Real World refocuses on drunken sex and fighting, ignores first New Orleans season

The Real World New Orleans debuts next week, and because DC was the lowest-rated season ever despite its drunken violence, the show will refocus on the lowest common denominator: “sluts and nuts,” as The Washington Post’s Lisa de Moraes awesomely describes it. As de Moraes points out, MTV’s cast bios make that perfectly clear.

So does the preview trailer MTV released, and executive producer Jon Murray–who has long lost touch with the series that he created–tries to justify this shift as pandering to his audience, as if that’s better.

“What our audience wants is. … stories that relate to them. They don’t want esoteric discussions. … In that first Washington, D.C., episode, there was a discussion of religion, and what we heard back was, ‘If I wanted to hear a discussion about religion, I’d tune in to CNN,'” he told the paper.

The change is most evident in the show’s title: The Real World New Orleans. MTV’s decision to pretend as if the first New Orleans season never happened is not only insulting for those of us who used to watch the series when it didn’t suck so much, but also clearly indicates that they have zero expectation that anyone over the age of 24 is watching this shit any more. After all, first-year college students and high school seniors were 10 when the first New Orleans season aired.

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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.