to be both: relatable characters, romance, suspense, surprise and a catchy title.
But that’s exactly what’s wrong with MTV today. They aren’t about music or the celebration there-of. The only music-related thing MTV does now is flash up the song that is playing at the bottom of the screen.
But that’s beside the point. I have to hand it to Schulman though; he has made a name for himself. And that’s not an easy thing to do in a world that lets a show like Jersey Shore get renewed for six seasons.
What’s even more impressive is that he managed to make the Catfish name famous by using himself as an example.
The movie became very personal when he used himself to show that fake Facebook profiles are a very real thing.
When MTV aired the movie as a prequel to the initial airing of the show, I was pretty interested. Then I watched a later episode and my suspicions began to grow. Catfish has the potential to be very entertaining, and most critics seem to agree.
Since Manti Te’o is in the news for being involved in a Catfish-like scandal only brings more sensationalism to the show.
A star, college athlete tangled in an online-dating mess that he may have fabricated for publicity?
That must sound like a season two renewal and the sound of cash registers clanging to Schulman’s ears.
Te’o probably wanted that kind of publicity to make people feel sorry for him. Little did he know that if you lie about a dead girlfriend, no one feels sorry for you. In fact, everyone will just get angry.
He did a pretty good job making sure that his chances of getting into the NFL are limited.
I predict that the stories will become more and more outlandish as the show gains popularity.
This will turn in to another Teen Mom: people trying to get involved in online relationships because they could be on MTV.
The first episode I watched had me convinced that it was real. After watching later episodes, I’m starting to suspect that these stories are coming out of the woodwork of crazy-ville.
With all of that being said, I still think that the show makes good television.
Catfish is something to watch at 11 p.m. on a Monday night.
Even though the stories are probably not real, and I don’t think it’s moral to watch people have their hopes crushed, I have no problem channel flipping between MTV and Cartoon Network when Family Guy is on at the same time.
The point is, Catfish is what people want to see on television today: something that may not necessarily be real but is really entertaining.
I for one hope that the stories become so outlandish and ridiculous that people are forced to question their own reality. That sounds deep. Maybe too deep.