If you would like a charming love story that only involves trace amounts of creepy old men lying to younger women on the internet, you could do no better than this massive tale at The Atlantic, which details the love story of Emma and Adem. After a failed relationship, Emma reluctantly turned to online dating, where she immediately fell for an old man hiding behind a younger man’s picture. It was a classic story of catfishing, with a twist: Emma later got in touch with the younger, more handsome man who had been used in the deceit, and the two then began dating, ultimately moving in with each other. It’s a bizarre twist that could only have occurred in an era when catfishing occurs at such a high volume that it’s its own genre of narrative, inspiring a long-running TV series. Weirder still is that the whole strange plot was the exact arc of a really good episode of the late, great Review.
Yes, the critically beloved critique of critics Review featured this entire story across a few episodes in season two, when Andy Daly’s Forrest MacNeil was forced to review catfishing, and so set out to do so with his ex-wife (with whom he had separated in the previous “Pancakes; Divorce; Pancakes” episode). MacNeil pilfers the face of a handsome pro baseball player and poses as “Ace Shrift,” eventually matching with his ex-wife and even going so far as to hire the baseball player to Skype with her. Eventually his deception is revealed, but he nevertheless unwittingly plays matchmaker, as his ex-wife and the baseball player are seen dating across the next few episodes.
Things end messily and terribly in the show, as they always do for MacNeil, but they all appear to be going smoothly for the Emma and Adem, whose unlikely story will almost certainly end up being optioned as a Hollywood romance at some point down the road. Andy Daly wouldn’t be the best leading man, but he could pop in as an incompetent real estate agent or something.
Check out the whole article on The Atlantic here.