''Road Rules'' is MTV's newest reality TV show
Cross The Real World with Albert Brooks’ Lost in America, MTV Sports, and Mission: Impossible and you get Road Rules, the new series from Real World creators Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jon Murray. The concept: Five strangers tool around the U.S. in a Winnebago, embarking on a string of adventures dictated by a voice on a tape recorder. ”It’s based on the time when Dominic, Tami, and Jon were in a Winnebago coming across the country to kick off The Real World in Los Angeles,” says Murray. ”We said, ‘There’s a show in here somewhere.”’
The Roadsters, most of whom had originally applied to be roommates on Real World, are: Mark, 23, a Florida frat boy; Kit (not to be confused with Real World‘s Kat), 24, an Atlanta party girl; Allison, 21, a Long Island med-school hopeful; Los (short for Carlos), 21, an aspiring filmmaker from Howard University; and Shelly, 19, a heavily tattooed Native American metalhead.
Their exploits range from the sublime (whitewater rafting, dogsled racing) to the ridiculous (visiting a trailer park for elderly nudists). ”You just haven’t lived until you’ve played horseshoes with an 80-year-old naked man,” says Kit. ”It gives new meaning to the word shrinkage.”
The participants didn’t shrink from any of their physical assignments, however. ”The only thing that freaked me out was when we went skydiving, and my chute and my reserve chute wouldn’t pull,” says Mark, who was ultimately saved by an automatic backup mechanism that forced his chute to open. ”I jumped last and landed on the ground a minute and a half before anyone else.”
Still, the Road‘s most terrifying moments may have come while trying to maneuver the massive Winnebago on the streets of America. ”It was horrible,” recalls Shelly. ”I was scared of that thing. I told the director, ‘Next time, test-drive this sucker.”’
If Road Rules matches the runaway success of The Real World, expect to see future seasons set in new locales. ”We’ve even talked about doing a road trip through Europe,” says Murray. ”We just need to get a thinner Winnebago for the narrower streets.”