Jon Murray says Real World cast members “are different, yet they are the same”

Jonathan Murray, the executive producer and co-creator of The Real World, talks about the evolution of his show, and insists that it’s fundamentally the same now as it was in the early 1990s.

The cast members “are different, yet they are the same. You still have kids trying to figure out their life and find meaning,” he told the Boston Herald. He also says that newer cast members don’t have more sex than previous ones. “It isn’t they are hooking up more; they were just more cautious,” he said.

There’s one difference, though: “I think that young people have become much more comfortable with cameras around. This is a generation who grew up with parents shooting home videos of them. There’s definitely a greater comfort level with having cameras around in intimate situations.”

Maybe I just need to sit down and watch all 20 seasons again, and I’m also not sure exactly what kind of argument he’s making with this the-same-but-different crap, but in my mind, there’s not even a question that the show is 180 degrees different than what it used to be. If its own creator’s insistence that not much has changed doesn’t sound odd enough, he says that despite casting wannabe entertainers this season, they do not cast people who want to “use their … status” from the show to advance their careers.

Murray said, “Our job casting the show is looking for someone to come to the show to find people who want to live with people who are different from themselves, not just hang out in a hot tub and use their ‘Real World’ status to get to the front of the line.” If that’s your job, you don’t seem to be doing a very good job with it, especially since the Challenge shows are like a halfway house for the wannabe stars that the show produces.

Producer: Can’t make this stuff up [Boston Herald]

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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.