>I cannot say what I really want to say about The Real World: Brooklyn, so take what I say, do a little a bit of reading between the lines, and multiply it by two to get the real depth.
Once upon a time, in the magical world of the early 1990s, MTV aired music videos and was considered part of the vanguard of youth culture. It used its position to explore, prod, and positively influence American and global youth on the issues of racism, drug abuse, sex, and tolerance. The best example of this mindset was when the network aired the first season of The Real World.
I’m not going to wax on about how great that first season was, because it aired 15+ years ago, but yes, it was–for modern US television–an eye into the differences and similarities in American youth. It also was a huge success.
And that sealed its fate.
It would no longer be relevant. It wouldn’t even stand a chance at being interesting from a sociological perspective.
It would now become a stepping stone for minor celebrity, and a way to enable young adults to prolong their Peter Pan complex while draped in a coat of faux social relevance. Not that MTV/Bunim-Murray aren’t complicit in this. They marketed the hell out of them to the point that MTV has become a network airing some direct or indirect offspring of the programme at all hours. Ironically, none of the human-seeming beings on these shows would know in any way, shape, or form how to act genuine even when the camera is off.
Their lives are scripted and planned (by the humanoids or the producers) to the point so that every move has a Machiavellian twist to it: “How can I be more popular?”
Quite frankly, as media consumers, we now doubt the possiblity that anyone that appears on television could be genuine…and we pat ourselves on the back for being so supposedly “smart.” If we were so smart, then the show wouldn’t be lucrative enough to survive for so long.
So it would behoove MTV execs to ask themselves whether the search for ratings and ink (cyber or real) has been worth destroying a generation.