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Catfish: The TV Show (Because People Lie on the Internet)


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#1

Persnickety13

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 2:54 AM

I didn't find a thread for this show in existence, so I thought I'd start one.

If anyone saw the documentary Catfish, this is by the same group of guys who did the movie and found out (gasp!) that people do indeed lie on the internetz. And they lie BIG.

The series premiered tonight and featured a nursing student who had been in an internet relationship with "RJ/Jamison" for 8 months and was, you guessed it, head over heels in love with him. Her sister even ripped into her for "stealing" this guy away from her, because the sister had wanted to become involved with him.

Hilarity ensues when Nev and posse start doing a little Google and find out things might not be as they appear to be to Sunny, who's about to get Catfished.

Without giving too much away in this post, in case someone hasn't had a chance to see the show yet, I kind of had to admire the level of denial Sunny must have been in to *not* have a gigantic red flag shoot up in her brain when I heard "RJ/Jamison" on the phone.

Did anyone else watch tonight's episode? I loved it and can't wait for next week's episode. Thanks, MTV, for putting on something that actually might be worth wasting a few brain cells to watch!
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#2

demifarro

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 3:31 AM

Oh my God, this show was incredible. I knew from the moment I heard "RJ" speak that it was a woman. I don't know how Sunny could have spoken to "him" repeatedly and not known. There was some intense denial going on there. The reveal was just...creepy, funny, strange, ect. I felt very bad for her but at the same time, I couldn't but think she brought it upon herself by continuing to ignore all the red flags. Regardless, Chelsea was a creep and I can't fathom someone doing that to another person for the hell of it. Totally insane. Very interesting show.
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#3

Truexprincess8

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 3:33 AM

OMG! This show is amazing! It's the kind of show that makes you talk to your television...or at least I did. I had not seen the documentary so I really had no clue what this show was about. I had seen the commericials for it and it definitely intrigued me. I'm so glad I watched and I will definitely be tuning in for future episodes.

The first episode was just great. It amazes me how desperate some people are for a relationship and will literally take anything even if it's crap on a platter. I really don't know what to say about either Sunny or "Jameson". Both individuals need some serious therapy..Sunny for falling for this person over the internet and never for a second thought to question any of the details they revealed about themself. I mean, come on, studying to be an anesthesiologist online?! Really?!?! And then "Jameson"...like, who does that? Seriously, there is something wrong with that individual to do what they did. And to make it worse, they seemed to have absolutely no remorse for what they did. I couldn't believe it.
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#4

LemonSoda

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 4:40 AM

Wow! So many red flags.
I was surprised that Sunny, a nursing student didn't see any red flags. The voice alone made me go, that's a woman!
I felt bad for Sunny, but on some levels I felt bad for Chelsea/RJ. I can't imagine being so afraid of who you are that you pretend to be someone else. I felt the same way about the film.
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#5

StinkPill

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 4:58 AM

Seemed like typical MTV fakery to me to be honest.
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#6

Glubb

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 5:59 AM

There is no way Sunny couldn't have known she was speaking with a girl or a 13 year old boy. Although I enjoyed the show (and the movie), you could see a lot of it was scripted, including Sunny's reaction to meeting Chelsea. To invest that much time and that much emotion into someone and then find out that 'person' did not truly exist for you, would lead to a lot more of a reaction than she exhibited. I think she contacted Nev or the show (she had her own Catfish going on!) when she knew this person was full of shit..maybe just to get on TV and/or find who she was really talking to. I don't believe for a second she thought RJ, the hot model, was opening that door.

Edited by Glubb, Nov 13, 2012 @ 6:05 AM.

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#7

Empress1

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 8:59 AM

It's the kind of show that makes you talk to your television...or at least I did.

It really is. I said "Oh my God, chick ..." like 6 times. She said "He's a model in LA" and I was like "No he isn't." And when Nev read her email and she said "Every time we're going to meet, something comes up" I was like "Come on." She was rattling on about medical school (online? Girl, really?) and writing for Chelsea Lately and modeling ... I was cringing. And that was so clearly not a grown man on the phone - when his friend said "He sounds like he has braces and is 14 years old," I was nodding.

I did see the documentary and I was cringing at Nev's story too. Moreso at his naivete that people actually lie on the internet; he seemed to have no idea that you have to tread cautiously with people online because they could be telling you anything.

I did like that Nev called out Chelsea for not being apologetic; Chelsea seemed like an asshole in the initial confrontation. Someone sent her inappropriate messages on Facebook four years ago and she's still doing this shit? (I'm also shocked that in four years, this is apparently the first time anyone has noticed that something's fishy.) I did start to feel sorry for her at the end; she's clearly very uncomfortable with herself. I have no idea why Sunny would want to continue talking to her though.

I met someone on a well-known dating website who had stolen his profile pictures from gay porn sites (thankfully I was at home when I Google-Image-searched them). My suspicions were raised immediately because the two photos were clearly not of the same person (one was a clothed face and body shot, one was just a bare headless torso). So I always Google, and I tell people I Google and invite them to Google me.
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#8

TinkyWinkyBinky

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 9:35 AM

Ha, I agree on the talking to the TV!!

I didn't see the original documentary, so to be honest, this show kind of blew my mind. Not only that Sunny was so delusional, but when Jamison was revealed to be a teenage girl, well I just didn't see that coming. I expected a teenage BOY.

My take on why Sunny continued to talk to Chelsea after the reveal: I think she had become emotionally dependent on the constant contact, reaffirmations, compliments, etc. Those kind of online-and-text-only relationships are so different from real relationships where your partner snores or leaves the toilet seat up or whatever other annoyances. I think Sunny realized if she stopped talking to Chelsea she was going to be so lonely. If I understood the updates at the end correctly, she is now dating someone in real life and doesn't talk to Chelsea as often. It was probably too painful for her at the time to go cold turkey, but now that she has someone, she doesn't need Chelsea anymore.

I thought it was cool at the end that Sunny got to meet the real JR.
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#9

kems28

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 11:01 AM

Wow, I was immediately hooked on this show! I agree Sunny must have contacted them when she had suspicions, because the level of delusion she seemed to have on the show is almost unbelievable, especially after she spoke with Jamison on the phone. How could anyone believe that was the voice of a grown man? It was really nice of the real RJ to speak with her though! If I found out someone had been impersonating me for 4 years, I would be way too creeped out to want anything to do with the situation.

I'll definitely be watching every episode of this show. I hope they'll cover a situation where someone has represented themselves mostly accurately, but has lied about one or two major things. Like someone saying they're a doctor when they actually work on an assembly line in a factory (no offense to people who work on assembly lines). I've seen that play out a few times in real life, and I always find it interesting how some people just shrug it off while others consider it a dealbreaker.

Edited by kems28, Nov 13, 2012 @ 11:35 AM.

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#10

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 12:20 PM

I really didn't feel sorry for Sunny, that much. As was already pointed out, the voice wasn't right. And when Nev started telling her about the red flags, nothing clicked inside her dumb head. Then she was a bitch to her sister. When Chelsea came out, I laughed. I'm sure her sister laughed even harder when she heard.

I thought it was cool for them to introduce her to the real Jamison at the end. I couldn't help but wonder if she'd dump her new boyfriend if she thought he was interested in her.

Edited by taalsi, Nov 13, 2012 @ 12:36 PM.

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#11

FrauBlucher

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 2:54 PM

I have a feeling this show is at least partly scripted but I'm not sure how much. At the very least, Nev and his team must have known more than they let on before knocking on Chelsea's door, she seemed very eager to spill the beans in person so my feeling is they knew the entire story before going out there. Sunny's reaction seemed a little off to me too... 8 months of lovey dovey "relationship" talk and at the reveal she didn't seem that upset, really. I would have been bawling my eyes out.

Studying to become an anesthesiologist online was the clear giveaway for me... until I heard "his" voice. My bet was a 13 year old boy. But at any rate the level of denial that Sunny had going was unbelievable.

I missed the last 10 minutes but did Chelsea ever admit if she was gay or not? She seemed to be dancing around the question. To me that would make more sense as to why she would invest so much time into this fantasy life with Sunny. If people are harassing you on Facebook it's pretty easy to get the hell off of Facebook, or even change your name and friend request only your closest friends/family. I didn't buy into that whole excuse.

Lord help us all, someday Sunny may be our nurse.
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#12

Truexprincess8

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 3:27 PM

I missed the last 10 minutes but did Chelsea ever admit if she was gay or not? She seemed to be dancing around the question



When she and Sunny met face-to-face to talk things out, Chelsea admitted to being bisexual. Sunny then asked her if she had ever been with a woman and Chelsea admitted that she had not.
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#13

thinkpink2585

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 4:08 PM

I too talked to my television in watching this, it cleansed my palate after watching the train wreck of Teen Mom II. I missed the first 30 minutes, but laughed my ass off at the reveal. I understand this happening in 1998--though even at 13 I assumed everyone online was a liar- but it is 2012. If you are dating someone online why are you not Skyping? At the initial reveal Chelsea had no fucks to give, not a single one. I think Sunny liked the attention, and continued to talk to Chelsea because it stroked her ego.

After the episode aired last night someone on twitter found Sunny's Facebook account and screen capped her reaction to the Presidential election. She called President Obama a monkey and a n!%%er. And when people started going at her, she said she was "hacked." So yeah, that one piece of sympathy I had for her, gone. And to find out she stole "RJ" from her sister, I am sitting with Chelsea in the boxseats of No Fucks Given Masterpiece Theater.
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#14

Schemer20

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 4:21 PM

Seemed like typical MTV fakery to me to be honest.



I agree. Who is that naive?!? I can see if this was AOL circa 1999, but this has been going on in the world of online dating long enough for people to know better. Who doesn't use Google? That in and of itself is unbelievable. Heck, I Google myself on occasion just to see what's out there.

Also, interesting how Nev was able to secure a meeting in Tuscaloosa in a matter of days when Sunny was never able to. That right there would be reason for me to dump an online love interest. So, when it's for MTV and cameras, you can get your shit together, but when it's just for the person you supposedly love, something always comes up?

But what really gets me, is the casting call:

  • Have you started an online relationship based on a lie and are in too deep?
  • Do you have multiple facebook accounts with different identities?
  • Do you have reason to believe that your online crush isn't who they say they are?
  • Whether it started off as a harmless prank, a means of revenge, or to as a way to strike up a relationship with a secret crush, we want to hear your story!
  • It takes a special sort of intelligence to maintain fake profiles, carry on multiple relationships, and keep all those facts straight. How do you do it!?
  • If you feel more comfortable emailing us, please feel free to send us your contact info and basic story and we will get back to you asap! Email us at: onlinedoublelife@rrstaff.com

So, if the deceiver is the one initiating the contact with MTV/Catfish, can we expect that none of the stories will have a happy ending? If you are who you say you are, you'd just meet your online love connection. You wouldn't prolong the meeting by involving MTV to film it. If you are the one being deceived (as Sunny was) and you read this, wouldn't this casting call alone make you have second thoughts about your own online relationship? Obviously Sunny wasn't as certain of her relationship as she made it seem, otherwise she never would have contacted Nev.

Anyway, there's just so many red flags with show....kind of like there was with the movie. Everything about it screams fake to me.

After the episode aired last night someone on twitter found Sunny's Facebook account and screen capped her reaction to the Presidential election. She called President Obama a monkey and a n!%%er. And when people started going at her, she said she was "hacked." So yeah, that one piece of sympathy I had for her, gone.


Seems A LOT of racist peoples' Facebook and Twitter feeds got hacked last week!

Edited by Schemer20, Nov 13, 2012 @ 5:08 PM.

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#15

Persnickety13

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 5:27 PM

I don't think the show is fake at all. I *do* think Nev and crew investigate the "catfish" but don't reveal what they find out to the "victim." That would take away from the whole point of the initial meeting and capturing the reaction on film.

IMO, Sunny was just completely embarrassed and humiliated, and was trying to appear somewhat poised because she knew the cameras were catching everything. After the initial meeting, she apparently hid out for 2 hours before she came back down. My bet is crying her eyes out and probably calling her BFFs to tell them she'd been "catfished"...and probably wondering how the fuck she was going to try to salvage herself for the show.

I'm reasonably sure she was more upset than she portrayed in that initial encounter; she was just doing damage control to try to come out looking better than the clueless idiot she was (as evidenced by her bigoted FB comments).

Just because she was a nursing student and had "book smarts" doesn't mean she wasn't a complete simpleton in other areas of her life. What a dolt. YMMV.
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#16

bilgistic

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 5:31 PM

you could see a lot of it was scripted, including Sunny's reaction to meeting Chelsea

I was pretty sucked in but started to see the cracks during the reveal in Chelsea's front yard. She said something like, "That's why I agreed to do this", meaning come clean about her lies. So that indicated to me that the meeting was pre-arranged. From that point on in the show, it lost steam for me.

While there's no mistaking that fact that Chelsea has some capital I-issues and nothing excuses her behavior, Sunny was gross. Her homophobia and disgusting comments left me cold. "You're a lesbian?!?" Sunny participated just as eagerly in the ruse as Chelsea did. Even when Nev and other guy (Max?) brought up the inconsistencies in "RJ's/Jamison's" story, she brushed them off.

I guess I can understand the appeal of getting into an online relationship, but it's too much drama and pain. In my (equally as bad as good) online dating experience way back when (like, when it started; I'm old), I learned quickly to not spend a lot of time online before meeting in-person. You don't know what people are capable of, and it's too easy to build up anticipation and have the reality be very disappointing. I also always did research and provided a friend or family member info about the guy I was meeting in case I ended up chained to a lawn mower in his garage.

The promo for the next show was pure gold. "I prayed to God for him to bring me someone just like me. I'm an exotic dancer."

The movie, Catfish, was pretty good. It seemed to be a pretty true documentary w/o the production team interference. I encourage anyone watching this show to check out the movie.

Also, who "friends" random people on Facebook?
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#17

313Mary

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 6:57 PM

Oh tons of people friend people they don't know in real life, I think it's odd but I'll look at people I know pages and they'll have a couple thousand friends, I know they don't know those people.

I was rather uncomfortable with Sunny's reaction she just kept on with the are you a lesbian thing, really did that matter?
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#18

Schemer20

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 7:17 PM

I was rather uncomfortable with Sunny's reaction she just kept on with the are you a lesbian thing, really did that matter?


I interpreted this as her being really confused about their sexy times conversations. As in, "How could we have had dirty phone sex almost every night and you be a chick? You MUST be a lesbian. I mean, all that freaky shit we said we were doing to ourselves and wanted to do to each other?" Girl was a gymnast for 10 years, you know.
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#19

grittykitty

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 7:23 PM

Has to be scripted, fake. "Ambush"-type shows like this ended with that Jenny Jones show murder. No production company would want that kind of liability.
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#20

Empress1

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 10:36 PM

Oh tons of people friend people they don't know in real life, I think it's odd but I'll look at people I know pages and they'll have a couple thousand friends, I know they don't know those people.

I've gotten friend requests from complete strangers and I always ignore them. It's weird to me to troll on FB looking for random people you might want to befriend, but people do it.

I learned quickly to not spend a lot of time online before meeting in-person. You don't know what people are capable of, and it's too easy to build up anticipation and have the reality be very disappointing. I also always did research and provided a friend or family member info about the guy I was meeting in case I ended up chained to a lawn mower in his garage.

Yeah, the key to online dating is to take it offline quickly. You can ask all those getting-to-know-you questions over a beer just as easily as via email. (I hadn't met the guy who'd stolen his profile photos from gay porn sites in person yet.) And I totally send my friends "In case he's a serial killer, I was last seen at ..." texts before online dates.

Sunny's first clue should have been "We try to meet up but something always comes up!" I'm surprised "Jameson" didn't hit her up for money - that's a pretty common online dating scam, from what I understand. "I want to meet you but I don't have the money! Can you send me $500 for a plane ticket?"

Sunny was clearly a homophobe but she's a racist too? Yeah, through with her.
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#21

Bubbles30

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 10:42 PM

I agree that the producers must contact the fake person way in advance. Chelsea was way too forthcoming.

But, the scene with Sunny and her sister seemed honest. I doubt these two college girls were that good at acting.

I cannot believe that Sunny is keeping in contact with Chelsea...that is probably the weirdest part of this story.
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#22

missy jo

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 10:50 PM

IMO, Sunny was just completely embarrassed and humiliated, and was trying to appear somewhat poised because she knew the cameras were catching everything.


I agree, I think she was also somewhat in shock.

I don't think this is scripted. Truth is always stranger than fiction.
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#23

BTDnyce

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Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 11:47 PM

It seemed totally fake to me as well. Maybe I could believe Sunny's shock at meeting Chelsea if they'd never spoken to each other. But to talk for at least 3 hours with a guy with that high-pitched of a voice and not question if he really sounded like that? And still be so attracted? Not really buying it.
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#24

JungleBoy

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Posted Nov 14, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

sunny wasnt too BRIGHT
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#25

misterbfd

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Posted Nov 14, 2012 @ 1:26 AM

Liked it. Added to my DVR!

I don't think it was scripted, but I do believe that Sunny had her suspicions that something was off, and I believe that after the phone call we saw from the hotel room to "RJ/Jamison/Chelsea" that another call was made in which they discussed with her the fact that she needed to put an end to the charade and stop playing with Sunny's emotions.

Other than that, I think it was all probably pretty much straight up.
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#26

JungleBoy

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Posted Nov 14, 2012 @ 1:58 AM

I noticed that when Sunny and her friends were shopping and they did the happy dance, like she was asked to prom, Nev asked to talk to her and they are lurking in the background!

Edited by TWoP Howard, Nov 14, 2012 @ 9:34 PM.
Added capitals, punctuation

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#27

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Posted Nov 14, 2012 @ 3:22 AM

I think a lot of the background research has been done before the final interviews to select the 'cases'. They need to know before walking in it's not a deadly situation.

This show is interesting. I hope it's not all sad stories, though.
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#28

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Posted Nov 14, 2012 @ 4:29 AM

thinkpink2585:

I am sitting with Chelsea in the boxseats of No Fucks Given Masterpiece Theater.


I now have a total catfish crush on you due entirely to this very quote.

Way back when the internet was nothing more than AOL dialup and interest genre driven 'chat rooms' about 15 years ago, I started to chat with a guy. We spoke on the telephone every single night, mailed each other cards and letters and presents. My parents actually purchased me a one way plane ticket to go visit him after six months. We had discussed marriage and our parents had spoken over the phone several times. Upon arrival things were awesome but then the day to day stuff came into play. Like when he went to work, leaving me locked up in his apartment with his roommates who were pretty much strangers and totally alone otherwise. I ended up going to stay with the tattoo artist who gave me a tattoo for my 24th birthday (go on ahead and judge me, trust me, my parents gave me a metric shit tonne of judgement about it) until I could get back to canada.

I don't feel that online dating is a negative forum in which to meet suitors, just that individuals need practice stringent judgement. I have been with my boyfriend for almost three years and we met online. I'm going to go ahead and say that I am pretty wicked kickass at the online dating scene. I am honest, clear in my needs/wants/desires and deal breakers and clear about who I am and what I want. I found that cut through most of the online bullshit. My boyfriend is 8 years younger, awesome and I believe we were meant to be.

For the record, it helps immensely if you want to play videogames, drink a few beers, listen to music and perhaps make out and state as much on your profile.

I've run into scheisters like this gal tonight. I appreciated that after the initial meet, greet and freak out that there was follow up. I was upset with the tone of the program until it progressed and I felt like the show was a fresh, somewhat honest approach to a somewhat unexplored vein of our online society presently. I hope that future episodes are able to encompass both party's stories and not exploit of humiliate anyone; there is far too much of that going on already.
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#29

Persnickety13

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Posted Nov 14, 2012 @ 4:59 AM

Has to be scripted, fake. "Ambush"-type shows like this ended with that Jenny Jones show murder. No production company would want that kind of liability.


There was no liability. The verdict was reversed. Apparently sleazy ambush-like tactics are not punishable in a court of law.
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#30

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Posted Nov 14, 2012 @ 9:43 AM

When I saw the preview for the series and it showed one girl berating another for "stupid decisions," I assumed that she was worried about her friend taking dumb risks by getting emotionally and maybe financially entangled with a complete stranger. I was surprised when it turned out that the cause for the "stupid decisions" line was that one sister had "stolen" the fake model from the other. That scene suggested to me that Sunny was not a terribly kind person. I also thought that Sunny demonstrated some really classic homophobia: She was so fixated on whether Chelsea was a lesbian because she herself had been aroused by their chats, texts, and maybe even phone calls, and she was frightened that she might have had inadvertent lesbian feelings.

Given the Obama election-night stuff (if true), her apparent nonchalance about stealing a (supposed) guy from her younger sister, and her homophobia, I kind of wonder whether Chelsea's purported quest for vengeance on her bully might have accidentally landed on an appropriate target.

Finally, why oh why does everyone feel the need to start their own anti-bullying, anti-domestic violence, anti-whatevs organization? If Chelsea wants to fight bullying, the best thing for her to do would be to get into therapy herself, then volunteer with an established organization. Chelsea does not seem like she is in a psychologically healthy enough place to be trying to "help" others.
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