Denver critic: Real World “exploits our city as a backdrop to sell products”

In an early post for his blog Get Real Denver last June, The Denver Post’s John Wenzel asked, “Is ‘The Real World’ good for Denver? Why are they really here?”

Now, almost four months after the show’s debut, he offers his answer: “it was a waste of time to think that it would somehow benefit Denver.”

In an essay for the paper, he calls the cast “ego-driven exhibitionists” who “fail to meet our already very low expectations,” and says that “the way Denver’s nightlife is portrayed — an endless circle of the same four or five LoDo bars [-- is] an insult that ignores 99 percent of our city’s vibrant culture.”

Wenzel also argues that the show’s “exploitation of the cast is obvious. Less obvious is how the show exploits our city as a backdrop to sell products and reinforce brand identity to its mostly teenage target audience.”

On Point: “Real World Denver” faked us out [Denver Post]

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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.