Nev Schulman

Catfish

MTV’s Catfish doesn’t always save the big catches for its season finales – the first season finale centered on a tale so classic that it seemed as if it should be served with a side of fries and some coleslaw, a genuine romance marred by one half of the couple sending pictures of someone else and lying about her life (they eventually worked it out, at least for a bit), while the second season ended with a somewhat similar storyline (though this one was elevated by the revelation that the Catfisher had already run this same game on the Catfishee before) – so while we’ve come to expect blockbuster season finales from most other shows, the reality program seems disinterested in delivering that kind of television. Unless, of course, there’s a supermodel available to assist hosts Nev Schulman and Max Joseph as they go about their searching (read: stalking, Googling, making that Spokeo money). For last night’s third season finale, Schulman and Joseph were joined on the road (and in their investigation) by supermodel Selita Ebanks, who apparently tagged along because she’s a big fan. No, really. Catfish, a show that has never really tried to deliver a truly shocking season finale, appeared to randomly do just that – but not because of the actual story at the show’s heart, but because an (obviously very nice) supermodel wanted to come to North Carolina and Iowa and watch two people be humiliated on camera. Let’s never do this again, okay?

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Catfish

While the good folks in charge of programming at MTV might not have known just how bad this year’s Video Music Awards were going to be (read: pretty bad, thanks to Miley Cyrus’ complete transformation into a culture-appropriating pop art nightmare and twenty seconds of *NSYNC attempting to fire up the Nostalgia Machine, amongst so many other things), they must have known just how incredible the latest episode of Catfish was going to be. After all, they moved the episode from its normal Tuesday night slot in order to serve as the lead in to the VMA pre-show and the actual ceremony itself. The result? Approximately four and a half hours of television that left our collective jaws on the floor. Hyperbole aside, I watched just about every minute of this stuff with my mouth hanging open, only pausing to routinely ask, “what the hell is going on? What the hell is going on?” Catfish has, in only its second season, reached its pinnacle. Even though hosts Nev Schulman and Max Joseph already promised fans a very new breed of Catfish in the season’s second half (this news was delivered during the show’s midseason break, presumably months after the episode had been filmed, and Nev and Max still looked bewildered while talking about), there was no way anyone could have been prepared for what happened during the “Artis and Jess” episode, if only because it reminded us that reality television can still be unexpected, original, and just completely bizarre. If […]

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catfish

(Spoilers ahead for the fourth episode of Catfish, which aired last night on MTV.) Four episodes into its second season, MTV’s Catfish finally managed to put together an episode that was genuinely shocking, if only because it featured something we’ve never seen before. Nev Schulman and Max Joseph’s series has so far seen every possible permutation of potential outcomes – people who aren’t who they said they were and don’t care about their paramours, people who aren’t who they said they were and do care about their paramours, people playing pranks, people working under misguided attempts to “help” the other person, men pretending to be women, women pretending to be men, and every other situation in between – well, except for one. Catfish has never documented a relationship in which one or both parties weren’t lying to each other in some way, shape, or form. Despite the rise of Internet-based relationships and the relative normalcy of people meeting their mates online, Catfish still exists in a world where finding someone online is strange, foreign, and basically just a really cool way to get lied to and shamed on national television. Sure, it makes for great TV when people discover that their hot European vampire-loving dude is actually a transgender California girl (that happened, and it actually ended with a really sweet love connection) or that the guy they’ve been texting with for years is just some girl who was pissed off that they were talking to a shared crush (that […]

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Catfish

Last night, MTV premiered the second season opener of its erstwhile docu-reality series, Catfish, the television arm (fin?) of the tiny empire started by Catfish film star Nev Schulman that now swims unstoppably, improbably on. Like the eleven episodes before it that only focused on the couples caught in the net of Internet romance (we won’t count reunion episodes, because who would?), this episode is titled after its paramours – “Cassie and Steve.” Even if you’ve never watched Catfish, “Cassie and Steve” is a strangely prototypical episode of the show, one made season premiere worthy by its even more strangely heightened emotions and situations. Sure, Cassie is now in love with a guy from the Internet who she has never met in real life, but they are engaged. He doesn’t send her a lot of hot pictures, but they frequently have phone sex. He’s in the studio a lot because he’s a rapper/producer, but his songs sound totally amateur. Oh, and he came into Cassie’s life unexpectedly after a major traumatic event in her life. This sounds really, right? Guys? Right? Like most people who watch Catfish the show, I’m enthralled and flummoxed by the bare facts that 1) people continue to go on it, despite the fact that not a single episode has ended with both people on the other end of the modem (just go with it) being exactly who they’ve said they are and a true romantic connection that translates to the real world (a handful episodes […]

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‘Catfish’ is, arguably, the breakout hit from Sundance 2010. Expect to hear a lot more about it soon.

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