I have watched The Real World since the very first episode aired. I watched as Julie & Kevin fought, as Eric tried to get in Julie's pants, when Heather was questioned about being a drug dealer, and Becky had an affair with a crew member. I watched Tami utter the line, "It wasn't not funny!" while Beth egged her on, still hear Jon twang "true stoooraayy," and wonder if Dominic is passed out on the beach. I can't pass Lombard Street without looking for the house, even though it burned down, and still look for Puck when I pass a bike messenger.
Things started to change with Miami, because the London season was so boring. They got jobs together, and it really wasn't about The Real World anymore...gone were the days of Cori pounding the pavement, literally, looking for coffee shop jobs on Polk Street, or Irene the cop who had a life outside of the house. I still watched, through Boston, Seattle, then Hawaii. And yes, I just listed those all from memory.
The point? This show has been, for better or worse, and part of my life for almost 18 years now. Whoa...18 years. I'll admit...when I turned too old for the Real World, I got a little sad. Though, thinking about it, I am so glad my early 20s were not caught on camera. I can make fun of these tools, but, I was probably just as big a one (I am also thankful there were no cell phones, caller ID, text messaging, Facebook, or YouTube when I was in my early 20s...seriously thankful)
As I get older, I can't help wondering when I will be able to turn off this show. I thought perhaps last season, when they went back to New York...again...and had the most boring cast, a few of whom I just wanted to shake, they were so attention-whorey. But, that couldn't even turn me off completely.
Now we're in Washington, D.C., and I had real hopes that there would be some intelligent life there. And we were off to a good start -- the first episode, there was a discussion about religion and conservative values, and a question was posed, something along the lines of, "Do you think I am narrow-minded because I am religious, or am I religious because I am narrow minded." This was asked during a rather heated argument, where some "liberal" dude was attacking a guy who felt a great connection with God and his religion.
As a small aside, this guy has been one of the more interesting ones. We are watching him struggle to accept his sexuality, and come to terms with what that means in terms of his belief system...and also understanding that he needs to be, and can be, comfortable with himself. This has been kind of interesting.
At any rate, after that initial discussion, I thought it could be a good one. I thought, wow, these kids may be semi-intelligent. But then the "I just tell it like it is" dude (see also: "liberal" dude who can't handle dissenting opinions) told a girl she was fat. You know, in the spirit of keeping it real. Then the Obama girl made out with the bi-guy, then cried about poor her that she felt duped or something. Then the girl from a cult who is "like a dude" because she can have sex and not want a relationship...in short, every stereotype is still alive in TRW! But this week's episode took the cake for me. The "I have to be funny all the time, but not as gross as Puck" dude and the Obama girl are having a flirty, pulling-pigtails type relationship. Then she puts pizza in his bed (which...1. way to waste pizza. FAIL #1, and 2., if you do that, expect retaliation. FAIL #2). He returns the favor by smearing pizza in hers (and SERIOUSLY, what is UP with wasting good food?!). Then she gets mad, gets in his face, and he kind of shoves the pizza at her.
All of a sudden, she feels it is inappropriate and is threatened in her own home.
WTF?! It was thisclose to a Tami/David "It wasn't NOT funny" situation. But even MORE ridiculous, and an even bigger needy attention moment. I wanted to reach through the screen, make the girl sit down, and eat an entire pizza in front of her and not share explain to her that actions have consequences, and one day she'll look at this moment and feel completely stupid. Thinking about it, I want to do that to most of TRWers in the past 5 or so seasons.
So it's stupid. Is it stupid enough for me to stop watching it? I am not sure. I don't know what it is about this show that keeps me hooked. It's a bad habit I just can't quit.