In case you’ve never used the verb ‘Catfishin’’–either because the concept is too vague, referring both to the idea of lying about your identity on the Internet and to those who sleuth out people who have lied on the Internet, or because you have remained blissfully unaware of the whole Catfish documentary and subsequent TV show–today is the day you join the learning curve.
Because as clunky and undefinable as it is, the term Catfish has now jumped out of its own self-referencing creation and joined the popular lexicon thanks to this business of Notre Dame footballer Manti Te’o's fake girlfriend. And in an even weirder ourborous, the fake sister of the fake girlfriend reached out to original Catfish victim/MTV Internet sleuth Nev Schulman over the Internet while all of this was going down.
Without opening the whole can of worms of whether or not last year’s Sundance darling Catfish was like, a real-real documentary or a pseudo-documentary or a fake documentary that fooled nobody and that was the point, one thing can be said for the film: It did for Internet dating what Fatal Attraction did for having affairs with really high-strung women with bad perms. Without giving too much away–though if you still are worried about Catfish spoilers maybe you should just go Netflix Catfish already?–the documenting of Nev Schulman’s Facebook relationship with long-distance girlfriend Megan made us all want to go home and unsubscribe from every dating site and social network we’ve ever been a part of. Then that feeling passed, and we were back on JDate within 24 hours.
Which is all to say good luck to Nev on his latest endevour, an MTV “docu-series” where he help couples find love over the Internet. And just to avoid any confusion, this show will also be called Catfish.