Dear Real World/Road Rules Producers,
In 1992, you came up with a most wonderful idea. Seven strangers from seven different walks of life living together and argue about everything from race, religion, drugs, sex, rock and roll. It was perfect and from that first, “this is the true story….” I was hooked. I secretly dreamt of being a cast member though quite aware that I would never have the guts to ever sign up for it.
I was slightly jealous of their adventures and mesmerized by the stories. There was Pedro from San Francisco. Puck? Oh, and that argument between Julie and Kevin in season one about race and the other argument between Mike and Coral in Back to New York about race? Puck. More Puck. You had a show. It was a show that took viewers around the world and across the country without us ever having to leave our couches. The viewers became invested in these seven people, we laughed with them, felt for them, really wanted to party with them. I will fully admit to Facebook and Twitter stalking practically every cast member because that’s really what normal people do. Okay, maybe not….but still I rooted for these seven strangers. I wanted them to be friends or to yell drunkenly at each other a lot. I loved watching the relationships and friendships blossom between people who probably have never met otherwise.
There was also Road Rules and the subsequent challenges where Real Worlders and Road Rulers competed. Those challenges look absolutely insane and crazy, but amazingly cool and the stories, even cooler. I rooted for Diem Brown, teared up when she passed away from cancer. Those moments where she took off her wig, kissed CT on the beach and when her female competitors all wore swim caps in support of a woman who was their friend above all else, those are moments that stay with viewers long after they’be aired. In addition, I loved watching the relationship between Jemmye Carroll and Ryan Knight that began in New Orleans. They constantly argued, constantly teased each other, but the love they seemed to have for one another was felt through the screen.
During those challenges, Road Rulers and Real Worlders show themselves at their most vulnerable. They aren’t competing for roses or to be a Top Model, they’re competing just to be understood and that’s a feeling that can be felt at any age. Okay, okay, on the challenges they are also competing for money, but even that proves to be an interesting twist because you learn that they’re not just strangers competing, they are “in real life” friends competing and friends competing for large sums of cash can definitely add tension that often carries into battles on Twitter or discussions on Twitter.
So what happened? Why did you so drastically change to the structure of The Real World? Last season, it was The Ex-Plosion where exes came to live in the house with the houseguests and I don’t remember any of them. This current season is beyond insane. Putting aside the very obvious producer input which, with exception of the season where one of the houseguests had a relationship with a producer, hasn’t really happened that much before except when things got way too out of hand. These last two seasons, there has been more producer inference then ever before and it’s just not okay. Also, in previous seasons if a physical fight like the one between Violetta, Sylvia and Madison had gone down, Sylvia and Violetta would have been kicked off the show. Remember when CT beat up Adam so severely that blood was drawn during one of the challenges? He was sent home that night. He wasn’t allowed to remain in the house. Trisha Cummings in The Real World: New Orleans? She was also kicked out and from what I remember, that altercation wasn’t even that bad, certainly not as bad as what went down between Violetta, Sylvia and Madison. Why were Violetta and Sylvia allowed to stay? Why was there no house conversation in which Madison got to determine whether or not she felt safe remaining in the house with two girls who put her in choke hold? So many questions…..
Also, unless I’m missing something due to editing, what did Madison do? She seems rather sweet and yet just keeps getting picked on. She’s picked on for being nice and it honestly feels like she’s being bullied especially after what happened when she got beaten up by two houseguests. It seems like nothing was done to protect Madison who appeared like she was in danger. Was she spoken to off camera and asked if she felt safe? Is there stuff between the three girls that is not getting aired because a skeleton is coming into the house? I’d prefer to see why these girls seem to have it out for Madison. After all, she was attacked by two people at the same time and had the guys not been there to remove Sylvia and Violetta, how far would it have gone?
I’m not good with change to begin with, but this is getting ridiculous. I mean, okay, the fight aside…..there are now outside people that are being brought in and those outside people only affect one person in the house. I don’t understand the point of that. There was always enough drama to sustain an entire season and this current crop of seven, I think, would have been more than up to the task of providing the necessary craziness without having to bring in outside people. Yes, we know the house guests have lives outside the house but what was exciting was watching seven people live in this bubble. It was exciting watching Julie from New Orleans completely open her mind to a new world that she had never been exposed to before and it was also similarly terrifying watching Joey from Hollywood spiral downward in a drug-fueled binge that would ultimately take his life years later.
I beg of you to please bring all that back. Please bring back the Real World that I loved in my youth. I have fully accepted that the M in MTV will no longer mean music but why change what was working? Why change The Real World? It was perfect the way it was.