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Yaniv "Nev" Schulman, host and executive producer, produced "Catfish: The TV Show" based on the 2010 documentary "Catfish." The documentary tells of Nev's online relationship with someone who he later finds out is not the person she had claimed to be. After falling victim to a "catfish," someone who uses fake profiles on social media sites, Nev and Max Joseph, his friend and filmmaker, have chosen to help other online couples meet in real life for the first time.
A typical episode begins with an individual explaining to Nev their online relationship with their significant other who they have never met. Nev then helps by doing background checks on their supposed significant other to determine whether or not they could be a "catfish." Usually, Nev finds suspicious information that undermines the authenticity of the significant other. However, when Nev shares this information with the other person, they often deny it and still remain confident in the authenticity of their significant other. The delusional confidence that their significant other is who they claim to be is both heartwarming and sad.
The most interesting part in each episode is when the couple confronts each other for the first time. In the first episode, "Sunny & Jamison" , Sunny Cross's significant other, Jamison King, turns out to be a woman named Chelsea Browning. In their initial meeting, Sunny verbally attacks Chelsea while Chelsea remains unapologetic.
However, what separates this show from being some MTV reality version of "The Jerry Springer Show" is that Nev tries his best to avoid anyone feeling exploited or humiliated with his calm, professional and upbeat persona. After the first confrontation, Nev talks with Chelsea alone to better understand why Chelsea created the profile. She reveals how she was bullied in the past. Nev then reaches out to Chelsea and encourages her to be herself. Nev also encourages both Sunny and Chelsea to reconcile and the two become friends.
Some other unusual episodes are "Tina & Scorpio," Shawnise "Trina" Ford, an exotic dancer from our very own Silver Spring, Md. contacts Nev to meet her seemingly perfect significant other who is also an exotic dancer. Also, the most recent episode, "Kya & Alyx," shows one of the rare instances where an online relationship does in fact last.
Although the majority of the relationships in the show don't last after the couples meet in person, there is a heartwarming aspect to the show. The truly endearing part of the show is not the love that these couple's share, because the initial love usually falls apart, but rather Nev's devotion in trying to make these couples happy.
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