Photos: MTV

Throw 'Em Back

Stephanie and Sarah couldn't agree on which Catfish-erman is more maddening, Max or Nev. Did their discussion change anyone's mind?

Our Players

Hello, I'm East Coast Editor Sarah D. Bunting.
Hello, I'm contributor Stephanie Green.

The Talk

It seems that my esteemed colleague Stephanie and I disagree on which Catfish sensei is worse: Nev or Max. My position is that Max, in addition to being self-righteous and annoying, is all the more so because he's completely extraneous to the entire project.
Yes, but it's Max's very marginality that makes him less annoying to me! The fact that he's sort of on the sidelines makes me think he doesn't buy into the bullshit as much as Nev does. I feel like Max is knowingly winking at us from behind his toy camera.
Interesting! I don't get that sense from him -- I feel like he's so happy to have something to do, even if he's the only one who doesn't realize that he...has nothing to do, that he's decided to buy in to the fiction that the show is changing lives.
I don't know, I feel like Max is in it for the paycheck and the Twitter fans and secretly knows it's all a bunch of hooey. Nev, on the other hand, is a True Believer. My position on Nev has shifted over the three seasons of watching Catfish from thinking he was adorable to thinking he's kinda dumb to thinking he's actively evil.
I will say that Max does a creditable job digesting and regurgitating the Catfixposition the investigations -- uh, I was going to say "require," but they don't, so he's basically a real-life Captain Obvious from those travel commercials. But tell me more about Nevil. Because I think he's suffering from delusions of grandeur, but I don't think he's consciously venal.
Maybe "evil" is too strong a word. But willfully ignorant of evil in others, to the point where he's condoning evil? Nev can't NOT give the sociopathic Catfisher a pep talk at the end of every episode. After all his self-righteous huffiness, he still has to go and "redeem" the terrible human being that has tricked another human being on the internet. I feel like the show would be 1000% less annoying if Nev just let things be at the end, instead of trying to convince us that everyone involved is a Good Person Deep Down.
Oh, totes agree on the annoyance levels. Just tell "Kelsey" he's a cock and leave the room, bro.
Case in point: the episode where the fan girl pulled the wool over Tracie Thoms's eyes, and Nev concluded that said fan girl was "creative" and "interesting," and "good." Like, no, she's none of those things. AND THAT'S OKAY.
Well, I'll give her interesting, but I was much MORE interested in the fact that Thoms was clearly trying to boomerang this into some attention for herself. Like, they got Catfished by a Cold Case "star" -- with what was basically a cold case.
Oh, totally. That's the thing: at this point in this show's lifecycle, everyone involved (including Nev and Max) is, by definition, a famewhore. We don't live in a Catfish vacuum. Everyone's aware of the show by now, including the people claiming to be Catfished.
But now that the show is obviously, and always, about people who were inspired BY THE SHOW to pull this shit, Nev needs to start acknowledging that in so many words.
Nev and Max have reverse jumped the shark, as it were, by refusing to acknowledge that the show has folded in on itself like a dying star.
But it could still be a fun show!
It could be!
But Nev's conception of himself as some sort of hairy avenging Cupid is so past the sell-by, it belongs on Hoarders.
LOL. Yes, Nev has gone from humble Catfishee to White (Male) Oprah in the space of two seasons of this show.
It's not cute, I'll give you that.
He totally thinks he's changing the world for the better when, in fact, as we've discussed, the show is actually just spawning more abuse on the internet.
Do you think he will ever just throw up his paws and be like, you know what, let's turn this into a thing where you DO try to Catfish us, and we check your work? Because it would be pretty awesome if Nev and Max did what we all do on Twitter during the episodes. "Blurry group shot -- B-plus for verisimilitude."
I would enjoy that a lot more, but no, I think Nev's head is firmly up his ass far enough that it would take serious medical intervention to see that kind of a change. I think this show is going to limp forward into Season 4, retaining the exact same format, until it loses ratings and gets cancelled.
I agree. I do think an MTV exec, if they haven't already, is going to sit Nev down and say with increasing forcefulness that it's adapt or perish, and Nev's going to think "PERISH!" is a heroic stand for his principles, and in five years he's going to be taking meetings in Philly and updating his Wikipedia page three hours a day. And by "in five years" I mean "next year."
"Taking meetings in Philly." God.
Sorry, Philly.
Yeah, I also wonder if they're going to have a come-to-Jesus with Max and his toy camera.
That thing is RIDIC. "Leave me out of this." - the dollar store.
I picture it being like when you have to have a conversation with an elderly relative about taking away the car keys. It'll be hard, but it's the right thing.
I see as more the "well, we thought if we let him take Woobie to school, he'd be shamed out of it, but that didn't work so now we're going to have to 'lose' Woobie in the dryer." But: same problem, different demographic.
Well, even though the show is incredibly annoying and up its own butt, I still enjoy watching it. Although I do simultaneously watch and ridicule it, so.
Oh, me too -- mostly for everyone else's reactions, but I'm not going to act like I wouldn't watch if I didn't have internet some week.
I used to pretend, and now I embrace it.
I embrace it with one arm while sister-pinching West Coast Editor Tara Ariano for getting me into this with the other.
I also enjoy seeing Max and Nev's self-righteous, offended tweets in real time!
...See, this is what gets me with Max.
Yeah okay, you have a point there. Max's tweets are the worst.
"OH, I'M GOING TO CUT A BITCH NOW." And then the big kerfuffle is him deciding he needs to pee or something.
And like when he basically said "Shame on you!!" to people on Twitter making fun of the show. No, Max, shame on YOU.
Not that I endorse enforced meetings between phone and river, but if you're going to talk the talk...
TOTALLY. So much smack talk. So little action. They get SO MAD at the Catfishers and then retroactively talk a big game on Twitter but the closest they get to any sort of skirmish during the actual encounter is when Nev and/or Max storms out in a huff.
Was last week the first time this season the producers DIDN'T have to tell Nev to slow his roll?
I think maybe!
Notice that nobody had to pull Max aside, because nobody cares what Max does/he doesn't really do anything.
Sarah, he documented EVERYTHING on his tiny camera! He's serving an essential purpose!
Oh, wait. He did do something. He moronically announced that the emoji for the show should be a heart with a question mark in it.
Oh, I missed that.
All of this is valid, BUT...I still think Nev is worse.
I respectfully disagree, but I'm a lot closer to your position than when we started.
Likewise! I'm so glad we could convince each other to loathe another person a little bit more.
Me too. But before we politely conclude, let's get gross for a sec.
Oh, let's.
Death Is Not An Option: Nev or Max?
Nev. Come on.
On that we agree, at least.
There's no denying the appeal there. And I won't pretend to do so.
Nor will I, since it involves an exception to my longstanding "no sexual partners into whose pants I cannot fit" rule.
It involves an exception to my "no male ballerinas with tramp stamps" rule. But there are always loopholes.


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