Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Real World Turns 15

On the site Reality Blurred, they reported that the original "Real World" aired 15 years ago yesterday. That's kind of insane.

I remember watching season 1 as a sophomore in high school and being totally hooked. I had a MAJOR crush on Julie, the dancer from Alabama. I mean, this girl seemed so innocent and was so cute, I just hoped to meet her one day so we could get married and raise a family. (Side note: I was at an airport once a number of years ago, and thought I saw her, and was absolutely star struck. I don't really know if it was her or not, but I like to pretend it was. In that pretend world, we connected at the airport and got married and raised a family. Moving on...)

I remember the fights about racism (Kevin vs. Julie), the party where they swapped identities, when Eric hooked up with some random, hot model at a shoot, when we learned that Norman was gay, Andre's video shoot, Heather and Julie going to a Nets game and meeting Kenny Anderson, Becky doing...well...something I guess, and when they stormed the control room and found out how it was all being made.

It was such a fun and exciting show to watch, and it felt so real at the time. Flash forward to 15 years later, and I feel like an old coot as I whine, "This new 'Real World' is awful - no substance, not real, too much hooking up, stereotypes, blah, blah, blah." But really, it's a different beast that it used to be, and to survive 15 years, you must change with the times. I am no longer the target audience and I must understand that. (Sorry, it's my new, personal mantra)

But what's amazing is what the "Real World" has done for me, personally (as well as a number of you who read this). When I sat there, watching this silly little semi-documentary show, little did I know it would lead to a creation of the modern "reality TV." And without reality TV, I wouldn't have a roof over my head right now. (Okay, that's a slight exaggeration, I know, but go with me here on this.) With the "Real World" came "Road Rules," which lead to "Eco Challenge," which lead to "Survivor," which lead to "Fear Factor," and so on, and so on, and so on. It's very silly to think that a little MTV semi-doc show about a couple of kids from Generation X could create and explosion, but it did.

So, Happy Birthday, "Real World!" While I don't really enjoy you as I once did, I still appreciate everything you've done. Now, about not being as good as you used to be, I do have some suggestions...maybe I'll wait until after your birthday week.

Okay, maybe one suggestion: that "Inferno" shit is stupid. That's not a suggestion so much as a statement. Pretend it's a suggestion and take it off the air. Thanks.


PVision said...

Lets not forget about RW giving birth to a little show called "Bug Juice" - aka, Real World at Summer Camp.

Good times.

Brian said...

My bad. Sorry BJer's. (I only forgot because I never worked on it).

Lisa said...

B-rian, thank you ONCE AGAIN for pointing out how old I AM, mr. i was a sophmore in high school... i was already out of college, had moved to LA and was working as a PA when I enjoyed the first incarnation of The Real World. Those were the days weren't they. although NOT the target audience, I still find myself tuning in. Though I do agree with your suggestion, I mean statement about the inferno. OK, back to my red wine - i mean really, isn't that what old people drink?! thanks my friend...

Michael said...

I interned for Bunim/Murray during the Boston season while we were out in LA.

If you see an episode from Boston with the credits still in it you will see my name really small and go by really quick!!!

Puck said...

As far as I'm concerned, the true grandparents of reality TV are "COPS" and "America's Funniest Home Videos" (Sorry Bunim/Murray!).

BTW Brian - VH1's "Where Are They Now" said that Julie is moonlighting at Kuma's in Ithaca, NY. I bet she'd sit and chat with you... if you bought her a Wild Turkey on the rocks.

Lisa said...

he was NOT 98!!!