To kick off their MTV series "Catfish," which premieres tonight (November 12) at 11 p.m. ET, Nev Schulman and Max Joseph invited a mix of fans and friends alike to an exclusive screening of their new show — and it had everybody buzzing.
"I couldn't believe that actually happened," 27-year-old Ashley Noor told MTV News after watching the pilot. "It was almost hard to watch, but it was hilarious at the same time."
In the 2010 movie "Catfish," Schulman finds out the truth behind a family he meets online. In the new TV show, Schulman and Joseph continue that journey, finding people who connected online and uniting them in person for the very first time.
Since many of these couples have solely interacted through their computer screens, many questions arise before their face-to-face intros. Could the person be lying about their real identity? Will the chemistry they share via social media translate to real life?
Regardless of each episode's outcome, 30-year-old Derrick Leung said he was impressed by how the characters handled the situation, good or bad. "The amazing thing was how it actually wrapped up in a positive way," he explained. "I actually really like that people overcame their problems."
Following the screening, 18-year-old Jayna Tapia admitted that while she had heard of cyber-scenarios like these before, it was not until watching the movie that she fully understood. "I realized that actually could happen when 'Catfish' came out," she said. "A lot of my friends tell me, 'Oh, I met this guy online and he lives in, like, Virginia,' and I'm like, 'That's not a real person.' "
Tapia's naivety on the subject matter comes as no surprise to Schulman, who believes the show is like nothing anyone has ever seen.
"It's the first TV show that I know of that deals with Internet relationships, online dating and digital love," Schulman said. "If you're on the Internet and you've ever met someone on a website or Facebook or through, many cases, Instagram, that you become friends with and then maybe you started chatting with and develop a flirtation with and you have feelings, you're going to like this television show."