It follows ‘hopefuls’ who have fallen in love online but are yet to meet their partner for whatever reason.
The series includes a farmer who believes he’s dating a former Miss Teen USA/Playboy model and a young woman who wonders why the guy she’s been in daily contact with for the past ten years, and plans to marry, won’t meet her in person.
You can’t account for what’s going to happen in real life. She wanted critique for her artwork but was too embarrassed to do it under her own name and she was also using this online fantasy as an escape from her real world.’ According to Dr Stocchi, a lot of people are terrified of judgment, which is why they might go under a different profile online.
‘There’s an episode where both people were “catfishing” each other,’ says film-maker Joseph, ‘but they end up together.
Then there’s another episode where they were both who they said they were but it just didn’t work out.
One thing that is recurring on the show is that not only is the person not legit, but they also tend to be fat.
So what we’re typically dealing with in an episode with a chubster catfish is a double whammy of fatphobia – internalized by the catfish who has created an online persona of a person that is always thin and traditionally attractive and then reactive when the other person sees the catfish and realizes they are not the “hot” person they fell “in love” with.
‘If you look at society in general, you’ll find a lot of people aren’t who they say they are,’ says psychologist Dr Massimo Stocchi (
‘It’s a huge relational disorder as it shows people aren’t confident with themselves.‘The people we meet in the show are often just looking to the internet for answers and end up getting tangled in their web fantasy,’ says Schulman.‘I offer an opportunity for those with secrets to come clean.It’s hard to measure the extent of the externalized fatphobia present with the people meeting their catfish.Clearly, there must have been an initial attraction with the fake persona that fueled the intense emotional investment so who is to say how much of the disappointment and betrayal is due to being lied to for months (or in some cases, years) and how much is due to the disappointment in the catfish’s actual appearance. Briefly, before making my point, I’d like to point out that Mike (left) has passed away since filming the episode – condolences to his family. It took the US by storm, one critic calling it ‘the best Hitchcock film that Hitchcock never directed’.