Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Not So Real World

As promised, I am updating my blog more regularly so I can keep you abreast of the events of my life, my thoughts, and how I feel about television shows. I’ve decided I’m going to try to update twice a week—Sunday or Monday and Thursday. I also would appreciate your feedback in the comments section. Feel free to compliment/criticize my writing or subject matter, or feel free to suggest topics about which you’d like me to opine.

I want to let you know about why I choose to write about television so much. You all know my favorite topic is my favorite show. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then just scroll down and read the posts with the pictures of LC and Kristin. I know I also talk a great deal about reality TV, specifically shows on MTV, Video Hits 1, and E!, but I do this for your benefit. I think these are reality shows that have a strong fan base. How many people do you know that haven’t seen Laguna Beach, Cribs, or Hogan Knows Best? I also write about some lesser watched shows on E! like Filthy Rich Cattle Drive and The Girls Next Door just because I want to venture outside of the MTV/VH1 reality realm. I pretty much refuse to watch any network reality TV because it is so censored. The only exceptions are Survivor and The Apprentice, but I’ll only watch those sporadically.

At this point you may be asking yourselves (or not…), “Why doesn’t he write about The Real World?” My answer to that question is that The Real World has evolved into an extra long segment that MTV would have as a Spring Break special. These people are no longer real, rather, they are just playing characters. (NOTE: This argument will sound familiar if you’ve read Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, to which I have referred in previous posts, but rest assured that I am not trying to plagiarize or rip off Chuck Klosterman.) The last season of The Real World that even seemed real to me was the Seattle season. Don’t ask me to put into words why I feel that way, but I just do. Every season since from Hawaii onward has the same characters each season. Choose three males and four females from the following list and you’ll have a cast: militant black man, aspiring musician black man, general normal black man, frat guy 1, frat guy 2, gay guy, bisexual guy, slutty brunette who doesn’t think she’s slutty, slutty blonde who knows she’s slutty, quiet reserved girl who is never on camera, really cute Asian girl with strict Asian parents, goth/punk looking chick, angry black woman, and the female virgin. I’d give examples of each of these, but you all know who fits into these categories.

If you flashback to all the earlier seasons, there was such an eclectic mix of characters. It was great. Puck the Idiot, The Cowboy, The Black Chick Who Rapped, The Private Eye from Miami who had a Threesome, the Guy Who Died from AIDS, The Latina, and last but definitely not least…The Model—Eric Nies. This is all I can name because I was too young to remember everyone and because every season had such a motley crew. These earlier seasons did actually have real people aspiring to make it in The Real World. There were lawyers, musicians, and private investigators. These were real people. I doubt many of the earlier people made too much money off being on the show. Actually, I know this because I have seen Puck’s crib.

Nowadays, all you get from The Real World is a bunch of melodramatic twenty-somethings who bitch about how they think their dad’s/mom’s/etc neglect/abuse/alcoholism/etc affects the way they deal with love/conflict/alcohol/etc. What gave these people the idea that they are able to psychoanalyze themselves? Not only do they psychoanalyze themselves, but they do it drunk as hell. I feel like the plot of every show revolves around alcohol in one way or another. I love alcohol as much as the next person, but The Real World has started relying on it to make the show. Part of me feels like they have a contract with several alcohol distributorships to get liquor and beer in bulk.

Having dissed all of the season from Hawaii to the present, I must say that I do thoroughly enjoy The Real World/Road Rules Challenges. These shows are brilliant. I love these shows because I get to see all these people battle for their yearly income. They just get drunk, hook up, pretend to be friends, compete against one another, and then vote each other off. What if The Miz stopped appearing on these challenges? Do you think he’d have to go on welfare? It’s an interesting thought. I wish some economist did a survey of these people’s incomes and the source of that income. I’d be willing to bet my life that at least 90% is from MTV…well not my life, but maybe a month’s salary.

I will leave you on that note. I am off to New York this weekend to relax and enjoy the company of others. Have a lovely Labor Day Weekend and remember to leave feedback.

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