With this weekend’s rebroadcast of An American Family, it’s a good time to rediscover more of reality TV’s roots. While the PBS documentary series laid the groundwork, MTV and Bunim-Murray’s The Real World is the show that changed everything 20 years later, and gave us everything from confessional interviews to the creation of an artificial context in which real people interacted.
A lot of us lament where the show has gone since then, either because we’ve outgrown it, we no longer connect with the casts’ lives, or the show has devolved into a parody of itself–or all three. But now we can actually watch it to see if our memories are accurate.
That’s because Hulu Plus–which offers a free one-week subscription, upped to one month if you have an .edu address–is now showing the first two seasons, which were set in New York City and Los Angeles. Just watch the first couple minutes of season one and see if you’re not slammed in the face with nostalgia.
For some reason, the first episode of season two isn’t available, perhaps because of rights issues (Hulu only says “We will continue to work with our content partners to make this available”). That’s disappointing because the first episode features Tami and Dominic picking up Jon in an RV and driving to L.A., which was the inspiration for Road Rules.