Last night we welcomed back one of the greatest treasures from this season’s new crop of television shows: MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show (Not to be confused with Catfish: The Movie). Haven’t heard of this gem? Well let me tell you, you are really missing out. Basically, this adorable, hairy photographer kid named Nev goes around the country helping nerdy shut-ins meet the super hot boys/girls they have been chatting with on facebook for years but have never seen in person. As you can probably surmise, all sorts of shenanigans and mistaken identities occur. It is great. Now I’m sure you have TONS of questions about this whole phenomenon, so let me just address a few major ones:
-Who is Nev? Why does he have his own TV show?
See, Nev was the star of Catfish: The Movie, a documentary made by his brother and a friend about his own experience meeting some girl he feel in love with on the internet (spoiler alert: she wasn’t actually the hot, young singer he thought she was). So basically he is kind of an expert on this sort of thing.
-Why don’t these people realize that their internet friends aren’t who they say they are?
I know. It might seem obvious to you and me that the person you’ve been chatting with for ten years who has never shown any interest in meeting with you might have something to hide, but love blinds people! When a hot male model is hitting on you and telling you he loves you, you tend to overlook these things.
-Why is it called ‘Catfish’?
Honestly, I have no idea. Apparently it is some metaphor from the movie or something. Confession: I’ve never gotten through the entire movie. Even though MTV has now aired it plenty of times, it is always on at inconvenient times for me, like I’ll find it on at the gym, and even though I do love me some stairmaster, I don’t have time to do that stuff for 2 hours. Or, I’ll get about halfway through and my friends will start liveblogging some equally trashy, mind-rotting reality show on Facebook and I’ll get sidetracked. It happens. Someday I’ll finish the movie and I’ll be able to tell you what the title means. Hopefully. But don’t worry, you don’t need to know about catfish to enjoy this masterpiece of a show.
As you can see, this series is a piece of television gold, and if this was your first week watching, boy were you in for a treat. This week we met a kid named Joe who has been chatting with a former Miss Teen USA online. Actually, he says they have been ‘dating,’ but can you really be ‘dating’ someone you’ve never met? I’d call that a stretch. Anyway, not only is she some teen beauty queen, she has been in Playboy! And Nev saw her naked pictures! And this girl is looking for a love with a dentally-challenged boy from Buffalo who drives a four-wheeler and wears sunglasses inside. This is the stuff of fairytales, guys.
Joe tells Nev that all he did was post a status about being lonely and this girl just messaged him out of the blue. It’s that easy to get a model to fall in love with you? Why is not every status on all of facebook just about feeling alone?
Joe thought at first that this girl (Kari Ann is her name, I just checked my DVR), might be some sort of trick from his ex-girlfriend (to which everyone watching said: ex-girlfriend? Really?), but after receiving a short voicemail from her, he determined it was not, in fact, the ex-gf. So clearly, he immediately assumed that if it wasn’t the ex, then it must be legit. Good detective work, Ranger Joe.
So Nev and his buddy leave Joe and do some of their own investigating into Kari Ann’s profile and its legitimacy. Nev calls up the mutual friend Joe has with Kari, named Rose and Rose tells them that she has talked to Kari on the phone but never met her in person. Suspicious. But then after some more snooping, they talk to Kari’s agent and someone who HAS actually met her, so it seems that this Playboy model has actually for real been talking to small town Joe. Nev is super excited, and he isn’t the only one! The nice guy might actually get the girl! I’ve seen enough episodes of this show not to get my hopes TOO high, but even I was starting to get excited for the guy.
After discussing their findings with Joe and two of his friends (a guy who has greater dental problems than Joe and the mutual friend, Rose, who has quite the chest on her), the gang enjoys some go kart racing and batting practice before regrouping to plan their next move aka getting in contact with Kari Ann herself, which will be easy since Joe has her real, confirmed phone number.
Nev calls her up, but when he asks her about her feelings for Joe, Kari gets all dodgey. And when Nev mentions that Joe has doubts about her identity, she gets very defensive. But just when things start to get really fishy, Kari says she is in the area and could come out to meet Joe within the next few days! And she even gets Nev to apologize and admit that what he does in this show is weird, which it totally is. So despite her initial shadiness, the meeting is happening!! Could this really be the real thing!?
The next day Nev heads over to Joe’s house with his crew and the call Kari Ann, who says she will be there in 20 minutes, despite her mom’s pleadings on her facebook not to make plans. But soon enough a car appears down the road and when it pulls up it is revealed that Kari is actually ROSE THE MUTUAL FRIEND WITH THE BOOBS WHO SHOWED UP AT GO KARTS! Apparently she has had a crush on Joe for a few months and wanted to talk to him. In fact, she reveals that she has multiple fake profiles and has been doing it for years.
Nev and his buddy feel bad about failing Joe and making him think the profile was legit, but then they just get angry at Rose for being inconsiderate and not apologetic for what she did. Rose gets angry right back at them, but she explains that she only came for Joe, who is clearly shaken and needs some time to process all that just happened.
After she gets some time to chill, Nev and his crew meet up with Rose alone so she can explain her side of the story. She admits that she has real feelings for Joe, but she doesn’t know if she can give up all of her fake profiles. She is addicted to fake facebooking. This is a thing of our future, people.
When she shows Nev her fake profile and some of the things she has done and said to people, Nev may not say anything too harsh, but his judger face is out of control. Clearly Nev does not feel much sympathy for Rose and her addiction. Eventually, after some prodding from Nev and his pal, Rose shuts down the Kari Ann profile for good (but what about all her other fake profiles? They are still up and running, yes?
After the Kari Ann profile has been put to rest, Joe comes over to meet with Rose and she explains to him her feelings. And in the end he seems receptive of her advances; as he should be. Rose’s body is banging. Simple Joe won’t be doing much better than that.
Nev and his friend tell Rose that she made them realize they have some work to do to improve their detective skills, and then they head on their way, but not before helping Joe find out how fast his four-wheeler goes (55mph! Whoa, ladies, watch out!).
In the one month catch up, we learn that Rose has reactivated her Kari Ann profile (only like a week after the show ended) and even met a boyfriend through it, who caused her move all the way to California. And she left poor Joe in the dust. He hasn’t seen her since filming ended, but he is ‘single and looking.’ Oh Joe, best of luck to you, kid. Just cruise on that four-wheeler around town. You’ll find your lucky lady soon enough.
Unfortunately Joe didn’t meet the girl of his dreams, but maybe next week will turn out better? Ha, if there is one thing you need to learn about Catfish it is to not hold your breath for happy endings. They are few and far between, but that is all part of what makes it so fun!