Published on Thursday, February 21, 2013 by Andrea Mendes
Decades of traditional TV shows have come to an end as our generation moves away from cartoons and family shows and into the world of reality TV. Reality TV seems to be all over TV station these days; serving a multitude of audiences, with shows targeting groups from middle-aged housewives to teenage mothers. The latest of these shows is Catfish.
Featured on MTV, Catfish offers an in-depth view of the lives of adults who engage in internet relationships. Catfish originated with the show’s founder, Nev Schulman, who fell in love online. Schulman and his friend documented his entire experience of falling in love online as well as meeting his alleged lover, only to find that she was a 40-year-old mother.
Schulman became intrigued with the idea that people could deceive one another online. After his documentary published, he found a staggering amount of people admitting to online romances. In an effort to help them, Schulman assists people in investigating the legitimacy of their online significant others as well as arranging meetings between them through Catfish.
With so many reality TV shows being staged or fake these days, it was difficult to decide how ‘real’ this one was. Sure, I followed every episode and brought into peoples’ sob stories, but how real is it? Nearly every single one of the meetings end with disappointment, as each person realizes the person they believed they were in love with was a fake. The emotion seems real there, the devastation of being tricked, but what do they expect? Many of them hope to find the person they’ve been talking to somehow translates into real life. Unfortunately their stories are fake, along with the photos and people they appear to be.
Every single one of the people Schulman helps has never Skyped or legitimately seen the person they spend so much time talking to and supposedly ‘fallen in love with’. They rely on pictures and text messages as proof of life, but wouldn’t any sane person question that?
As a big fan of reality TV shows, I’ll admit that Catfish has been difficult to decoding as to whether or not it’s a ‘real’ reality Tv show. If it isn’t, I give a round of applause to those actors and their performances. In each episode, Catfish gives a heartfelt impression that each and every person is good in their intention of being united with their loved one, so if this show is a big scam to get viewers to herd towards MTV, they sure are doing a great job.
Catfish left me counting down the days to new episodes and re-watching old ones. It’ll have viewers drawn in instantly and leave them wondering until the very end as they’re compelled to see each person’s story through.
After watching countless reality shows, I’ve learned that reality TV may not always be wholesome or family friendly, or even real for that matter, but it sure is entertaining. Each of us find some satisfaction in watching how other people live, and for a few minutes, a few episodes, or even a complete series, feeding on someone elses life.