Many people do not associate MTV with groundbreaking reality television. However, MTV currently is airing some unique and innovative reality programming. One of those shows is a new series called Catfish: The Television Show. Catfish is the product, or a spin-off, of a successful film festival movie by the same name. The movie is about one of many Americans greatest fears: falling in love with someone online and discovering they are not who they claim.
Catfish: The Television show has a similar premise. The series follows filmmakers Nev Schulman and Max Joseph exploring different stories each week about online love. A person writes to them and then they help him or her track down their online infatuation. As cameras follow Nev, Max, and the person of the week, it’s an intense mixture of fear and excitement as fans of the show join in and try to predict the outcome. That is just one of the many reasons Catfish is a must watch. Here are some of the other reasons:
1. Catfish is a good detective reality show: There are not many shows where the viewers and the filmmakers use their Internet detective skills to solve a mystery. This element gives Catfish a whole interactive element the creators may have never intended but works well.
2. The series brings out the romantic in all of us: Logically, we know it is more than likely that the person will not be who they say they are, but most of us probably really hope it will turn out to have a happy ending.
3. It’s shocking: Once the big reveal is done, many viewers mouths are on the ground trying to comprehend how this happened and why people would hurt one another in such horrible ways.
4. The show offers a second chance: One of the major issues people have with reality shows is people view them as ways to exploit the weak. However, even after it is revealed someone has lied and been manipulating their online love interest, Nev and Max allow that person to give their side of the story. The people who are initially considered villains are given the opportunity to become more human.
5. The show raises important questions: Not only does the show make you think about who you trust on the Internet, it also explores questions of love and human nature. Can someone really fall in love with someone they never met? If so, is it the physical person or their personality? If it’s the personality, should they forgive the person for false representation? Why do people so easily hurt one another through lies? Has technology ruined the old-fashioned human-to-human contact?
These are only a few of the millions of questions the show brings to mind while you watch it. Catfish is definitely one of those shows after you finish it you want to discuss with others. Catfish is a nice departure from MTV’s normal reality TV offerings. It’s funny, keeps you constantly guessing, sometimes induces tears, and seems to actually have a heart behind it. It is definitely a must watch.
You can catch a new episode of MTV’s Catfish tonight at 11pm E/10pm C.