It all feels a bit too soon.
Of the cities that spawned multiple years, “The Real World” spent seasons one, 10 and 21 in New York. Seasons two and 20 were based in L.A.. Seasons three and 29 took place in San Francisco. And seasons 11 and 30 were housed in Chicago.
That’s plenty of time apart.
But the Hard Rock has barely had time to clean up the destruction from the previous visit, during which cast member Adam Royer was evicted and charged for damages to the suite. According to MTV, the hotel sent him a bill for $3,105 for replacements and repairs, including a “biohazard deep clean.”
But, as they say, any publicity is good publicity, and that’s something “The Real World” has struggled with in recent years. As ratings slipped, the past two seasons have been the stuff of gimmicks. “Real World: Ex-Plosion” had cast members’ former lovers move into the house, while “Real World: Skeletons” featured different visitors each week confronting a roommate over something from his past.
Still, it would be hard for any twist to top the show’s first trip to Las Vegas. That was the season when producers finally seemed to realize that they’d get more drama if they marinated their stars in booze. This led to the then-shocking bathtub threeway with Steven, Trishelle and Brynn that christened the suite.
Talking about his season after the five-year reunion, Steven Hill admitted, “We ruined ‘The Real World.’ “
“When ‘The Real World’ started,” he said, remembering benchmarks like confrontations over race and the AIDS activism of the late Pedro Zamora, “it was really something relevant. And now it’s really not. It’s the same thing over and over again. It’s sex and drinking and fighting and stuff like that.”
“I think the show is now dumbed down,” he said, long before the arrival of the gimmicks, “and it’s sad.”