MTV Gets Real With College Life

MTV’s got a bunch of new programs set to premiere in 2009. One of them is supposed to shed light on what college life is really like from the perspective of a bunch of freshman at the University of Wisconsin. MTV claims, “This is not reality… this is real.” I’m reserving judgment on that claim until the series airs but from the way MTV describes it, the series will be a genuine attempt at giving viewers a realistic view of college life.

College Life is set to be completely self-produced. That means no directors or producers digging through the footage to find the juiciest bits to mash together.

Here’s what MTV released about the series: “ This is not reality… This is real. We’ve taken away the producers, directors and camera ops to give viewers College Life -- a completely self-produced, groundbreaking series following students as they embark on their freshman year of school in a way never before seen on television. Shot at the University of Wisconsin, Madison by the students themselves, College Life gives viewers a raw and unpolished intimate look at college kids telling their own honest stories in their own way. From hookups to breakups, from the pressure to make good grades to experiencing homesickness, College Life delivers the next level of reality access.”

Here’s the thing. How “real” do people really act when they know they’re being filmed? Oh sure, there are always those few stand-out individuals that are so ok with themselves that they’d act the same whether the camera was on them or not, but I’d say those people are in the minority. Even when you take away the producers and directors, you still have the fact that these are college kids who know there’s a camera on them and I’m assuming, realize that at least some of the footage is going to be aired on MTV. While I’m not saying it won’t be entertaining to watch, especially if the students putting the footage together are willing to show the good stuff and not just the footage that won’t make them look bad, but I’m not sure I buy the full “real”-ness thing that MTV is promising.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site. She an expert in all things Harry Potter, books from a variety of genres (sci-fi, mystery, horror, YA, drama, romance -- anything with a great story and interesting characters.), watching Big Brother, frequently rewatching The Office, listening to Taylor Swift, and playing The Sims.