|The Real World, New York, Season 1 (1992) [Photo Source: MTV.com]|
There was a time when I did not miss an episode of The Real World. It was the first reality show of it's kind spawning an entire Reality TV genre back in 1992. I watched enthralled by this concept of a show about real people living real lives. I remember when those seven strangers picked to live in a house had dreams like dancing, modeling and acting. They had stories to tell, things to do and causes to support. Sure there were altercations and drama drove ratings but it felt like the show at least had a story to tell. My oh my how it has changed. Now, they just hang out, get in fights, party, drink, have sex in hot tubs and quite often get kicked off of the show. Most of them really should be ashamed of themselves. How do you hold your head high in public and go out for a job in the actual "Real World" after having something like that broadcast on television?. Well, maybe you don't and that's why you see so many former cast members recycled through the spin off challenge shows for years and years on end. Hey, maybe they have the right idea. It has to be funner then a regular old office job.
I quit watching it after the outrageous first Las Vegas season (Season 12, 2002) and gave it one more try when it moved to San Diego in 2004. Just because I live here. That was the ONLY thing that got me to tune in. They even had them hold down jobs to try to give them some sort of purpose I guess, but even that could not disguise the overall pointlessness of it. Well, the show came back to San Diego for it's 26th season. Yes, Season 26!!! I thought it would be cool to see my city on TV again and maybe get back into it so I thought about watching it for about 2 seconds, twice. But ultimately, I could not bring myself to do it. I've been known to enjoy more then a few ridiculous reality TV shows but I have my limits. If I want to see that kind of drama I can watch Basketball Wives which is at least made up of people my age instead of teenagers. The last "coming soon" clip of The Real World I happened to see featured several of the cast members wearing boxers and physically fighting each other. That's when I knew I made the right decision to skip it and every other season that I haven't watched. I've pretty much"aged out" of it.
What I really loved most about Reality TV when they first started to pop up everywhere was the chance to take a peak inside lives of regular people similar to or very different from myself. I find it interesting to see how other people live and to watch their stories play out. MTV still has some reality shows I like. I'm really enjoying the Chelsea Settles Show. I also watch I Used to Be Fat, True Life and Teen Mom. I like watching shows about people pursuing dreams, embarking on a new journey or overcoming an obstacle. I am still a huge long time fan of America's Next Top Model with all of it's cat fights. I have really gotten into Dance Mom's where the mom's are yelling and arguing constantly. Those shows are still full of people behaving badly but at least it's about people DOING something with some sort of story to tell. Now they often just cast a bunch of people together who either don't know each other or don't like each other, hope for lots of drama and call it a show. Which works out fine in the end because drama sells and there really is something to suit the tastes and tolerance levels of all ages and interests. And you don't get to season 26 of any show without doing something right.
You know you are old when you can no longer stomach the raunchy antics and immature behavior displayed by the typical cast of The Real World. There may have been something real about it when it first started out but not anymore; or maybe I'm just too old to see it.