Image screengrab via MTV

Another season of Catfish is on the way, with a teaser that makes you wonder yet again how this show and these people still exists.

Then you remember, this is a show that relies on an urge for connection so strong and desperate that people will lie to themselves to hold onto it. Many, many catfish victims are still falling for fake online personas and willing to subject themselves to the national shame of reality TV. So long as there are naive people in the world who need love and have internet access, Nev and Max will have jobs.

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While these Catfish subjects mostly appear genuine in their delusion, there’ve also been a few cons. In the teaser below, Nev and Max wonder if their latest subject, Shawny, is one of them and could possibly be trolling them.

“You’ve seen the show,” Max says to her. “There’ve been people who come on the show who claim to have never met the person that they ended up talking to but then it turned out that they knew them all along...I just want to give you an opportunity now to let us know if by any chance you know who this person already is who you’re talking to.”

They ask, “Are we being played?” But the question is, why aren’t they being played more? Ideally, every episode of Catfish would end with both the subject and the catfish screaming “Ahhhhh ha ha!” at Nev, but that’s probably a sign of tight production. In a piece published in 2014, Vulture broke down the behind the scenes, which includes the fun fact that most times it’s the catfish who makes first contact with producers. The show also reportedly fact checks to corroborate stories, and Nev and Max are often clueless through much of that process.

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