Almost 22 years have passed since MTV aired The Real World Hawaii, a season that is still close to my heart because it was the first reality show I recapped. So in December, when cast member Amaya Brecher revealed that MTV wanted to reunite her season, I perked up.
“They’re trying to get us to do a 2 week reunion show for Real World Hawaii. Apparently, someone thinks a bunch of 40-something people, who mostly lead quiet lives, could offer compelling content. I disagree…” she tweeted.
A few days later, Amaya later tweeted, “I most likely single-handedly killed any prospect of this happening for my season by tweeting about it.” She also noted that, “If we had monthly stimulus checks during this pandemᎥc (like other developed countries), ancient reality stars wouldn’t have to consider taking part in risky reunion shows.”
But it appears that some even more ancient reality stars are taking part in a reunion: The Real World: New York cast.
We’ll get to details about that in a moment. First, these Real World reunions—for season 1, and Hawaii—are different than The Challenge OG season that is now being developed after Mark Long’s social media campaign. (Amaya confirmed that it’s different.)
When The Challenge OG season was announced in August, Bunim-Murray executive Julie Pizzi told Us Weekly, “We are excited about the OG movement Mark has created and look forward to collaborating with Mark to reimagine a competition format that can utilize talent from past BMP series.”
It seems like they are also finding ways to utilize talent from past Bunim-Murray reality shows—and to tap into nostalgia.
In replies to her original tweet, Amaya offered more details about her season’s potential reunion—and her opposition to it, continually joking about her age.
For example, Amaya wrote, “I’m an old lady and they’re not offering enough money. Reminder: my cast had the luxury of not having to deal with the current state of social media teardowns.”
She also said, “The offer is definitely not enough for the process, both during and after. Not to mention the added bonus of severe, current day SM judgement.” Amaya also suggested that there wouldn’t be anything of interest, and mocked herself:
Prepare yourself for the possibility of seeing the exciting things I accomplish like:
- Propagating plants!
- Stretching/hearing clicking sounds emitted by my body!
- Adjusting my anxiety meds to a new schedule in a different time zone!
- Shopping for mumus!
The original Real World: New York cast is reuniting
The Real World season one’s cast apparently agreed to MTV and Bunim-Murray’s terms for some kind of reunion, as the cast has recently been filmed—and may now be done with production—in New York City, according to a reliable MTV spoiler.
“MTV has been filming season one of their Real World reunion series starting with the first season in NY,” PinkRose posted at Vevmo.
The post listed all seven original cast members: Becky Blasband, Andre Comeau, Heather B. Gardner, Julie Gentry, Norm Korpi, Eric Nies, and Kevin Powell.
Their season was filmed from February to May of 1992—29 years ago. Eric was 20 back then; he’s now 49. Kevin Powell was the oldest cast member at 26, and he’s now 54.
The format for their reunion is not clear. Will they live in a house full of Ikea furniture and a metaphoric fish tank? Will they just gather on sofas to talk?
If this is being filmed in New York City, in the middle of the pandemᎥc, will they be inside the entire time? (Of course, they should be! New York City has been averaging more than 13,000 new cases per day over the past seven days, and 191 deaths a day.)
Another Vevmo poster wrote: “I’m not sure if they are living together or just filming in a setting day today. I know there were some days that they were in hotels.”
While PinkRose suggested that was potentially only one week of filming, Amaya said that the proposed Real World Hawaii gathering would be a two-week reunion, and her tweets make it seem like she expected to be on camera for two full weeks (“A show or two, yes. Two weeks of me napping, no.”)
She also wrote, “Or, just do individual, one day reunions as a series. They’d have to plan weird activities to make a 2 week reunion interesting. I’m lazy as fuck and enjoy sleeping, eating, and snuggling with my animals. That is some boring shit.”
While it’s possible the model proposed for The Real World Hawaii could be different than the one they ended up using for The Real World season one, a reunion filmed in January was already well into pre-production in December, when MTV and/or Bunim-Murray Productions were approaching Hawaii cast members, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes the same form that was being pitched to Amaya.
Whatever it looks like, it’s great that MTV is capitalizing on nostalgia for early reality TV, and recognizing what it still has in The Real World and its early cast members. Their actual lives were taped in those early years, before the show became a place where people just went to try to find a life of fame.