Season 2 of Netflix’s Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist will be released on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, in two parts.
The first installment of Unspeakable Volume 2 is a two-part documentary titled The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist, which features conversations with Manti Te’o (NFL player) and Ronaiah Tuiasosopo (who has since come out as a transgender woman and prefers to be called “Naya” and her/her pronouns, but still uses the name Ronaiah Tuiasosopo). Through these two episodes, we’re told a story that I think Nev and Max (Catfish) will be jealous they couldn’t cover.
Manti Te’O was an impressionable young teenager, trying to be a professional NFL player, who got caught up in a scandal while fished online by someone who was seriously manipulative and controlling. This story is almost unbelievable and if I hadn’t watched people comment and explain their role in the story, I wouldn’t have believed it.
Ronaniah and Manti started talking online – but Ronaniah was fishing for him, posing as a woman called Lennay Kekua. As Manti’s career built and fame set in, his affections began to dwindle for the person he had never met, and in retaliation, Ronaniah (posing as Lennay’s brother) says in Manti that Lennay is dead. Absolutely breathtaking that someone is so callous and cruel.
Manti, obviously upset and devastated, was propelled to more fame as this story brought him a lot of sympathy, empathy and attention from fans. Unfortunately for both of them, someone gave the magazine a tip. dead spin, who then began investigating claims that the “death of that girlfriend” was a hoax. Now, like all good journalists, they found the truth and published it.
America is a very masculine country, and so the focus is on Manti’s sexuality, rather than deception. The NFL wanted to know if he was gay – and many were dissuaded from choosing him for their teams. This scandal cost him not only his dignity, but millions and millions of dollars.
We have exclusive interviews with Manti and Ronaniah/Naya, and while Ronaiah came out as transgender and implied that their actions regarding Manti were due to her not knowing each other, I found her hard to relate to. She seemed to place herself as a victim and gave little remorse for her previous actions. Although I think she and Manti are extremely brave for these interviews and appreciate them for their openness and vulnerability, I couldn’t give her the same sympathy I had for Manti. We also hear from reporters and family members, and even Dr. Phil is in attendance. Their raw and honest interviews really give depth to this documentary.
Overall, this documentary is a great watch. There’s a lot to this story – it’s gripping and certainly a conversation starter. Getting different perspectives adds a lot of energy and gets viewers thinking and creating their own opinions on the subject matter. Manti Te’O, for me, is a victim and this documentary is up there among the craziest I’ve seen recently. I highly recommend watching if you are a fan of sports, scandals, docuseries and serious dramas.
What do you think of Season 2 of Netflix’s Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist? Comments below.
You can watch this series with a Netflix subscription.
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