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The Bitter Lemon’s Winter TV Guide!

Every night is a TV night.

Last week may have been everyone’s first week back to work, but it was also a week FULL of TV show premiers, and I’m in heaven. Seriously, every single night there was a new show or a new season starting, and this is what I’m dubbing the most wonderful time of the year… So yeah, I’m OD-ing on the extra-trashy, and I don’t give a damn. If you’re with me, read on my friends.

“The Bachelor”, season 22 (ABC) – Reality Drama

Did you choke when you read “season 22”? I did. This is a terrible show, but we all keep watching. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t NOT watch when I found out the bachelor would be Arie Luyendyk Jr., 36, after his dramatic place in Emily Maynard’s season (which I rewatched during Christmas break, because obviously). The show premiered last week, but you haven’t missed much if you’re tuning in tonight – you can also watch full episodes on ABC.com. Airs Mondays at 8/7pm C. 

“My Big Fat Fabulous Life”, season 5 (TLC) – Reality Drama

Season 5 picks up right where season 4 left off: With Whitney heading on tour with the Fitness Marshall. But the preview for season 5 makes it look like a lot has changed for Whitney, including a new man, and possibly a wedding? The show premiered last week, but there’s still plenty of time to uncover this mystery! Airs Tuesdays at 8/7pm C.

“The Challenge”, season 31: Vendettas (MTV) – Reality Competition

Yes, season 31! I have never been much of a fan of “The Challenge” – I was more of a”Road Rules” person, but I watched last season, “Champs vs. Stars” and it was good enough to keep me interested. “Vendettas” brings together people that hate each other and the interesting twist is that its contestants from any reality show, including “Big Brother”, “Ex on the Beach”, and “Geordie Shore”. It’s every player for themselves, and as we all know, there will be new vendettas created as the season continues. Airs Tuesdays at 9/8pm C. 

“Catfish: The TV Show”, season 7 (MTV) – Reality Drama

Yep, “Catfish” is baaaack! People are never going to stop catfishing each other and I hope this show is always around to bust the suckers. It’s another season with Nev and Max out to discover the real person behind the computer screen, and even just one episode in, it’s obvious this season is going to have some unexpected twists. Airs Wednesdays at 10/9pm C.

“Project Runway All Stars”, season 6 (Lifetime) – Reality Competition

I’ll admit it, “All Stars” isn’t necessarily my favorite form of “Project Runway” (not a fan of the hostess and judges), but it’s still a fantastic competition and I love seeing the contestants from former seasons back in action. This season has some of the BEST competitors, including Joshua McKinley, Kelly Dempsey, and Fabio Costa. It’s “Rookies” (those who are first-timers on “All Stars”) versus “Veterans” (those who’ve competed on “All Stars”) this year and I can already see lots of drama coming. Airs Thursdays at 9/8pm C.

“Revenge Body With Khloe Kardashian”, season 2 (E!) – Reality Drama

Everyone knows Khloe is the best Kardashian, right? I absolutely loved season 1 of this show, as you get to see people transform their lives, and tbh, Khloe isn’t really on the show that much. It follows participants as they try to lose weight, get fit, and gain confidence. Most of the time, they’re going through a breakup or hard times, and the journey helps them, mentally. I love it! Airs Sundays at 10/9pm C.

“Siesta Key”, season 2 (MTV) – Reality Drama

Ugh, the little rich bastards are baaaack! I’m actually shocked that a second season was ordered here, but I’m here for it. That means more drama with Alex and his “friends” – everyone is returning from season 1, plus a new additions: Canvas, Tarik, Hannah, and Paige. Whew! Premiers Monday, January 15 at 10/9pm C. 

“Summer House”, season 2 (Bravo) – Reality Drama

I have been ready for season 2 since the second season 1 ended. I freaking LOVE this show! It feels like an insider’s look into the Hamptons, and that’s what I need. The gang from last summer is all here, but there’s a few new houseguests in the mix, and that brings a whole load of new drama. I cannot. freaking. waaaaait. Premiers Monday, January 22 at 10/9pm C.

The Winter Olympic Games, PyeongChang (NBC) – Sports

After the weekend drama in the women’s ice skating competition, we already know there’s going to be some REAL life craziness in the Olympic games. Plus, I really enjoy watching the opening ceremonies. The opening ceremony will be aired Friday, February 9 (likely at 8pm) on NBC.

“Music City”, season 1 (CMT) – Reality Drama

The chances are likely that I’m going to spend my life looking for a replacement for “The Hills”. That’s why I got sucked into “Siesta Key” and although it didn’t completely fill the void, it helped. But now, there’s another chance… and that is: “Music City”, created by Adam DiVello (same guy who created “The Hills”) and it’s premiering in March on CMT. This show looks so good! It follows a group of people looking to make it in country music in Nashville (but of course). I’m all for it. The show premiers on Thursday, March 1 at 10/9pm C. 

…If you didn’t think I was a TV junkie before, now you know! What shows are you looking forward to these next few months? My DVR has room…

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What ‘Catfish’ taught me about fate.

Why are people still getting Catfished? Fate.

Why are people still getting Catfished? Fate.

Recently, MTV premiered season five of “Catfish”, the show that’s become synonymous with online dating failures.

“Catfish” was introduced to the world in 2010 as a documentary, starring Photographer Nev Schulman.

The film followed Schulman as he indulged in an online relationship with someone across the country, after “meeting” on Facebook.

In the film, his friends are not so sure the woman is being truthful, so they do a little lite investigating.

One of their first finds is that the MP3s she’s been sending are ripped from YouTube videos featuring someone else.

Schulman continues the relationship and makes plans to meet his then-girlfriend, despite obvious doubts.

What he ultimately discovers is that he’s been sexting a woman in her late 40s, who is married with children.

Watching it is part-awkward, and part-devastating. There is an underlying sadness to Schulman’s relationship – the woman eventually admits she continued the lies in attempts to escape her everyday life that was riddled with hardship.

Many critics still question the truth of the documentary. After all, how could a young, smart, tech-savvy guy fall for these obvious tricks?

But those are often the same questions asked after an episode of “Catfish”: don’t these people see the obvious red flags a mile away?

No, they don’t. Why? Because they don’t want to.

While I haven’t been catfished in the traditional sense, I’ve certainly been tricked into believing ridiculous lies from the one I love.

Because of instances such as these, I’ve also undergone years of therapy.

I have learned that when a person is hurt emotionally, it’s obvious from the outside, and there are people built to see those wounds and prey upon them.

A confident person, standing tall, is going to spot the red flags and they’ll walk away from the bullshit.

But a heartbroken person, sitting in the dark will do anything to see the light. Nothing is too good to be true to someone who needs a lifeboat.

I’ve watched “Catfish” the movie, and all of the seasons on TV. For starters, I think Schulman is super sexy, but of course I also like seeing the dynamic of these online relationships.

I’ll admit it, when they announced season five was on its way I thought, “How are these people still getting catfished?”

But, after watching a few of the recent episodes, I got to thinking about fate.

And the truth is, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think these people were catfished at just the right time in their lives. In fact, the timing is essential to making the lies work.

The usual scenario is this: after the catfishee gets clued in on the false relationship, they confront the catfish, and often discover the real reason behind the lies.

The reasons are usually incredibly sad: previous abuse, failed relationships, death of a parent, troubled childhood, etc.

And while these are not reasons to make fake online profiles, it adds context for the heartbroken victim.

This leads the victim to pick himself or herself up, cut their losses, and find the strength within in order to move on. Most of the time, the victims quit online dating for good, and say they have found joy in other ways: through work, family, and friends.

In other words: they’ve taken it upon themselves to drive their happiness and not left it in the hands of complete strangers.

“Catfish” the movie taught us that catfish (IRL) are placed in tanks to keep cod agile during their long ship ride. In other words, it’s what’s hiding in the shadows that keep us under the sun.

Still happening: ‘Catfish’ & Nev.

Nev & Max, hotness duo, are baaaaack.

Nev & Max, hotness duo, are baaaaack.

Last week, MTV premiered season 5 of “Catfish” – the show we all know, and have subsequently turned into a verb. If you live under a rock, I’m not sure why you’d be seeking my blog for news and advice, but a Catfish is someone who lies about their identity and often fakes multiple relationships online.

An episode of Catfish details how Nev Schulman goes into detective-mode and sniffs out bullshit from states away, so by now, you’d think people would do the same (it’s a lot of Google image searching) if they’re in a “fishy” online relationship.

But, here’s the thing: the show is so good and mysterious, and Nev is super fine, and well, so is Max, so as long as people keep Catfishing each other, I am going to watch that shit.

If you’ve been watching “Catfish” each season, you might remember one season when Nev was pret-ty open about his girlfriend. I don’t think she’s in the picture anymore, as he mentioned he was single in an article last year, where he also said he still is not online dating. Smart man.

And just in case you weren’t sure, the term “Catfishing” comes straight from the movie “Catfish”, where it is revealed that cod was originally shipped in tanks from Alaska to China, and because the fish were bored the entire way, they ended up as tasteless. It was later discovered that if Catfish were placed into these tanks with the cod, they would keep the cod “on their toes” during the trip. In life, we are challenged by catfish, they keep us guessing, and in the end, they make us better people.

So, the show is on Wednesday nights on MTV, and while I kind of feel like nothing can shock us now, there’s a new show staring Nev that comes on right after, called “Suspect”.

I’ve watched it (how could I not) and essentially it’s similar to “Catfish” in that Nev is uncovering truths and lies, but the secrets usually aren’t revolving relationships. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s deep, dark secrets that they’re uncovering.

It’s pretty interesting.

On “Suspect”, Nev is joined by artist and activist iO (not Max, but still cool). I didn’t know much about iO, so I did some Googling, and found out she photographed 2,000 people who identified themselves as not 100% straight, called Self Evident Truths. She’s also done a TED Talk on this project, and I find this incredibly fascinating – no, seriously, if you’re at all interested in human rights, you should check it out.

So, who’s going to break down and watch “Catfish” and “Suspect” with me? Any takers? Well, you know where I’ll be each Wednesday night!