jenn has occasionally watched a show called catfish that i’ve had the misfortune of witnessing. it’s a documentary series where people who have fallen in love with someone online but have not been able to meet their e-love track those people down and actually meet face to face. inevitably, there is a ton of juicy drama caught on tape because when they finally meet, one person is an unemployed, obese basement dweller who claimed to be a successful model. you can imagine the disappointment and confrontations that would ensue.
there’s obviously a lot to hate about this show: people who end up in long term online relationships with people who refuse to actually meet them; people who can’t sort that situation out on their own and require the aid of a FUCKING TV SHOW to help them do it; people who want to expose their most private, intimate moments on tv — that’s all red flag, “i’m a screaming fuckhead” stuff. but that’s not the worst part.
the worst part is the hosts (nev schulman and max joseph) who give the impression that they and their show are all about helping people find truth, admit mistakes, grant forgiveness, ***and maybe even find love***. the truth is, that’s only a tiny fraction of the show. the vast majority of it is spent mercilessly capturing all the painful, awkward, heated moments on film. like when two people finally meet and realize one has been lying to the other for several years, and the host says, “we’ll give you a few minutes on your own to talk,” acting like he’s giving them some time to work things out privately, away from prying eyes. he then walks away, but the cameras and microphones keep on rolling, capturing it all in HD. come on, get real. internationally televised conversations are not private.
these guys are either delusional or soulless liars because the truth is obvious. no one watches catfish for the happy endings or the last shot at redemption that max and nev encourage each participant to give each other. people watch it to see crazy shit go down, to see what crazy lies some crazy trash is telling to some crazy fool. that’s why the juicy drama makes up about 95% of each episode. max and nev are all too happy to oblige their audiences craving, just as long as they can still market themselves as altruistic hipster angels.
oh yeah, and the music fucking sucks. it’s all hipster garbage with typical “whooah oh oh oh oh oh” choruses, just like i’ve bitched about before, and they use it ham-handedly to try to amplify the tone of any given scene. like, “here’s where she forgives him, cue the hopeful whooah oh oh oh oh chorus from that mumford and sons knockoff act.”
i’d like to make note that while reading up on the show and these guys, i learned nev was thrown out of a university for punching out a female student. after internet rumours about this swirled for a while, nev wrote a book where he quickly and casually mentioned the incident. he says he was tackled and choked with his camera strap so he punched his assailant once in an attempt to free himself from the vicious onslaught. however, the woman he punched and several witnesses claim she merely tapped him on the shoulder and asked him not to take pictures of lesbians kissing, at which point he punched her repeatedly. he was expelled from the school because of the incident. if nev really only defended himself against a brutal assault, why would he have been expelled? come on.
i already thought ol’ nev was a phony snake in the grass because of his shitty show and its bullshit facade, and that punching-out-a-lesbian story only crystallized my belief. i think it was a careful, calculated move on his part to address and downplay (and outright lie about) a potentially damaging part of his history before it blew up and did some real damage to his image and his brand.
fuck catfish, and fuck its hosts. don’t trust them or their garbage show for a second.