MTV's Catfish is quite possibly the most ridiculous show currently on television—making it one of my absolute favorites. Nev of the original Catfish film and his buddy Max travel around the country performing advanced google searches for people who don't want to face reality. While every episode is a rollercoaster of delusion, bewilderment and sadness, last night really delivered.
We meet 21 year-old Miranda from Somewhere, Minnesota who has been in love with a young man named Cameryn since 2011. Cameryn, the lost member of One Direction, lives in California and like all catfishes, is unable to video chat or meet Miranda in person.After Miranda pressures Cameryn on his shadiness, he admits that his "real name" is James and he actually lives in Atlanta.
Because he's still pretty cute (her words), Miranda is unfazed by James' deceit and manipulation and continues talking to him like it ain't no thang, eventually falling in love (re-falling in love?) with him. But this time around Miranda is "too scared" to video chat with James, rightly fearing that he is still lying about his identity.
Now, let me say this: Catfish is filled with a lot of lonely people. It is this loneliness that enables them to fall in love with someone sight unseen and in the face of glaring inconsistencies and lies. So while the storylines are still totally absurd, you can sometimes understand where these people are coming from. That being said, Miranda allowing herself to be catfished twice by the same person is inexcusable. There is no amount of pity rationalization that I can apply for that to make any damn sense.
I'll save you details of Nev and Max's detective work, but I do have to mention one gem. In their google search of all the James' in Atlanta, they stumble upon the criminal record of a man who had been arrested for attempting to commit an unlawful sexual offense with a minor. A sex offender. Now, they know good and goddamn well that this man can't possibly be the catfish—I don't believe they have texting in prison—but they run this by Miranda anyway just to see her reaction. Hilarious? Sure. Petty? Absolutely.
They eventually get in touch with the real James and agree to fly down to Atlanta to meet him.
But the twists and turns abound! On their way to go meet James, he texts Nev informing him that he will not be able to meet in person because his family won't allow it. But MTV has already put money into this episode so he agrees to Skype with them instead.
After an annoying commercial break it is revealed that James is actually an 18 year-old woman named Gabby.
Let's pause here and note that Gabby's family won't allow her to meet Nev and Max in person, but they're fine with her signing a release to Skype on camera with MTV? OK.
Gabby doesn't identify as bisexual or as a lesbian but she admits that her interest in Miranda is not platonic. Miranda is pretty horrified and cries a lot. It seems like that's the way the cookie has crumbled until we get to the "where are they now," bit of the show.
Miranda is full of giggles when she informs Nev and Max that she and Gabby have been flirting over Snapchat and that Gabby is even planning on coming up to visit her, because even if Miranda isn't officially into girls now, she's apparently into this one.
I'm not objecting to the fact that Miranda maybe fell in love with a woman—it happens—this all just feels very, convenient knowwhatImsaying? I would like to believe in this happy ending, but part of me wonders: If you let yourself catfished twice, do you really deserve happiness?
We are witnessing peak absurdity, my friends, making it the best episode of the season thus far.
Image Credit: MTV