MTV’s next season of nine-year-old documentary series True Life returns tonight with an episode titled “I’m Addicted to Crystal Meth.” The episode follows “several young people whose lives have been taken over by the drug and will explore the challenges they face trying to rid themselves of their addiction,” according to MTV’s site.
Other episodes this season include “I’m Jealous of My Sibling,” “I’m a Staten Island Girl,” and “Shit I Have Fucking Tourette’s Syndrome Dammit.” (Okay, the real title does not include any profanity.)
MTV’s executive VP of news and documentaries notes that the show’s approach is different than traditional documentaries. “We’re capturing the authentic behavior of our audience in the moment that they are going through it. … the people in our shows are going through things in their lives that they don’t know the outcome of,” Dave Sirulnick tells the New York Times, which profiles the show.
To film the show, MTV doesn’t use large crews, and “will shoot up to 150 hours of video over a period of months to get the 43 minutes of material that makes it into the final program,” the Times reports. MTV’s Marshall Eisen says, “We couldn’t do this if we had to rely on the old equipment. ‘True Life’ works because we’re fly-on-the-wall observers. Intimacy is so important to these shows.”