The 25 Best Reality TV Stars of 2012

17. Max Joseph (Catfish: The TV Show, MTV)

Only a few episodes of Catfish: The TV Show have aired so far, but we can already see that cameraman Max is poised to outshine host Nev Schulman. If you’re not familiar, the show is based on the 2010 documentary Catfish and tells the stories of people who make romantic connections online only to find out the relationships aren't what they seem. Which begs the question: Can you really trust that people are who they say they are on the web?

Each episode features a new person who met someone online whom they ended up developing feelings for, and follows them as they travel to finally meet them in person. Nev accompanies them with a camera crew, led by Max.

It’s all very fascinating and manages to achieve things that the film did not, but it isn’t really Nev or the subjects of each episode that stands out the most—it’s Max. While Nev is the likeable, understanding host who's sympathetic to everyone’s struggles, Max fills in the much-needed role of the skeptic.

For instance, in the first episode, a girl is explaining her relationship with someone she thinks is a male model she met online, and she touts his intelligence by telling them that he’s in school to be an anesthesiologist—but he’s taking classes online. Nev doesn’t say anything about how this would be impossible to do, but Max sure does, giving her a look that undoubtedly says, “How dumb could you possibly be?”

Harsh, sure, but deserved. No one ever advances in life with rose-colored glasses on, and Max clearly recognizes that. Plus, his occasional looks of disbelief that pepper some episodes are always entertaining. 

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