Catfish Catastrophe

Catfish Catastrophe

MTV Hit Show Or Aquatic Organism?
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If you're a fan of the cliché cringe-worthy reality shows like I am then you must have the smallest inkling of the hit MTV show "Catfish." Now, you might actually have a social life rather than sitting at home binge-watching Netflix on a regular basis (props to you,) so let me give you a brief synopsis of the popular hit. It stars Nev Schulman & Max Joseph, two friends who help everyday people find out who they are actually talking to on the internet. Yes I realize how stupid it sounds but it is just as, if not more, addictive then watching Kim cry for the millionth time on Keeping Up With The Kardashians over getting the wrong Chanel bag.

The term "catfish" has become a phrase for someone who pretends to be someone on the internet that they are not. Using someone else's pictures on a profile, creating a fake name — all are key elements in being a catfish. This issue, which most think is an aquatic organism, has become a widespread epidemic. Many can not get on their social media without having to wonder if who they are talking to is real. So why not make a reality show about it?

The show itself was actually a spin-off of the urban documentary "Catfish" in which Nev Schulman himself set out on a journey to find out of the girl he had been talking to online was really the love of his life. It turns out, the girl actually wasn't the person in the pictures; he'd been lied to for over eight months of who she was. Nev's catfish even went to the extent of saying she had cancer, and that she was too ill to meet in person, which later was found out to be a lie. The low-budget film went viral, revealing that many others were going through the exact same predicament.

In 2012, MTV picked up the pilot for the television show and it was an automatic hit. Hundreds of people submit applications every day for Nev & Max to help them. Each episode follows a different story trying to unravel the mystery to see who is really on the other side. But when did it become the "norm" to be deceitful of who you are online?

Yes some people are just spiteful, horrible people that get a sense of joy from hurting others, but for many of the victims on the show, it's a different story. Many stem from difficult home lives, which is why they create a fake online profile as a sort of escape into a different world. Another issue comes from the evolution of body discrimination, causing people to be afraid if others would disapprove of their physical appearance. No matter the reason, be it a train wreck or heartfelt, it's addictive nonetheless.

Now the show is just ending its fifth season and I plan on continuing to watch. I'm not sure what it is about reality television shows, but you just can't turn away. Humorous or disastrous — you just need to keep watching, which eventually turns into a binge marathon. But Nev Schulman has defiantly found a niche for something with a catchy name and an issue that no one knew existed, yet thousands are suffering from every day. Though Catfish is a bit different from most reality shows in its intent to help people, it still falls into that category due to the cliché fights and odd characters. No matter what, reality shows will continue on for decades to come until we as a society become bored of the mindless (yet addictive) entertainment... which hopefully never happens.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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