The 25th season of MTV’s stalwart reality series The Real World premiered last night, and while viewing, the only thing I could think was: Wow, this is so, so tame. I think that reaction stems mostly from the fact that other reality shows — namely things like network sibling Jersey Shore (which is basically a themed riff on The Real World) or even Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise — garner so much more buzz. Out of fairness to The Real World, I have to note that it was only just the first episode. The sometimes-tired introductions and casting bits must happen. (Although they were basically the same introductions we’ve seen before: The sheltered boy Adam, the hardened city girl Naomi, etc.)
There’s no doubt in my mind that things will certainly heat up as the season marches on — they always do — but you have to wonder whether a show like The Real World will ever recapture the kind of buzzy ridiculousness that its network sibling Jersey Shore has. There was a point in time where the antics of a group of strangers “picked to live in a house” garnered the kind of attention that other reality shows do now. But are three-way kisses, clubbing, and revelations about being a former porn star in Las Vegas (!) really that original anymore?
I was planning to write all about how Jersey Shore is so much more creative and does such different things with its reality show platform. But read those three things I cited again: three-way kisses, clubbing, and porn-star revelations. These are all things that would totally play into the plot on Jersey Shore. So, then, the question becomes: What is it really that makes The Real World seem tame? Is it the lack of a lightning-rod like the one-of-a-kind Snooki? Is it because we’ve seen 25 seasons of nearly the same thing and the Shore crew are new(ish)? Or are we more invested in Jersey Shore because the storylines between the nutty characters continue for more than just one season? Why, oh why, is Jersey Shore more enticing, when you could argue that it’s basically a rip-off of The Real World?
Can you explain to me, viewers? What do you think? Did you watch the premiere of the new Las Vegas season? Sound off below, please.
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky