Recently over Christmas I discovered a show on MTV called "Catfish." I hadn't heard of this previously because I'm in my late thirties and break out in a rash whenever my remote gets too close to MTV programming.
But I gave it a whirl, and MAN was it worth it. For those unawares, it goes like this: These two guys, Nev and Max, get pitched from people all over the country who are in online relationships and feel there MIGHT BE something sketchy about the person they're involved with and they MIGHT NOT BE who they say they are.
In many cases these people meet each other on Facebook or in chat rooms, etc. and have been involved in online relationships for several months, or several years, and in one case TEN WHOLE YEARS, and have never met the person they're involved with. Some have never had so much as a phone call with their virtual significant other. The relationships seem to consist of lots of Facebook time and texting "I luv you babe" and "ur so hot" to another person and calling that person a soul mate, when, in all probability that other person could be a robot or a serial killer or a pre-op transexual or a jealous girlfriend or a horny senior citizen in Guatemala.
Which is where Nev and Max come in. These two guys are seriously the sweetest souls on the earth. The fact that never once have they bitched slapped these gullible saps a la Cher in Moonstruck ("SNAP OUT OF IT!") speaks volumes. They are sympathetic and genuinely seem to want to help these suckers find out who exactly they've been involved with.
Nev and Max use a highly propietary, extremely technical detective program known as "Google" to do their research. This is perhaps what makes me craziest about Catfish. If you've been in an online "relationship" with someone for TEN YEARS and you've never once Googled them, that might be a red flag. For both of you. Just sayin'. I've Googled salespeople at Nordstrom that sell me eyeliner and you haven't Googled your soul mate?
Ten times out of ten it turns out that the person in question is not who or what they claimed to be in the relationship. Again, Nev and Max are the kindest, gentlest people in the world about this. They are always respectful when they try and coordinate an in-person meeting between the two people. They don't use the Stupid Voice like I would, nor do they glance knowingly at the camera la Jim Halpert from The Office.
Just once I want Nev and Max to lose their shit and go off on these gullible souls. They don't give them so much as a pitying, "bless your heart" hand squeeze. Even when they're in their hotel rooms using The Google to conduct their Secret Detective Work, they never snicker and condescend about the complete lack of common sense these crazy-ass people have.
And that's really what keeps me watching the show. To watch that bit of human kindness among such massive, massive, MASSIVE gullibility.
Keep on trolling for catfish, Nev and Max. Godspeed.