If you haven't been watching the new season of MTV's Real World you probably think you're not missing out on much. You probably think it's the same old thing. Seven strangers picked to live in a house and get drunk and hook up and have occasionally introspective conversations about life and/or politics together, right? You are so wrong. You are so wrong it hurts.Now, if you've seen the commercials for this season you already know that a new twist was put in place. Producers got together a group of good looking young people, all of whom recently got out of long-term relationships. They let those people live together for 6 weeks under the premise that it was the same old Real World, and then BOOM! They moved all of their exes into the house (save for one girl, whose ex is legitimately a rock star and busy on tour). It has been an epic ride in epicry and you need to start tuning in. Here's a recap of the last episode. You're not ready:
At first it seems like a cheap trick on the side of the producers to, clearly, stir up drama and get more people watching. And, well, it's working. But it also seems like the cast members were carefully chosen. Now that the exes have moved in, all hell has not exactly broken loose. As far as reality TV stars go, it has to be said that these are intelligent, emotionally balanced (-ish) folks! They're not tearing each other to bits (just yet), but they are reacting as anyone with a pulse and a few hang-ups would if they were forced to live with someone about whom they have conflicted feelings.
But here's the other brilliant move Real World made this season. They are making it totally and completely obvious that we are watching a television show and it's very exciting. In the past, and on other reality shows, we have seen those precious moments when cameramen get caught in a shot, or (in the case of shows like the Real Housewives) security has to step in and regulate. Real World is taking it a step further and purposefully showing cameramen and producers interacting with the cast. Instead of making the confessionals sound like monologues, we now hear the producers asking questions and prompting cast members to think about what's happening on the show, and to explain themselves. It's a small detail, but it actually works to make the show feel more real and more honest.
In a way, this season seeks to redefine reality television by both playing with it in very dramatic way and drawing attention to the innate "fakeness" of it all. There are cameras everywhere, there are producers guiding thought and perhaps even influencing actions, and MTV is now unafraid to blatantly show this. Twenty-nine seasons in and the show is still trying to be innovative, which is definitely a good thing. Oh, and throw in the fact that someone may very well be pregnant (because, as we all know, there's nothing like a good ol' fashioned pregnancy plot twist) and you simply must tune in. Now.
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After 21 years of camera-fueled drama, MTV has decided to add another twist to The Real World formula. According to Entertainment Weekly, the 29th season of the popular reality show will star seven strangers living in a house together with... their exes.
Aptly called The Real World: Ex-Plosion, the show will start with seven (probably attractive) people from around the country living in an insanely gorgeous home — this season the show will take place in San Francisco — forcing them to bond with each other (or, you know, completely want to rip each other's hair out). But to the cast members' surprise, when they return from a day trip, they'll find their lovely exes living with them in their home. TWIST.
Now, while you might be bringing your palm to your forehead and wondering what society has come to, let's just pause and think about this for a second. If we had to deal with a 29th season of the show anyways, why not change things up a little bit? People initially got into the show because it was real life drama that they could watch and live through vicariously. But as the years have gone by, the drama has become somewhat predictable. So why not bring exes in? Almost everyone can relate to drama with exes (unfortunately). And what better way for the once-couples to get complete closure (or have post-break-up sex) than on a TV show watched by millions of people? Perfect.
“When we cast people we usually always try to cast single people,” said Jonathan Murray, the co-creator of the reality show. “And they’d say they were single during the casting process. Then the moment they arrived at the house suddenly their ex was back in their life. I don’t know if it’s a safety blanket or that we’re never really done with our exes. When you talk about the age of our cast, their ex is often their first love — they play a huge role in their life.” Nicely played, Murray. Nicely played.
But hey, as long as there's still a hot tub to heat up excessive, juicy gossip in, the show won't be that different.
Seven single strangers, all of whom have complicated relationships with their exes, move into a house in San Francisco to embark on this journey to embrace their new-found freedom. Things take a dramatic turn when the exes of the original seven roommates move in. This new living arrangement throws a wrench in the roommates' love lives as jealousy, scandal, fights, hookups, breakups and makeups take over the house, and everyone has to learn to live with one another.