'Catfish' Season 2 premiere recap: Was this the most messed up story yet?

nev-schulman-max-joseph-catfish-season-2-premiere-mtv.jpgDuring its first season, MTV's "Catfish" seemingly did all it could to scare us away from Internet dating. Key word: seemingly. With the premiere of Season 2 on Tuesday (June 25), it's safe to say that the first season was mere child's play.

In the season opener, we're reunited with hosts and identity sleuths Nev Schulman and Max Joseph as they help out Cassie, a sweet girl who needs some assistance in meeting her fiance Steven. (Yes, you read that right. Her fiance.)

Cassie tells the guys she met Steven in 2010 after her dad died. She'd begun drinking heavily and engaging in promiscuous behavior, when suddenly Steven requested to be her friend of Facebook. She initially ignored the request because his profile said he was an aspiring rapper and, as an employee at one of Miami's larger radio stations, she was used to music industry hopefuls reaching out to her online.

He continued to pursue her, though, and she eventually gave in. The two formed a relationship that later led to Cassie to propose to Steven -- all without ever seeing him.

Let's list the red flags in the story, shall we?

- Steven lives in Atlanta and travels a lot to do shows (for the rap career he still doesn't have yet).
- Steven is barely ever able to talk, as he's always in the studio either laying down his own tracks or producing beats for others.
- Steven's webcam and microphone both didn't work the one time he agreed to Skype with Cassie.
- Cassie only has ten pictures of Steven -- in two and a half years.

Cassie does tell Nev and Max that she and Steven do have phone sex, which is key for why the resolution of this episode is so icky.

After some sleuthing, our guys discover that Steven's photos belong to a model who is definitely not named Steven. Upon further digging, they discover that the (truly terrible) songs he's sent Cassie belong to someone else, as well.

The cousin of Cassie's best friend, Gladys.

As Cassie, Max and Nev go to confront Gladys and her cousin, Gladys admits that she fabricated Steven to save her friend from the downward spiral she was caught in after her father's death -- which sounds nice in theory in all, until you step back and realize she made her cousin have phone sex with her best friend for two and a half years. Yikes.

In the end, Cassie winds up forgiving Gladys and admits she is in a better place. In the follow-up, it's revealed that the two hang out in groups, but don't have much one-on-one time anymore. And herein lies my questions about the authenticity of this situation.

If anything even remotely similar happened to me, I'd have one heck of a time moving past this sort of betrayal as quickly as Cassie did. I imagine most others would, too. Additionally, how did Cassie not recognize the voice of the cousin? She knew him separately from the Steven situation. Perhaps she didn't want to see any red flags and looked past the similarities?

But what bothered me most and had me questioning the reality of this situation is our meeting of Gladys early in the episode. It feels a little too produced to have the audience meet Cassie's best friend and learn how they're like sisters just before the bottom drops out of the relationship.

Either way, the Season 2 premiere of "Catfish" was one thoroughly entertaining, if slightly uncomfortable, hour. I'm just wondering how much of it was real.

What did you think about the "Catfish" Season 2 premiere? Did it feel a little fake to you? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo/Video credit: MTV
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