The Real World turns 25 tonight, an unapologetic, drunken shadow of its former self

The Real World has been on the air for 19 years, but it turns 25 tonight with the debut of The Real World Las Vegas, yet another season named as if the previous season set in the same city never existed. (Here’s why it now recycles cities.)

Yes, the show is so old it will soon no longer be able to apply for itself. MTV keeps ordering seasons because while it’s no Jersey Shore ratings monster, it appeals to its demographic, which is perhaps why some of us who grew up with the show now find it repulsive.

Earlier seasons that I’m nostalgic for are far from being free of drama, stupidity, or immaturity–after all, they hosted Tami and David’s fight, Irene’s meltdown, and Montana giving wine to a kid, among other things–but those things came from cast members with actual lives and jobs and careers beyond being aspiring famewhores. (This season, the one person with a career, gay porn star Dustin, may not ever be identified as a porn star; at least, his bio completely ignores it.)

Has the show devolved into a drunken shadow of its former self, or have we just outgrown it? I think it’s both, and explain why in this msnbc.com essay.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.