August 7, 2016 – An Olympic Interrupt & Real World Rerun

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What I Watched Today
(rambling, random thoughts & annoyingly detailed recaps from real time TV watching)

Due to Olympics beyond my control, there were no new Bravo shows tonight. No surprise they decided to show the Olympics, since that’s what they’re known for. (Sarcasm.) They did show The Real Housewives of New Jersey: The Bravoholic Special Edition, but that’s basically a euphemism for already aired scenes with footage originally edited out added back in, that only someone severely addicted to reality shows could enjoy. Of course I watched it.

I also decided to watch a marathon on MTV Classic of the first season of The Real World, filmed in NYC. I’d forgotten how much I loved that show. When it was real, and the cast had jobs, friends and lives, and we saw a lot of a new city through their eyes. Before it degenerated into hot tub sex fueled by free alcohol.

Also radically different is the way the cast members related to each other. They actually did relate to each other. Like face to face, not on phones. And they were able to have intelligent debate and consideration for one another’s feelings. Sadly, I think this is a reflection of today’s real world not being aired on TV. With the advent of our being plugged in everywhere has come a disregard for others and an inflated sense of self.

In discussing racism, Becky tells Kevin that she has her own hard road being a woman. Kevin questions that if he and Becky were up for the same job, who would get it? Becky misses an opportunity here to counter with, if they both had the same job, who would get paid more for it? An I trump your race card with my female card sort of thing. While Kevin mellowed throughout the season, he did go in on the defensive. When she tries to explain that, even though she’d like to become more knowledgeable, it’s impossible for her to know exactly where he’s coming from, not having walked in his shoes or even grown up around a pair of shoes like his, he gets unreasonable, calling her a racist and a bitch. She’s perplexed about the whole thing, but later he realizes how ridiculous he was being and they have a reconciliation and a real talk. The same thing happens later when Kevin and Julie get into it. I shudder to think about what would happen between some of the more recent roommates.

It was fun seeing the things I’d forgotten about like Eric going to dance class with Julie; Julie’s family visiting and her goal being to wear them out; and when they found the albino Pekingese dog that everyone fell in love with. Even Andre, who seemed totally against animals in the house, loved it because it flew in the face of standard animal beauty. Little did I know the first time I watched the episode, that I’d have my own family of Pekingese dogs. Not albino, but all of them white. It was kind of sad when they finally found the owner. I have the feeling the dog would have rather stayed at the loft, and probably took off because it was bored.

I’m hoping they air The Real World: San Francisco. It didn’t get more real than Puck and Pedro Zemora, who brought HIV/AIDS and the challenges those with it face, into our living rooms and into our lives. Later on, I saw the piece of the AIDS quilt with his name on it that was traveling around the country (it also traveled to One Life to Live) and it felt like I really knew him.

Sadly, somewhere along the line, a switch flipped, and The Real World fell prey to physical fights and sex equaling ratings. Jerry Springer, anyone? He actually had an intelligent talk show when he started out. I stopped watching The Real World a long time ago, although I would tune in occasionally, giving the show another chance, forgetting how bad it was. It never took long for me to remember and tune back out.

So thanks, MTV Classic, for the trip down Memory Lane. When The Real World was filled with multi-dimensional people living multi-dimensional lives.

My two favorite quotes:

There’s not much we can do, you know. We can only do what we can do.Becky, discussing politics.

I’m never going to see nine o’clock in my life. Unless I’m coming home.Heather B, discussing getting up in the morning.

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