Does MTV’s “Suspect” Have “Catfish” Potential?
Does MTV's latest 'reality' docu-series have "Catfish"-like potential, or just "Catfish"-like host?
I've never given up on MTV's "Catfish." I know the show doesn't have the impact or social relevance it did when it debuted four years ago, but I always find the concept and hosts enjoyable enough that even a bad episode is enjoyable. Clearly MTV's newest series "Suspect" is trying to piggyback off of the success of "Catfish," but is it hitting the mark?
In a word, "no," but that doesn't mean MTV's "Suspect" is bad. The show has the same production style as "Catfish." It has handheld cameras following around a team of two cyber sleuths trying to piece together details of a mystery to figure out what somebody is hiding. To make it even more "Catfish"-like, the show has the same host, Nev Schulman, which is probably a good thing and the reason I decided to give the show a shot in the first place.
Seeing Nev on a show other than "Catfish" is weird at first, but I'd rather he be there than not be there. Where I think the show could improve is that Nev's cohost sadly is no Max Joseph. They teamed Nev up with a character named "iO" (spelling is correct). Pronounced "Eye-Oh," I will never understand why the chose her to be a regular part of the show. She has no previous hosting experience that I know of, and her personality isn't especially colorful or dynamic in my opinion. She seems like a good person, and many of the show's subjects seem to comfort in her, but I just don't think she adds very much to the show and she makes me long for my man-crush from "Catfish," Max.
The premise of the show is that someone writes the show because they believe someone they love (usually a friend) is hiding some sort of secret. Nev and iO gather what they can from the truth-seeker and try to figure out what their loved one may be hiding. Then they confront the loved one and the truth gets revealed. While it's not positioned as an LGBT show, I'd be remiss to not acknowledge that the show frequently deals with topics like homosexuality and transgender issues. The show has two stories per every 60-minute episode.
I don't get the same rush of excitement from "Suspect" as I do from "Catfish," but I still watch it. Smartly, the show airs immediately following "Catfish" on Wednesday nights, and could probably trick a portion of MTV's audience into thinking they're still watching Nev on "Catfish." I also get the feeling that the crew has always communicated with the secret-holder prior to the show and honestly assume the secret-holder is the one who originally contacted the show in the first place. But if you can overcome some of those downfalls, some fans of "Catfish" may be able to tolerate "Suspect" on MTV.