MTV's new 'World' is good but a little too real

Richard Huff
New York Daily News

Eighteen seasons into "The Real World" and the one thing needed for any viewer is patience.

That's because it takes a while for this show to heat up drama-wise - and once it does, it still remains an engaging unscripted series about young people living together.

But to get to the point of the real drama, the emotional stuff with some shocking twists, you must get through two episodes of what's best described as a TV version of a hedonism resort.

So much so, it initially takes away from the series. And that's too bad, because by the third episode, viewers will realize why "The Real World," at this advanced age, remains a vital program.

Launching Wednesday at 10 p.m. EST, "The Real World Denver" is about seven people from around the country living in a totally cool Denver house designed for fun. From the get-go, they have little more on their minds than getting loaded and, well, sex.

"I just love making out," says Colie, a 22-year-old female firecracker from New Jersey, in one of three rough-cut episodes provided to the New York Daily News. "It's one of my hobbies. I'm not good at baseball, but I'm good at kissing."

Oh, is she! Before the first day is up, she's playing tonsil hockey with Alex, who not long after is doing the same with Jenn, a buxom ex-Los Angeles Raider cheerleader. Colie finds out and Jenn later tearfully apologizes.

"I need to stop drinking as much as I do because I do things I don't want to do," Jenn tells Colie.

Tyrie, 23, from Omaha, tells viewers, "I'm single and I'm loving it and the first thing I'm going to unpack is a box of condoms."

No doubt, they'll all make their families very, very proud with these revelations.

Factor in the high level of raging twentysomething hormones along with a gusher of alcohol and you've got a frat party thrown by MTV. This isn't to suggest sex is a bad thing; it just turns the hot tub waters muddy, so to speak.

"The Real World" was the first true reality show when it launched in 1992. Long gone is the innocence of the show that made it truly special.

For instance, viewers saw New York and life through the eyes of Alabama-born Julie Oliver in that first one. Viewers understood the feelings that occurred when people were shifted out of their element.

The show is still visually beautiful and well produced. But now housemates know what to expect - and what's expected of them - so it takes a while (and lots of margaritas) for the facade to fall.

Alcohol and partying ultimately lead to the series' most dramatic moments in episode three, which includes a rapidly escalating verbal fight and near physical confrontation, and the use of the N-word. In a rare twist, viewers will see producers, normally hidden from viewers, step in to end the altercation.

The story won't end there, though, and it's the aftermath of the situation that seems real and will make the coming episodes worth watching.


10 p.m. EST Wednesday






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