AFTERBUZZ TV — Catfish: The TV Show edition, is a weekly “after show” for fans of MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show. In this episode, hosts Olivia Gabaree and Kelli Boyt discuss episodes 19 and 20.
On the Internet, a “catfish” is a person who creates fake personal profiles on social media sites using someone else’s pictures and false biographical information to pretend to be someone other than themselves. These “catfish” usually intend to trick an unsuspecting person or persons into falling in love with them. The term “catfish” is derived from the title of the previously-mentioned 2010 documentary, in which filmmaker Schulman discovers that the woman with whom he’d been carrying on an online relationship had not been honest in describing herself.
MTV and the Catfish film’s producers, Schulman and Joseph, help people who are emotionally entangled with someone they have never met in real life. Each episode is an investigation into whether or not the other participant in the virtual relationship is legitimate or if they are, in fact, a “catfish”. Some couples have been communicating for a few months—others, for years.
Nev claims that he has received requests from people asking him for his help in determining whether or not their online-only lover is lying or truthful about their identity. In each episode the hosts help a different individual with a different story, traveling to wherever they live and using background checks and research to uncover the truth. Nev and Max contact the other person to arrange a first-ever meeting between the two virtual lovers, then documents how both people are impacted. Schulman said at the Television Critics Association press tour in August 2012 that it’s not all about pulling the rug out from under people, explaining:
Whether or not two people are totally lying to each other and it turns out to be a huge disaster, that’s only the first part of the story. We then want to know why they are doing it, who they are, what they are feeling, what led them to this place, and why that resonates with thousands of other young people who have the same feelings, who don’t have someone to talk to or don’t know how to express themselves.— Nev Schulman, August 2012 Zap2It article