The 1992 premiere of MTV’s The Real World is credited with kick-starting fishbowl reality television. Since then, the effects of the genre — some good, lots bad — can be seen everywhere. In honor of the franchise’s 25th season (The Real World: Las Vegas), we enlisted co-creator Jonathan Murray to apologize for what his little show hath wrought.
The demise of the music video.
”We get blamed for that all the time,” Murray says. ”When The Real World came on in 1992, MTV was 90 percent music videos. Gradually, the music videos went away. They just couldn’t get the kind of ratings that The Real World got.”
The misappropriation of the confessional.
”I would like to apologize to the Catholic Church. Quite honestly, we stole the confessional from them and started using it on the second season,” Murray says.
The parents of kids who applied to The Real World instead of college.
”There was a period where we would have [as many] people applying to The Real World as Harvard would have applying for undergrad. In the early years, we would get anywhere from 13,000 to 15,000 applicants.”
The decline of Western civilization.
”That has been blamed on reality TV,” Murray admits. ”But that’s too easy. I do believe that some stories are better told on reality TV than in scripted form, but I’ll still apologize.”