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Your lifestyle, your quirk
In 1992, MTV premiered the first season of the reality show The Real World. Set in New York City, the show focused on a group of seven strangers picked to live in a house and have their lives taped.
The show met instant success and was renewed for another season, and another season after that.
And another one after that.
The early seasons of The Real World were popular because they dealt with real people and tackled real issues. It tackled intense issues like drug and alcohol dependence, HIV/AIDS, prejudice, and clashing personalities, among other things.
Fast forward to 2012. MTV’s The Real World is currently in its twenty-seventh season. Set in the tropical paradise of St. Thomas, the premise of the show is still centered on seven strangers who were picked to live in a house and have their lives videotaped. Yet the show lacks the grittiness and authenticity that used to make it stand apart from other reality shows.
From the get-go, this season has been about intra-house hookups between the cast members. The first four episodes have shown little to no depth in terms of personal background or development. Yes, we may have learned that one of the housemates was adopted and another used to have a drug problem—actual, REAL issues—but neither of these subplots were developed or explored properly.
I understand that this show is on for only an hour per week. That’s roughly forty-three minutes, excluding commercials. Sex sells, I understand that. But I miss moments from earlier seasons when I became invested in the cast and looked forward to watching them evolve through the experience of living in the Real World house.
So, Real World: St. Thomas, I have to admit that you are an attractive bunch. It’s understandable that you would find each other attractive and eventually hook up. However, I think anyone would agree that the real world is not a house filled with endless alcohol and people who find each other attractive. The people MTV casted probably have actual stories and actual problems, but with the way the show is currently edited and presented, there is little to chance that we, as an audience, will ever get to see them explored to the extent that they would have been in earlier seasons.