MTV has renewed flagship reality series “The Real World” for an astounding 29th season, setting the show’s return to San Francisco for the first time since invading the bay 20 years ago.
Season 29 will air in 2014 and, according to Variety, it could be the last season of the series. After a slump in ratings in recent years, with the show struggling to even crack the one million viewer mark in its live broadcasts at times, sources indicate that this will be a make-or-break season. And it’s not hard to see why.
When “The Real World” launched in 1992, it (for better or worse) created the genre of reality TV and generated some iconic moments in what was one of the first social experiments to grace the small screen. San Francisco, in particular, was noted for the inclusion of the late Pedro Zamora, a noted HIV and AIDS activist who, with his partner Sean Sasser, had the first commitment ceremony ever on TV during the season.
Now, however, most seasons are notable for how often the attractive and perfectly bland (read: dumb) cast mates fight and hook up. The devolution of the quality has warranted the devolution of the ratings. What once offered an interesting insight into how twentysomethings from different background would interact when forced to “stop being polite and start getting real” has become as vapid as most of the shows it helped inspire.
Perhaps after this final go-round in San Fran, it wouldn’t be such a shame to put an end to “The Real World.”
Do you think it’s time for “The Real World” to end?