Thursday, 19 June 2014

Online dating: Is there something fishy going on?

Max Joseph (left) and Yaniv Schulman deal with some pretty serious relationship issues on their hit series Catfish: The TV Show.

Max Joseph (left) and Yaniv Schulman deal with some pretty serious relationship issues on their hit series Catfish: The TV Show.

Catfish: The TV Show returns to expose online predators and their victims who fell hook, line and sinker.

DEALING with relationships can be a nightmare. In Yaniv “Nev” Schulman’s case ... it was literal. The night before the Season 3 premiere of MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show last month, the show’s host had an unpleasant dream which he attributed to the accumulation of anger and frustration from working on the hit series.

“I always try my best to be calm and non-judgmental but sometimes, I do lose my cool and I guess last night I had to release some of my anger,” said Schulman in a telephone interview from New York City.

To be fair, the subject matter that Schulman and his work partner Max Joseph deal with on a daily basis is no walk in the park. They meet scumbags and cheaters, help people deal with lying partners and have witnessed some pretty serious heartbreaks along the way.

Based on the 2010 movie of the same name, Catfish helps lovestruck individuals to find out if they are in a legit relationship with someone they met online.

In the show, we see people who have been in serious relationships for months or even years without meeting face to face and this is where Schulman and Joseph step in. They spend days working with the Hopefuls (the one wanting to make the relationship work) to find out if the other party is who they say they are or just another “Catfish”.

“It would be impossible not to be emotionally invested in the intervention. We meet these people and help them express some of their most intimate feelings and insecurities. Sometimes, I feel bad when I bring them to a situation where they are inevitably hurt or upset,” admitted Schulman.

However tough the subject may get, Schulman understands that they have to soldier on and uncover the truth.

“I know some of them have been watching the show. They are aware of the things they could do and somehow they choose not to. The truth is that they do not always want to know the truth because they don’t want to get hurt. They don’t want to lose the friendship or the attention that they’re getting,” said Schulman.

And when the truth is finally uncovered, it isn’t always pretty.

“It’s tough because it is not my job to tell these people what they should or shouldn’t be doing. What I think makes the show a success is that it’s not about calling people out. It’s about giving people opportunity to explain themselves and help them see how they affect other people,” he said.

Speaking of effects, Schulman added that online dating has changed the landscape of relationships, though it is still a crucial element when it comes to love.

“I think that the Internet is good for finding love but not for being in love. It’s a new phenomenon to be able find someone who is not from your town or school who you can really get along with. But that is not love. That is just someone you meet and could potentially love,” he said.

Nevertheless, Schulman feels that “real love” can be cultivated and that it requires a lot of work, compromise and dedication – something that he believes people are not ready to do today.

“I think the Internet has made it more difficult because people are not used to being honest with each other. They are not ready to put in the important work that it takes to be actually in love. They are just looking for it – like the fast food version of love,” he said.

Catch Season 3 of Catfish: The TV Show every Sunday at 11.30pm on MTV (Astro Ch 713).

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment , Catfish , MTV , reality show


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