Real World’s first two seasons are on Hulu Plus

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.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.