The Real World Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: Jon Brennan, Cynthia Roberts, Dan Renzi
  • Summary: "This is the true story of seven strangers picked to live in a house and have their lives taped. Find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. The Real World..."

    How many times have we heard those words? The Real World was the first reality show on tv,
    premiering in 1992. It is still on the air, about to air it's 21st season, set in Brooklyn. When The Real World was created, it created a new genre of television that years later would be copied by other networks and become almost an obsession around the world. MTV originally wanted to make a soap opera, but the costs were too high, so they thought "what if we could get rid of writers, and scripts, and sets?". That resulted on the first Real World, set in NY neighborhood of SoHo, Manhattan, where 7 people that had never met before had to live in a house together for some time.

    As the years went by, The Real World slowly gained its shape and space. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Miami, Boston, Seattle, Hawaii, New Orleans, Chicago, Las Vegas, Paris, San Diego, Philadelphia, Austin, Key West, Denver, Sydney and now Hollywood...all these locations have hosted the show. Auditions to be a cast member today attract hundreds of thousands of people in hopes to be one of the strangers in the house. Living rent-free for 6 months in a very hip house with very interesting (and often annoying) roommates, and being on an internationally broadcast tv show is quite attractive to people in their late teens/early 20s.

    How much of the show is actually true we'll never know. A lot of what we see on tv is edited to make it look like it all happened in a certain timeline. All the houses have cameras everywhere, and there's a clause in the contract of each housemate that says they're not allowed to go places where the cameras are not allowed in. And all the sounds are taped in a separate way, so, according to Melissa from New Orleans, a lot of times when they're talking and you can only see the back of their heads, the words you hear might not be the words they actually said at the time. Edited or not, none of the scenes aired on the show are acted. They all happened, without scripts.

    Each cast member receives around $250 per week, plus their house expenses paid (not including food. That's why every time a parent comes over, they cook). Anything else they want, they have to pay for. Plus, they don't get to take any of all the cool stuff you see in the house.

    Today, The Real World is shown in several countries, and local versions of the show have already been made. Loving it or hating it, you just know it's here. The Real World: the first and original reality show.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Reality
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 6
  2. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: John Freeman
    Jul 8, 2013
    It makes for irresistible, cooler-than-cool TV. [9 Jul 1996]
  2. Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Jul 8, 2013
    The show's basic appeal is still there. ... But just as the current generation of MTV veejays have adopted the same annoyingly aloof assembly-line attitude, so have the current participants in "The Real World," by watching MTV for years, decided how to present themselves. [9 Jul 1996]
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 12, 2013
    In an effort to perk up the show, Real executive producers Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jon Murray have decreed that this year's crew will have to start up their own business. Big mistake. Whatever remaining allure The Real World possesses derives from its fantasy aspect — free house, free-floating surrogate family.
  4. Reviewed by: Steve Johnson
    Jul 8, 2013
    But the problem with "Real World" hasn't been the absence of a goal, mercenary or otherwise. It's been an increasingly obvious self-seriousness and lack of self-awareness, traits the show shares with many of its participants. ... Forcing a business startup will surely force a lot of the series' requisite conflict, but it seems as artificial a notion as much of the Miami Beach architecture. [10 Jul 1996]
  5. Reviewed by: Renee Graham
    Jul 8, 2013
    This once-sleek vehicle for twentysomething angst has pretty much run out of gas. [10 Jul 1996]
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Queenan
    Jun 26, 2013
    The Real World is an insult to anyone who lives in the real world.

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