When I visited the Real World set on Sutter Street at a press junket at the end of filming, one of the producers asked me to wait on the red sofa in the foyer, near the door. I settled in and tried to take in the scene. Though I didn't know it at the time, I was watching the cast members walk to and fro. There were so many people in the rooms it was hard to tell who were fellow journalists (Can we really call ourselves that when we are covering an MTV show? Whatevs.) and who were the Seven Strangers Picked To Live Together.
I saw Tom walk by and I assumed he would be the good looking asshole (I was wrong; he's actually a good-looking, generic, imperfect 21-year-old). Then I saw Cory saunter by, looking like a 'roid casualty, which he has pretty much lived up to on the show. Big-bosomed Jenny was sitting at the dining area table eating a bowl of cereal looking completely over the entire thing, not to mention way too "normal" for TV. She looked like someone you might have sat behind in tenth grade biology. But across from me, at a little table, was a petite, attractive brunette with a sweet face, talking to some older dude who obviously covered entertainment from some publication. I overheard snippets -- she was from somewhere back East, the experience here had been interesting, etc and so forth. She seemed confident and charming, the sort of girl you would hire to be your nanny for a summer.
Cut to this week's episode, when the same girl, Hallie, is attacking her ex, Tom, and hits him in the face on three different drunken occasions. "I want you out of here!" he bellows at her, and both claim its the end of their friendship. Ever-naive 21-year-old Tom actually is dumb enough to wish out loud that none of the exes had ever shown up. "How much drama has come out of all this?!" he opines, as if he really had no idea that he had signed up for a reality show on its last legs that will do anything for ratings. Derr.
The "O.G's," as the original cast members call themselves, all want the exes to go home, and everyone gangs up on everyone else. It's exactly how the producers had to have envisioned everything. That didn't stop them from randomly showing audition videos in the living room so that Jenna could see what a dog Jay really is. Apparently that relationship was going too well and it wasn't good for television. Creating total chaos was the goal and it apparently has been reached.
The question remains: Do we care about any of these people? Not really. Watching them all go at it is like that old '70s game Socker Boppers, where you put chunky inflatable plastic boxing gloves on to spar with your fellow fourth graders. Arielle remains the most interesting and therefore occupies the least amount of camera time.
Oh, and they did film Hallie and Jenna walking through the Tendernob. It's almost like the show is being filmed in San Francisco or something.
When all was said and done, the feeling on the set when I was there was one of some sort of resolution -- it was over.
Yes, MTV, it's over.