Caitlin Rickard: Welcome to the 'Real World'

Rally, I’m cracking up at myself even thinking about this.
Apr 23, 2014
Caitlin Rickard

Rally, I’m cracking up at myself even thinking about this.

However, I think this column is going to be a two-parter and really keep you guys in suspense until next week with half of my true intentions.

It’s a known fact that I love good TV and movies, but the truth is I really love bad TV and movies, too. 

I’m talking Chiller channel horror flicks with murderers dressed in giant bunny suits and shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. And so far beyond. 

So, I guess I like any and everything?

I draw the line in the sand a little shorter when it comes to TV though, so I’ll give myself some credit there. 

No Kardashians for me and I don’t particularly like reality shows at all. Sure I like the real-life crime dramas, but it’s to the point I don’t even follow Duck Dynasty anymore if that tells you where I stand on reality TV at all.

Anyway, I think there was the phase every teen went through in middle school when you kind of weren’t allowed to watch MTV as an unsaid rule, but you snuck it anyway. That’s where watching this show comes in in the first place. All because we teenagers wanted something we shouldn’t have.

There were a few shows to choose from on MTV then but at the time it was mostly music (MTV=Music Television, not so much anymore), however the shows MTV offers now are way tamer and the music is few and far between. But, there is still one show that they probably will never let go.

Yes, I’m talking the longest run show in MTV history, The Real World.

“This is the true story, of seven strangers, picked to live in a house, work together and have their lives taped, find out what happens, when people stop being polite, and start getting real... The Real World: [insert city name here].”

I’m actually laughing out loud that I ever watched this and enjoyed it and that somehow it’s three decades deep. But the fact is, it’s a staple in reality show history and has led MTV down several bountiful paths, which I’ll get to next week, and which holds more of my excitement and entertainment.

The Real World kind of was the show that sprung MTV into fame and the place it is today and is arguably one of the shows that began reality television period. Thanks for that downward spiral, MTV.

I can’t harp on how long I’ve watched this show or that I’ve followed it from the beginning yada-yada because who has the time for the 30 seasons? What is this, Saturday Night Live?

But I did watch a few seasons back (when I felt it was) in its prime. I remember the Austin and San Diego casts like it was yesterday and seasons like Philadelphia, Key West and Sydney. These were all concurrent seasons from around 2004-2008. And I actually loved these people, and as I’ve said, looking toward the future, you will definitely see them again.

The funny thing about The Real World, though, was that really there was nothing real about it. Yeah it’s “reality” TV with cameras following your every move, but seven strangers picked to live in a house? Not real. All of different and conflicting races, sexuality and beliefs? So not real. And the houses, (really, mansions and penthouses) are in some of the greatest cities in the world rent-free. Don’t we all wish that were real.

I don’t watch The Real World anymore and probably have not since early high school, but apparently it’s still going strong, and who doesn’t love a good spin-off?

Anyway, the fact that I liked The Real World for a minute or two is half of the point. The real point is what happened in tandem with this show.

Check back next week to find out what I’m talking about and the show on MTV that is a bit of a “challenge” for me not to watch.

Caitlin Rickard is a staff writer for The Democrat. Email her at or follow her on Twitter @wilsonnewswritr.


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