The jokes about The Real World not being real are painfully old, but alas, the series is asking for it. Today The Denver Post reports about preparations for the Denver edition, which starts filming this summer, and the plans make it clear that cast members don’t necessarily just walk into whatever bar or restaurant they want to.
An MTV spokesperson told the paper that producers have “received an enormous amount of interest from local businesses who want to participate in the show.” Such product placement is nothing new, but “representatives have met with several LoDo bars — including LoDo’s Bar & Grill and The Tavern Downtown — to discuss shooting scenes there.” In other words, they’re deciding in advance what places the cast go eat or drink.
Worse, those locations are asked to alter their environments to accommodate the cast and crew. The paper reports that “[p]articipating bars must agree to limit their crowds on certain nights to ensure space for the seven-member cast and camera, sound and security crews. Two managers said they have been told that could total more than 40 people.” So, other people will be inconvenienced, from those who can’t get in to the actual business itself.
One restaurateur is at least somewhat skeptical about agreeing. George Mannion of the LoDo Restaurant Group told the paper, “That’s one of the challenges — is it going to boost sales, or is it going to make it more difficult for us to do the same volume with all the cameras in people’s faces?”