False Identity ”(MTV), why is the show a worldwide success?

Tonight, at 8pm, the payment channel for the Paramount Global group launches the new season 2 of “Catfish UK:” False Identity “, the UK version of the internationally acclaimed docu-reality series presented by Nev Schulman.

Launched tonight on MTV, the unprecedented season 2 of ‘Catfish UK: False Identity’ is the UK version of the acclaimed docu-reality series ‘Catfish’. The English version is presented this season by the British filmmaker and journalist Oobah Butler, who for this brand new season will be joined by the youtuber Nella Rose (718,000 subscribers on YouTube). Together, they travel across the UK and Ireland to help people who are embroiled in an online relationship and would like to meet “too real” their half.

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‘Catfish UK’ is one of many spin-off formats from the ‘Catfish’ program, which is in its eighth season. That “catfish fishingis a practice that aims to hide behind a fake profile to deceive an internet user and maintain a romantic relationship with him / her and sometimes even obtain money or other services. In the United States and the United Kingdom, the term “catfishcan be used as a noun: “it’s a catfish, he pretended to be someone else“.

It all started with a student project film

But why is “Catfish” a phenomenon show? It’s simple to watch an episode (in replay on MTV for example), is to adopt the program! Addiction secured. Let’s go back to his creation: In 2007, Ariel Schulman decided for his studio project to film his brother Nev – who later became famous and very rich. The latter decided to meet Megan, the girl he fell in love with via Facebook months ago, but it will go from bad surprises to bad surprises, until the final revelation during an unplanned visit to the city.the birthplace of the alleged young woman. She is not at all who she pretends to be and has lied to him on many points. Not just on his identity. It is, in fact, about a married woman with two children who was inventing another life for herself, no doubt out of boredom. Nev was very bruised by this nightmarish romance. Awarded at the Sundance Festival, catfish, the documentary on the subject of study by Ariel Schulman was immediately an incredible success because thousands of people recognized themselves in this story. Two years later, the Schulman brothers teamed up with MTV, which offered them their own show. It was created in 2012 and will be a worldwide success!

What does Catfish Really Mean?

The word itself “catfishentered the Merriam Webster Dictionary in 2013. It is from Ariel Schulman’s documentary and was found by Nev Schulman after a conversation with Vince, Angela’s husband (the person who “catfished” him) and who described his wife as a “catfish», A catfish. “Vince told me a story about a fisherman who explained to him that cod caught in Alaska and traveled to China to be sold were kept alive en route to the tanks of large ships, the author of the documentary explained in a television interview. But the cod, tired of the length of the journey, would have seen its muscles and flesh become bland and bland. So someone had an idea: let’s put catfish in these tanks. They will hunt these cod because they are predators and they will keep them agile and mobile. The cod stays fresh and tasty. In life, there are people who are catfish. They keep chasing us and keeping us on our toes“.

Nude pictures stolen from his own daughter to flirt online


What happens in an episode? Nev Schulman is investigating today’s case with his friend Max Joseph, director. Every time someone asks them for help because he or she is in doubt about a long distance relationship (sometimes for years!), Especially due to inability to meet the person in question, who always has excuses (often false or dramatic as the death ) of a loved one).

The great thing about “Catfish,” and that’s what makes the show addictive, is that even though the episodes always start the same way, the revelations are always very surprising! For example, there was the case of a young man who thought he was having an affair with a young girl his age, but it was mother, mentally disturbed, to the latter! She stole nude photos of her daughter without her knowledge on her cell phone and pretended to be her to flirt online … In August 2012, Nev Schulman explained: “Whether the two people lie to each other or not and it can end in disaster is only the first part of the story. We therefore want to know why they do this, who they are, how they feel, what got them here, and why it holds back hundreds of other teens who have the same feelings that no one has to talk to. . to or who do not know how to express themselves.»

Strong messages about fat phobia, transphobia and homophobia

Max and Nev travel across the United States to investigate. Sometimes the result is happy because the person whose identity was in doubt really is who he or she says he or she is. Tom Forman, executive producer of “Catfish” explains: “So does the series [traite] not just stories about identity fraud. We also came across real love stories. We have met people who are exactly who they say they are. We also show them on TV. We find people who are willing to push past the initial sham and really make a connection in the end – personally and in real life. It really warmed our hearts. I think when we realize we do not really know how it ends: good, bad or somewhere in between. ”

Catfish also launches strong messages about tolerance, fat phobia, transphobia, homophobia and suicide prevention. It also brought the very practice of “catfish fishing“: Digital identity theft, which is a criminal offense punishable by one year in prison and a fine of 15,000 euros.

The soul supplement for the show “Catfish”


Finally, the little extra soul at the show is the sincere friendship between Nev and Max. Their delusions between them are really funny and their characters are complementary. Nev is blue flower, while Max is cynical and straight to the point. This beautiful alchemy is truly the salt of the show. Alas, Max had to leave “Catfish” in 2018 to focus on his career as a director. It was a blow to the fans. Several co-presenters succeeded until the host and ex-Miss Teen 2010 Kamie Crawford was chosen to replace Max. Even during the pandemic and quarantine, Nev and Kamie managed to film the episodes and investigate from a distance. Everything was done by Zoom. Of course, it was less, a little less exciting, but the effort remained interesting. A new season 8 is broadcast on MTV, and you can find the episodes in replay, as well as episodes from old seasons.

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“Ghosted”, the spin-off show from “Catfish”

The program has been adapted in many countries, such as England, Brazil, Colombia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Russia and Quebec. The show has also given rise to rather successful derivative formats such as “Ghosted: wanted notice” (Sundays at 14:05 on MTV and replay), where singer Travis Mills and Rachel Lindsay investigate like Nev and Max on behalf of ‘a person’ who have been “ghosted” by their lover or their best friend, etc. To be joked is suddenly no longer to hear from a loved one, no longer to be able to reach him or her, to be blocked on social networks, etc.


MTV also launched a spin-off of “Ghosted” in May last year, “Help! I’m in a Secret Relationship!” (Saturdays at 3 p.m.), where we find rapper Travis Mills, this time with actress Rahne Jones, the latter investigating people who think they have found true love but who do not understand why their relationship is kept secret. young woman in a relationship for more than three years who has never met her boyfriend’s relatives, and a young man who has kept his girlfriend hidden from his daughter and her parents for two years, the two investigators in each episode will make everything function to understand the ins and outs of these conditions on the edge of the abyss.

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