Anyone that’s never experienced the misfortune of falling in love with a model who’s actually a toad will be familiar with the term ‘catfish.’ It describes someone using a fake online profile to deceive others. I’m not sure why the show is called Catfish, but I have seen many, random videos of actual catfishes on YouTube (yes, I have no life) and they always seem to explode out of a murky swamp to inhale an unsuspecting fisherman’s catch. Perhaps that’s what being catfished is like – being swallowed by a wet blackhole of misrepresented love where everyone gets hurt. It’s pretty clear I struck out on that poetry attempt, but work with me here.
Nev Schulman is the host of Catfish and your first stop whether you’ve seen an episode of Catfish or not should be the documentary (same name) based on his own unfortunate deception. After watching it, I felt psychologically damaged similar to the way I sometimes do after a Black Mirror episode. But who doesn’t love psychologically damaging TV? Don’t act like you’re better than me, I can sense you’re thinking that. You’re still here and still reading this, after all. Honestly, we’re no different, you smug son of a b*tch. I’m sorry that was unnecessarily defensive. Forgive me.
After Nev’s experience he went from victim to catfish hunter and the show has produced almost 200 episodes of unique mysteries solved. My wife and I have this ritual where we play scrabble and put episodes of Catfish on in the background because honestly, some of the episodes could be shrunk to ten minutes. Admittedly, I tend to enjoy the episodes a lot more when I win because I have issues with inadequacy so, when I lose I feel a strange sense of compassion for the catfisher – it’s messed up, I know. Save the judgment, I’ve been hearing it from you since my first word.
Let’s put that behind us. The truly fascinating aspect of the show is when they find the catfish or the culprit. Many times, innocent people fall in love with liars, folks from different genders, cheaters or malicious pranksters getting revenge. There’s also many scenarios where the catfish is not faking it and somehow this head scratching, beautiful mystery of a love story is solved.
If you’re looking for some easily bingeable, interesting, ‘out there’ TV that you can fast forward if you feel like getting to the good stuff – Catfish is worth checking out and I’m sorry I was so sensitive throughout this article. The truth is, my name isn’t even Seth and that’s been a tough lie to carry, but thanks for reading this you unbearable prick. Finally, I’m free.
Seth Borkowski is a New York-based writer who enjoys writing about dating, self-improvement, sports and the challenges of growing older as a millennial. You can read more of his work at sethborkowski.com.