Addicted to Catfish and the Kardashians

By Kirstin Buick
12 August 2013

Our TV blogger finds some series far too addictive and can’t explain why, especially Border Security, Catfish and the Kardashians . . .

Am I the only one . . .  who finds myself mesmerised by a show I had no intention of watching and then unable to stop?

This happens to me from time to time, not quite as often since the baby arrived but I do still find myself in the evenings mesmerised by a show and I can’t explain why I can’t change then channel. It’s often series on the Crime and Investigation channel, show such as the reality/documentary series Border Security, watching tourists trying to sneak drugs or exotic plants into Australia.

I start watching as the officials wonder if there’s drugs in this guy’s newly repaired jacket and I have to see the episode through to find out if he is actually a drug mule or just really bad at sewing (it was drugs). Then the next episode starts and now I have to find out why this German artist needs to take exotic plant seeds on his holiday to Australia (I never did get to the bottom of that one but they took the seeds away). Eventually I come up for air and I am not sure where the past three hours have gone.

The same thing happens to me with Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Whether it’s reruns or new episodes, I get sucked in and soon I know far too much about this over-sharing family. I am about to change the channel, when, wait, Khloe and Kourtney are sniping at each other, does this mean Khloe might slap Scott again, must watch just another episode. I can’t help myself.

And don’t get me started on Catfish on MTV. Have you watched any of it? If not, you are missing a great time-waster. It’s about the perils of online dating as each week a different person appeals to the Catfish team to find out what is going on with the person they are dating online who doesn’t seem to want to meet or is starting to make them wonder if something odd is going on.

And a catfish is someone who creates a fake personality online for either insecure or dastardly reasons, be it revenge or crime. It’s hosted and produced by the rather cute Nev Schulman who came up with the term catfish in his movie about his experiences dating what he thought was a single, 20-something woman online but turned out to be an older mother of four. So now he tries to help others figure out if they are being catfished.

There’s the girl who thought she had met the man of her dreams on Facebook but it turned out to be another girl wanting revenge because of some issue with a boyfriend. Often it’s low self-esteem that leads to a web of lies and refusal to meet but there are also the bizarre cases of catfish experts who do it for the thrill and juggle a couple of people who they are catfishing. It’s seriously addictive.

But the shows that always get me, no matter how many times I say never again, are the VH1 Countdowns. I cannot walk way. I could be randomly flipping channels while getting ready to go out or if I am about to make a cup of tea while the baby is napping at weekends and suddenly it’s hours later or the baby is already waking up and I’m mesmerised, still perched on the bed about to put a sock on or wondering if I ever put the kettle on. 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders to 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s to 100 Most Shocking Moments in Rock n Roll or the Best Child Stars Ever, I cannot move. The countdown starts and first I’m hooked because it’s a song I haven’t heard for ages. Then I’m outraged because an A-ha song is only at No 88 and now I need to know what is in the top 10 and if they are going to show the video for Nena’s 99 Red Balloons. And, of course, I never remember the top 10 and next time it airs, I have to watch it again . . .

-       Natalie Cavernelis

 Border Security is on Discovery Channel (121) at 3.55 pm on Sundays and various times during the week.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians is on E! (124) on Sundays at 7 pm and various times during the week.

Catfish is on MTV (130) at 7.35 pm on Saturdays and various times during the week

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