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“Catfish” tells the truth about dating in America

With Weinergate II landing hard last week, the mismatch between online and "real life" identities — to whatever degree they can be separated — no longer comes as a shocker. But on "Catfish: The TV Show," MTV asks us to see some creepy things we can’t unsee about our dating culture. Beyond the obvious deceptions that the show serves up to eager rubberneckers, we see the most disturbing scam of all: our eerily economic approach to dating.

Each episode follows love-drugged saps across the US who find themselves in online relationships that are deep and intimate, though perhaps not based on facts. The optimistic chump wants to transform the connection from ethereal to corporeal. In comes MTV’s Nev, a fancy, big-city reality TV host who uses his basic internet skills to locate the object of affection, uniting the would-be betrothed for the first time in the most awkward manner imaginable: on national TV. Tears are shed. Waivers are signed.

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