It’s not Real (World) anymore

The Real World is in its 29th season. It’s 29th season!

It’s one of two television shows that I followed from my teenage years into adulthood – that and “ER.” I cried during the final three hours of “ER,” both the retrospective and the series finale, but I don’t think I’ll be shedding any tears once the latest cycle is over. MTV might think it’s onto something by putting seven strangers picked to live in a house … and bringing their ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends in after thirty days.

Find out what happens when they stop being polite …

Hot tubs, crying, twerking in your nightie with no undies, making out, making up, hitting a roommate with a metal frying pan … and exes having sex. And fights.

This is what the “Real World” franchise has come to?

Watching the season debut made me think of some of the notable moments of the Real World. And not just the notable moments that made the mainstream news:  Stephen slapping Irene as she got in the car to leave the Seattle flat, Ruthie drunk driving and Ruthie getting her stomach pumped in Hawaii, Pedro’s wedding in San Francisco (the first televised civil union), Tami announcing she was pregnant to her housemates during a rock-climbing outing in Los Angeles, and Julie and Kevin’s fight over race relations on a city street in New York – the first, the best season of “The Real World.”

So it got me thinking …

The Real World was so much better when Elka proclaimed that she was a virgin in Boston. And when Kaia and Ruthie made out in Hawaii.

The Real World was so much better when Melissa danced topless at a strip club in New Orleans. For money. And when Karamo told M.J. in Philadelphia that he was gay.

The Real World was so much better when Sarah, Dan and Flora spied on Mike’s shower threesome in Miami.  

Trishelle’s pregnancy scare in Las Vegas – everybody was talking about that. Even the guys on ESPN’s PTI brought up — and that’s when it crossed the threshold.

I had a boyfriend in college who professed that he hated the show and tried to convince me everything that was wrong with The Real World.

This wasn’t something to be angry about – it, strangely, was the gallivanting that we wanted. To live in a co-ed house, to go out to fantastic clubs and parties and on a trip to somewhere warm and exotic, to be able to sit in a room and confess to the world how you really felt about the people who lived with you and the problems you confronted.

But the intrigue wore off. After that, The Real World tumbled downhill. The “formula” continued to be recycled: hot guy, hot girls, thrown together in a fabulous house and given a job and had their lives taped. And it lost its luster.

Still, it’s like a drug. I’m going to keep watching.


2 thoughts on “It’s not Real (World) anymore

  1. Oh the ridiculousness – how about anything Puck? Or when Tami had her jaw wired shut to lose weight? I used to be hooked, big time. Thankfully I got over this a while ago and no longer obsess over this show that is as Real as, well, anything that’s fake, I guess.

    1. Around Las Vegas I started to lose interest, and my father said, well, maybe you’re getting too old for it. Kept watching. I weaned off the show, probably after Philadelphia, then watched Cancun. Then lost track of it again. Until I turned it on again last week and saw how ridiculous it got … and I couldn’t stop watching it for the whole train wreck aspect of it. I thought, did we behave that stupid at that age? Yes, yes we did.

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