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BookTuber Catfishing People as TV Villains in New Netflix Series Promises Hell of a Good Time

Truly a character-driven comedy.

Cindy Pham (withCindy) setting up dating profile as Lucifer. (Image: Netflix.)

BookTuber-turned-general YouTuber Cindy Pham just found another way to turn her passion for highlighting NSFW lines from popular stories into great content. Monday, she shared her new web series with Netflix, called Flirting with The Enemy—a show she jokily describes as “the show where Netflix pays me to give people trust issues.”

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Needless to say, I and other fans were excited.

The premise is fairly simple. As the flirtatious host, she catfishes people online by pretending to be a charming villain from a major Netflix show, using their likeness and only replying to potential partners with lines delivered by the character in the show.

While the thumbnail reads like a mid-2010s prank video, the actual execution is more fair. Cindy wrote on Twitter that the unsuspecting people responded to a casting call for a dating show and swiped right on the fake profile they made.

In the first episode, she pretends to be the Prince of Darkness himself: Lucifer. At the time of writing this, Lucifer is the show the streaming service is promoting. The main Netflix Twitter bio reads “Proud Lucifan For Life” and shows a banner for the final season.

A few days ago (in a tweet that may have been deleted, because I can’t find it), Cindy tweeted a rose emoji, stating that there would be a big announcement September 13 and, also, that she had joined TikTok. Speaking of which, it was only a matter of time before she would join the platform because, beyond her day job as an art director, she is an A+ shitposter on YouTube and Twitter. Even though it seemed kind of soon, I and probably others thought the tease was something to do with the book she’s writing.

While Flirting With The Enemy surprised everyone, it wasn’t because it is uncommon for Netflix to bring influencers on to the platform. The last few days alone, people have roasted TikTok personality Addison Rae since news broke that she reached multi-picture deal with Netflix. Some unfairly made jokes about the concept alone, but a significant portion of the critique regarding her rise to fame is valid.

Rae’s marketability (a.k.a. being a traditionally attractive, young white woman) has launched her career from dancing to hip hop online to movie deals, song releases, and invitations to the Met Gala. Like Charli D’Amelio before her, Rae gets invited on late night shows to dance to choreography created by Black artists (like Jalaiah Harmon) to hip hop, rather than people in those same communities. To be clear, Rae is a symptom, not a cause, of theft from Black artists and cultural appropriation online, but that doesn’t let her off the hook.

All this to say, far less deserving people from online platforms get these opportunities, but with Cindy, things are a bit different—the reason being that Cindy’s shift from doing book-related videos alone to dabbling into films, etc. has been roasting (mostly) Netflix films. Sure, she positively responded to Shadow and Bone, but Cindy also did a three-part series where she watched (all three of) The Kissing Booth movies.

Speaking of Rae, Cindy just released a video dunking on He’s All That. While many of the jokes Cindy makes in books/movie critiques are just for fun, she doesn’t pull punches when discussing the problematic elements, too. In the celebration of Cindy’s deal with Netflix, people even joked that this is back payments for the suffering she went through watching their other content like He’s All That and The Kissing Booth(s).

Flirting With the Enemy is honestly right up Cindy’s alley. For one, the ridiculousness of it was something she had already done. Back in 2019, Cindy made a video in which she messaged people on Tinder as The Darkling from Shadow and Bone. She has made several videos about Leigh Barudo’s Grishaverse books like reading vlogs, trailer reactions, live shows, and a Six of Crows concept trailer.

There are no updates as to how many episodes they are doing, so stay tuned on Cindy’s socials and the Still Watching Netflix channel for updates. I hope it isn’t limited to just new stuff to tie into promotions.

Because she probably can’t say this due to this series being a group project … go ahead and unsubscribe from her channel and subscribe to Still Watching Netflix.

(feature image: Netflix)

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Author

Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.

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