Just for a little perspective, it seems necessary to acknowledge that The Real World is now, as of this year, old enough to drink. At 21 years of age, the show is so old that the people who are presently of age to be on the show probably have no memory of what it was like when it was in its earlier, arguably better years. While young people don’t remember that, those who do probably didn’t realize the show still existed. It’s one of the country’s oldest reality shows. And for the first time ever, it’s changing its format. Whether or not it’s for the better remains to be seen.
But first, here’s a look at the next new cast, courtesy of EW:
Entertainment Weekly posted the updates to the series, including the new title, which is Real World: Ex-Plosion. The site says the series will begin with seven (young, good-looking, single) strangers who move into a house together and begin to form bonds. In this case, it’s San Francisco, which is where Season 3 took place. The group of them will begin to bond for about a month, after which they’ll leave the house for a day trip and come back to find that their exes have moved into the house.
Ok, I admit, I’d kind of like to see that.
But the traditionalist — ok, older person — in me wishes The Real World would go back to its old format, with a focus on young people just starting out as adults and trying to figure out their future, while also broadening their perspectives on humanity by living with people who come from very different backgrounds. Ok, I get it, times have changed. The world’s a bit smaller thanks to the internet and all that, but the last time I watched The Real World in recent years, it didn’t look like the real world at all. A bunch of young and incredibly attractive people moved into a house in some paradise location and immediately started pairing off or partying (or both). It looked like an extended Spring Break, not reality. There wasn’t much emphasis on growing up or trying to find and achieve goals, which is what the old show was like, in addition to all of the drama in between. Of course, there is the old adage that sex sells, but the series was once a layered snapshot of America’s young adults. Romance, sex, drinking binges, fights and drama were all part of that, but not the whole thing.
This ex situation certainly has its train-wreck appeal, and that’s always a big sell for reality TV. I can rant all I want about how I miss the way The Real World is now, but if MTV really thought going back to the series’ roots would bring viewers back to the series, they probably wouldn’t be incorporating drama-twists. EW says in addition to the ex-twist, the houseguests will have smartphones this season, which will let them post updates while inside the house. The content is currently only being made available to each other and their loved ones while the series is in production, but MTV is planning to roll it out bit by bit when the series airs, which is expected to happen sometime next year.