The Real World Denver debuts Wednesday

The 18th season of The Real World debuts Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET (there are also episodes scheduled at 8 and 9, although it’s unclear as of now if those are repeats of the one-hour premiere or three different back-to-back episodes). Wednesday is a new night for the series as MTV continues to shuffle its reality series around to different nights.

There’s no better preview for this season, The Real World Denver, than 10 words of Alynda Wheat’s single-sentence summary from this week’s Entertainment Weekly: “…at higher altitudes they get drunk and slutty even faster.”

That’s basically what we already know: the cast was drunk most of the time, and they are really good at pretending to hook up in ways they know will titillate the audience. They’ll also “work” for Outward Bound, but please.

An MTV press release spoils the vacation location and promises that “all is not well in the house this season when clashes over race, religion and homosexuality come to a head. And tensions rise when quick hook-ups and inter-cast romances complicate matters.” That sounds not familiar at all.

MTV is giving viewers a chance to “deeply engage” with the show and cast, although not in a way that will require penicillin. For the first time, some episodes will be followed by a live after-show on MTV.com, although Denver cast members will appear via “call-ins” only; “Real World alumni [will appear] as weekly guests,” according to MTV. Also online will be video of “this seasons most hasty hook-ups,” plus “High Altitude/Bad Attitude, a special extended trailer that mashes beautiful shots of Colorado wilderness with the most heated fights of the season.” I’m sure that’s exactly what Denver’s residents were hoping for when they learned they’d be hosting the series.

By the way, The Rocky Mountain News takes a look at the show’s entire 17-season history so far, and clearly and humorously marks the point at which it officially began to slide beyond the point of no return into absurdity and ridiculousness: in Las Vegas, where the show officially became about drinking, hooking up, and fighting, and not much else. It’s kind of tragic, really.

The Real World Denver [MTV]
MTV Gives “Real World” Fans More Content Than Ever Before to Deeply Engage with “The Real World: Denver” [MTV press release]
A year-by-year look at the Real World [Rocky Mountain News]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.