On May 21, 1992, 25 years ago today, the first widely used web browser, Netscape, wouldn’t be released for another two years. Bill Clinton had not yet won the Democratic primary. The Mall of America wouldn’t open for another three months. Jeff Probst was 30 years old, and wouldn’t host Rock & Roll Jeopardy for another six years.
That was the day The Real World debuted on MTV, starting a television revolution that has lasted for a quarter century and shows no sign of stopping.
Yes, it’s been a whole five years since the show turned 20, and 10 years since it turned 15, both occasions I memorialized here. Why keep pointing out the anniversary? It’s moments like this that mark the passage of time the most dramatically for me; wasn’t it just yesterday that I eagerly awaiting my next issue of Entertainment Weekly to read about the new season of The Real World?
In May of 1992, I was 14, and wouldn’t watch The Real World for more than a year. It’s now been 17 years since I finished recapping The Real World Hawaii, was fired from that job, and started reality blurred.
To mark the anniversary, you can:
- browse the The Real World cast contract, to see what people give up to be on the show.
- read the story of the episode that hooked me on the show.
- watch the first episode for free.
- or buy season one on DVD, unfortunately without the original music.
How the show has changed through the years
Some highlights from reality blurred‘s archives:
- My interview with Real World creator Jon Murray about the show’s evolution
- The MTV show survived by alienating its original fans by refusing to age with them
- How Delicious Deliveries is to blame for alienating its original fans
- Why The Real World keeps returning to the same cities
- The Real World’s increasing violence, decreasing consequences
- Real World Seattle Irene’s must-read indictment of Real World, MTV, and reality TV’s evolution
- Browse every reality blurred story ever about The Real World.