When Catfish The TV Show premiered in 2012, I was less than impressed. While I enjoyed the original documentary film about a man’s (the filmmaker’s brother, Nev Schulman) online relationship-gone-wrong, Nev’s MTV version lacked the same authenticity and felt rather exploitative. But when Schulman tweeted about being in the Cincinnati area (Findlay Market, specifically) this past February, my interest was certainly piqued. Who doesn’t love seeing Cincy on TV (even if it inevitably would be a negative representation of the city and its people)?
The Cincinnati episode of Catfish aired last week and local ties aside, it was one of the most controversial episodes thus far. Nev and his docu-series partner-in-crime Max embarked on a unique catfishing adventure when Carmen contacted the duo to help her host a “catfish intervention” with her cousin Antwane whom, despite never meeting the man in person, had been in a relationship with a guy named Tony for three years. Antwane explained that he “met” Tony on a late-night chat line but he’d never so much as seen a photo of him. Carmen and ‘Twane are both big personalities, sure to get a reaction from viewers, but they both seemed genuine.
After a crazy turn of events, Antwane’s cousin Carmen nonchalantly revealed that she was “Tony” all along, and she had kept up the sick charade as revenge for…wait for it…the one time Antwane called her “a fat ass Kelly Price” in front of her family three years ago. Oy.
When Max and Nev learned that Carmen was behind the whole thing and that she planned the Catfish cameras to catch her so she could get a brush with fame, they were furious. And rightfully so, that’s a straight Disney villain move (also your cousin?!). In a very edited scene, Nev heatedly called out Carmen, mocking the way she talked, when producers immediately stepped in to call for a break. While I in no way condone any of her sociopathic actions, I did find it bitterly just that these MTV hotshots got a taste of their own exploitative medicine. They embarrass countless people on the show (though some might argue the subjects ask for it) and while they say they do it to help people, like any television producers, it's all about ratings and "good" TV.
After the show aired, Nev posted the following message on his Facebook page, which reeks of his signature smug judginess:
“Shooting this weeks episode of Catfish was one of the most intense and emotional experiences of my life. Relating to and understanding Antwane was a struggle for me in many ways, but I really grew to appreciate and respect him. He has many fears and flaws, but showed so much courage and resolve in the face of adversity. He is a man who proves that you don't need anybody else's approval to be happy. My lesson learned is to be confident and proud of who you are no matter what anybody else says or thinks. Life isn't always easy, but we can all chose to be positive in the way we treat ourselves and others. Cheers.”
Watch the full episode here. The show features shots of Short Vine (it looks like Antwane lives across the street from Bogart’s); Coffee Emporium in Over-the-Rhine (Nev and Max famously do all their research in a coffee shop in each episode, and were very impressed by the local spot); and various locations across Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.
The term “catfish” has
caught on as a definition for people who assume false identities on the Internet
(or the act of doing so) — so much so, that the word’s new meaning has been
added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Go here to read about how the term originated in
the doc by the same name.
Every year, the Guardians
of the English Language at M-W begrudgingly add new words and definitions to the
dictionary. This year’s list was just released and, in addition to catfish’s
new meaning, there’s hashtag, selfie and steampunk . Peep the full list here.
Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey are neighbors now, and apparently just a couple of bros.
Magic Mike was a hit. Channing Tatum is apparently working on a sequel, Magic Mike XXL. So it’s no surprise that “The Real” Magic Mike is also in the works. Directed by Joe Manganiello (“Big Dick” Richie in Mike, Alcide in True Blood), La Bare gives a raw, inside look at the talented male dancers at La Bare Dallas.
We now live in a world where Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia gets invited to give commencement speeches and receives honorary doctorates. Which is to say, an awesome world. Check out his words of wisdom here.
Jimmy Fallon has been doing a Suggestion Box bit on The Tonight Show, where he takes completely random questions or ideas from fans and brings them to life in epic Tonight fashion. Fallon has dubbed Game of Thrones with children’s voices, gotten Audra McDonald to sing real Yahoo Answers and tested out Digi-Staches on Higgins. But this might be one of my favorites: