Unless you've been living under a rock for the past year, you probably already have a host of reasons to love MTV's Catfish. For those of you who may have swapped places with Patrick Star (please get that reference), Catfish is a show about people who have fallen in love (or lust) with people who may or may not be who their pictures portray them to be. The person who believes they may be getting "catfished" calls up Nev, a guy who went through a similar bamboozling situation, and Nev flies out to their state with his camera guy, Max, does some detective work, and eventually flies the lover and MTV cameras to the area where the "catfisher" lives. If that quick synopsis doesn't get you interested, take a look at the 7 reasons to love MTV's Catfish below.
1. The Disappointment (Emotions)
As much as I hate to admit it, one of the primary reasons to love MTV's Catfish is to witness the disappointment shown by people after they realize they've fallen in love with a person who isn't who they claim to be. While the person may have thought they were talking to someone with supermodel good looks and a glamorous life filled with travel plans all across the country, they've actually been conversing with an "average Joe" who works a regular job or is a student in some random town. The reactions range somewhere between extreme sadness and extreme anger, which makes for great reality television. The reaction of the "cafisher," however, is more unpredictable. Since the first season, viewers have witnessed feelings of shame, disappointment, and even anger (some nerve) by the catfishers on account of their love not accepting them for who they really are. Either way, the sad realization that someone has been playing with your emotions, either through their actions or deception, is still entertaining, to say the least. Lesson of the day? Don’t fall in love with a person without seeing them via webcam first.
2. The "Hosts" - Nev & Max
Nev, whom viewers first met in Catfish: The Movie, knows the pain of being deceived firsthand, as evidenced by his tragic tale of falling in love with a personality masked by a fake picture and profile. He, along with his cameraman and friend Max, are your average Joes, which makes their characters so lovable. In addition to acting as sleuths to track down these potential fake profiles at the request of various people, Nev and Max also act as relationship counselors, life coaches, and your BFF during the whole catfishing process. Their quirky (or corny, if you will) personalities coupled with their genuine “nice-guy” personas make them the perfect shoulders to cry on or friends to laugh with, depending on the episode.
3. The Naivete
Imagine this: You’ve been talking to a guy online for a whopping five years, have fallen madly in love with him and shared your deepest, darkest secrets with him, but in the golden age of technology, he does not own a webcam or a smart phone, and thus, you are reduced to seeing him only in picture form. Add in the fact that you have arranged to travel to his respective state to see him, only for him to make up every excuse in the book as to why it isn’t a good time. Sounds ridiculous, right? Not to the individuals who appear on Catfish every week. After season one, I was confident that no one else could really be fooled into thinking a person isn’t able to access a webcam in 2013. But to my surprise, season two is filled with individuals who claim to be in love with a voice behind a Facebook profile and a potential made up lifestyle. One would expect this type of naivete from teenagers, but most, if not all of the Catfish participants are legal adults. If this type of thing doesn’t keep you entertained, reality television might not be for you.
4. The Twitter Commentary
Possibly one of my most favorite reasons to love MTV’s Catfish is the explosion of my Twitter feed (shameless plug time: Follow me! @ListenKristen) during the show. Nothing brings out the best in social media like popular television shows, no matter what they are, and Catfish is no exception. The accounts you follow that are usually very serious and socially conscious even get in on a joke or two, making my timeline an explosion of funny jokes and witty commentary. After a long day of work or school, those types of jokes are exactly what the doctor ordered. If your timeline isn’t getting in on the jokes every Tuesday night around 8:00 pm, you may be following the wrong people.
5. The Suspense
Will the hopeless romantic find love and ride off into the sunset with their online dater? Will the online dater be some loser who thinks it’s funny to play with someone's feelings? Will everyone go their separate ways once the cameras stop rolling? The answers to these questions are one of the prime reasons viewers continue to tune into Catfish every week. You never know what the answers to these questions will be or what other questions will arise depending upon the characters present on the show. The height of the suspense is when the cameras await the potential lover to come outside. Who will it be? The person in the pictures or somebody else? *nervously fidgets in seat*
6. The Characters
Catfish is KING when it comes to having strange characters in your living room on a weekly basis. While the people appear pretty normal, their deceptive and naïve ways quickly make them candidates for The Most Interesting People on Television award that doesn’t actually exist. From the best gal pal who posed as a hot guy to get her friend more “focused,” to the guy who posed as several random people to “work on his game,” Catfish is sure not to disappoint in the strange character department.
7. The (Occasional) Happy Ending
While rare, viewers do get the opportunity to witness a love story in the making thanks to Nev, Max, and the entire Catfish team. Although the love stories don’t always work out two months down the line, viewers are able to see two people who really appear to be in love enjoy a day of fun. Even more exciting is when Nev and Max pop in on the couple months later, and they appear on webcam together, still going strong. As entertaining as disappointment and turmoil can be (oh, humans), I am always a sucker for a good love story, complete with a fairy tale ending.
Whether reality television is “good television” is a matter of opinion. But if it is your thing, Catfish possesses all the elements to make for great reality TV. Have you watched the show? Ever been “catfished” or done some “catfishing” of your own? Share some of your thoughts on it in the comment section!