It may seem backward, but the catfish themselves are typically the ones to reach out to the show, not their victims. Marshall Eisen, an executive producer on the show, attributes this phenomenon to catfish wanting to shed the burden of their false identities.
The people featured in each episode may seem stunned by the events unfolding around them, but they actually know a little bit more than they let on. Producersreach out to all involved parties ahead of shooting to screen them for their appearance. Each person is also subject to a background check before filming begins.
The producers may know all the dirt about the show's subjects, but hosts Nev Schulman and Max Joseph are often left out of the loop. This is to ensure authentic reactions from the two as they conduct their investigation.
There have been instances where individuals who signed the waiver to appear on the show got cold feet, sending Nev and Max scouring the streets for their stars. See? There's still an element of unpredictability!
6. Their Tools Are Less Sophisticated Than You Think
You might not realize it, but Nev and Max use research methods that are available to most of us watching at home. Their most frequently employed investigative tools include reverse image search and social media sites like Facebook.
After watching a completed episode, it's hard to imagine the long stretches of time spent uncovering the truth about the show's subjects. Thanks to editing, we don't have to suffer through the research in real time!
The success of Catfish has translated into an increased pool of applicants hoping to secure a spot on the show ”” and some of them aren't even in genuine catfish situations. Luckily, producers have gotten better at distinguishing the fakers from the real catfish.
Despite being known for its dramatic revelations and moments of confrontation, Catfish has seen its share of success stories, too. There have been guests who were able to see beyond the betrayals and remain on good (or even romantic!) terms with their deceivers.
Sometimes Nev and Max bite off a little more than they can chew. Marshall Eisen revealed that there are often deeper, heavier issues that precipitate Catfishing behavior, and it's the hosts' responsibility to find out what makes the Catfish tick ”” no matter how dark things get.
This might make you feel better about watching the show: After filming, guests are provided a therapy session to make sure they're in sound mental health. This resource definitely makes a lot of sense since past episodes have dealt with issues like depression, anxiety and body image.