Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival features Hollywood cast tonight; is this season better?

The cast of The Real World Hollywood will appear tonight as part of the Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival. Their show is at 8 p.m. PT and costs $10,

The Armando Show w/ The cast of The Real World Hollywood, according to the festival’s web site, “begins with one suggestion from the audience, which is then interpreted by that night’s Armando (frequently a celebrity guest) through a personal and truthful improvised monologue,” and then “a cast composed of veteran Chicago and Los Angeles alumni perform scenes which, in turn inspire a response from Armando.”

The cast list doesn’t include any of the show’s cast members, so it’s unclear what their role is. At the very least, they’re included in a roster of very funny people.

Speaking of this season, I only watched the first episode, which wasn’t enough to hook me back into the series or convince me it was any different than recent seasons. But some people have told me that it is, as originally promised, different than earlier seasons, with–gasp!–even some depth.

In The Los Angeles Times, Jon Caramanica argues that point, saying that this season “is the most vivid, engaging and artful in years, the first time in recent memory that the typical cast of misfits has generated something approximating genuine pathos.” The hour-long format–the show switched this season to half as many episodes with twice as much time, and will continue that next season–has also helped, he says. Episodes “are dizzying, cramming a spectacular amount of story into each show,” and says this season is “a throwback to the show’s early days, when it seemed like ‘The Real World’ was mere intrusion into lives already in progress.”

Some of his evidence doesn’t seem that compelling–from the hot tub orgy to Greg’s arrogant ridiculousness (he calls women “associates,” among other things)–and just watching some of the Real World Dailies clips makes this season seem even worse than others. But out of context, most of the early Real World shenanigans would also make the show seem shallow. Maybe it’s worth a second look.

Schedule [Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival]
‘Real World’ actually gets real [Los Angeles Times]