From the cable television channel who brought you 6 long seasons of pointless reality drama amongst L.A youngsters (yes, I am referring to “The Hills”) comes a reality show that is surprisingly decent.
This new show is MTV’s Catfish. Catfish started as a documentary film project between a group of young New York film makers. Long story short, They think they are filming their best pal Nev falling in love and developing an online relationship and decides to make a road trip to meet the girl he has fallen in love with. Only to discover that this woman is a made up character – a Catfish.
The movie became a huge success and the guys were approached by MTV who offered to make it into a TV show.
All episodes features a person who has invested themselves into online relationships, some of them for years, but that has not met the person they are allegedly dating. Hosts Nev and Max then play detectives to find out wether or not the person is a Catfish or not. Most of the time, they are.
One of my favourite episodes features a girl called Sunny, who is convinced she dating model Jamison King. She shows Nev and Max flirty texts and Facebook messages that has been sent between the two of them. Then they ask her what he is doing, and here is when it gets fishy, “He write cue cards for Chelsea Lately but he is also a model and takes classes in anaesthesiologist online”. If it seems a bit too good to be true, it probably is. Jamison King is a real model, however he does not do anaesthesiologist classes and he does not write cue cards for Chelsea lately AND more importantly, he was not the person who Sunny had been talking to. In reality Sunny had been talking to a girl who created this online persona in order to get back at people who had bullied her in High School.
This is what makes the show so interesting, because Sunny is definitely not alone in dating a Catfish, she is not even the one who I would said was the most invested in her relationship out of the people who were featured in the first season of the show.
Hosts Nev and Max does always do a short reflection segment at the end of each episode and they are providing some good tips. This is a clip of them talking about internet dating and their experiences. http://www.mtv.co.uk/shows/catfish/episode/catfish-the-tv-show-season-1-online-dating
In conclusion here are the three main warning signs you might be talking to a catfish:
- They have less then 100 Facebook friends
- The claim to be a model
- If they are not able to video chat or send a photograph with something specific (like a note of your name)
Nev pretty much laid down the law when made a point of that you really should think about how much time you are willing to invest into a relationship with a person who you have never met.
Finally check out this clip of when the Catfish creators met with Ellen DeGeneres: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loesprlsvng