On last night’s episode of The Real World Brooklyn, the cast screened a fictional film based on the life of a previous cast member, Pedro Zamora, the gay Real World San Francisco cast member who was HIV positive.
As part of their work as volunteers for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual &
Transgender Community Center, the current cast held a screening of the “Pedro,” which debuts April 1 at 8 p.m. ET on MTV and Logo and was written by written by Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black.
They didn’t do a great job of getting people to attend, as only about half of the seats were filled. “I think they’re still trying to figure out what this whole thing is,” Chet said, and he may have stumbled upon the biopic’s real problem. The film includes fictionalized scenes of something that actually broadcast 15 years ago this summer, and that begs the question of why MTV felt the need to dramatize something many of us actually watched–and dramatize it as poorly as they’ve apparently done, based upon the trailer (below).
The preview for Pedro: The Movie includes a lot of recreations from the actual series, and those inevitably fall flat. The acting in those is bad (the Puck stand-in is particularly weak) and the scenes lack the weight that Pedro’s story had when he was on TV in 1994. Why not use actual footage, or why bother to even try to re-tell the parts of the story that were broadcast? Any biopic about someone who’s appeared in the media probably has to struggle with these sorts of questions, but considering that MTV could re-air the season, or even dig up footage that we’ve never seen, it’s strange that they’d go this route.
Maybe that’s because they realize none of the current seasons come anywhere close to the drama and reality that those early seasons had? Anyway, I’m judging it solely on the trailer, which is probably unfair.
By the way, another version of Pedro’s story, Judd Winick’s graphic novel Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned, will be re-issued at the end of this month.