Forget Skins: Real World Las Vegas 2’s trailer shows the real reason MTV should be ashamed

All of the fake controversy over MTV’s scripted series Skins, a format imported from the UK, is really ridiculous if you think about what the network has actually been airing for the last decade or so, ever since The Real World Las Vegas turned the franchise a hard 90 degrees into full-throttle debauchery, violence, and stupidity. Seriously, just tune into a Challenge sometime when people arrive on location, get trashed, and punch each other in the brain immediately for no reason at all.

The show is returning to Las Vegas for its 25th season (its creator told me that they’ve actually run out of cities), and includes an apparently straight gay porn star. And the season looks like it’ll offer more of the same, as the trailer plays up sex and violence.

Will anyone care? Probably not, because we’ve become desensitized to this nonsense. It’s so obnoxious that collectively, we freak out more about a bare ass on Skins than a man acting like he’s about to punch a woman in the face as he slams his fist into a painting on the wall instead.

People magazine ran the preview of the new season in advance of its debut after Jersey Shore last night, and probably because they’re basically acting as MTV’s publicists, says that it “shows all the fun — and drama! — you’d expect from the city: pool parties, nightclubs, gambling, sex, fights, and destroyed hotel rooms.”

It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but it’s not “fun.” And what it really shows is what happens when a franchise flies off the tracks and disappears into an abyss of violence, over-acting, sexuality, and drunkenness instead of real-life drama and conflict resulting from an entertaining combination of different degrees of ambition, maturity, worldliness, and ideology.

Just watch:

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.