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Now Trending: Catfish

(The Verge)- This past Monday, MTV premiered they’re new soon to be hit, “Catfish: The TV Show.”  The premise of this television series revolves around couples…who have never met before.
The show was created from the documentary “Catfish,” based off of Nev Schulman’s encounter with meeting his soul mate online, who he had never met before.  Schulman entered a romantic relationship after forming a bond with a family from Michigan that he met over the internet.  Schulman and the other filmmakers started to smell something fishy when his new partner, Megan, claimed to have sung and recorded songs that, in reality, were taken from YouTube.  This prompted the crew to investigate a little further and get to the bottom of such a sketchy hole.
“Catfish,” is about Nev Schulman’s story.  “Catfish: The TV show,” is about the lives of others with similar encounters.  After the documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012, Schulman became flooded with e-mails from people with similar experiences who were desperate for his help.  He decided to carry forward with his documentary drive, onto a path of connecting others with their cyberspace sweethearts.
Schulman and his friend, Max Joseph, follow around their hopeless romantic subjects, help them meet their online companion, and film that first moment when they meet face-to-face.  In this first episode, we are introduced a girl named Sunny who has fallen in love with a guy she met on FaceBook and maintained an eight month relationship with, sight-unseen.  She says, “I am 100% sure he is who he says he is…I’d bet my life on it.”  RJ King is the man of her dreams, and he does actually exist, but it’s not who was on the other end of Sunny’s messages and phone calls.  In fact, an 18-year-old bisexual girl happened to be Sunny’s King Charming.
Chelsea is her name, and fake relationships are her game.  On the show, Chelsea confesses that this was not her first time pretending to be RJ King and even pulled the same stunt with Sunny’s sister, Summer.  Allegedly, Chelsea had been bullied by a girl four years ago and created the account to gain her revenge.  That one act of revenge turned into a continuous four-year search for companionship…still as RJ King.

“Catfish” instantaneously began to trend on Twitter, including a tweet from the real RJ King stating,“I would like to thank @NevSchulman for helping me, my family, and everyone associated close a chapter to this madness. #Catfish.” According to Caitlin King, RJ’s sister, Chelsea has been falsely claiming to be RJ for years.
A confused young girl, who committed borderline identity theft, will now be the topic of everybody’s tongues for a while, or at least until next week’s episode.  Who knows what the rest of the series has in store for its viewers.  Some may find out that their digital love is in fact the love of their life.  Some may find out that they are in an online relationship with a 92-year-old clown murderer.
Regardless, it will bring these situations and these people into the limelight.  This can only make one think: Will this new TV show cause people to be more cautious about their online activity?  Or will it cause another “16 & Pregnant” phenomenon, prompting people to create fake profiles to gain their 15 minutes of fame?