The Not So “Real World”: Making Bad TV WorseBy Thomas J. / Sunday, February 13th, 2011
I haven’t watched MTV’s The Real World since 1998 (Real World Seattle) after the slap heard around the world. This occurred when Irene McGee left due to “health issues” and upon leaving called Stephen Williams gay, who in turn slapped her through a car window. Note: Within 10 years Williams would be out of the closet and engaged to a man.
The show really could have stopped there, but it continued for another eighteen (!) seasons, misrepresenting American youth around the world. The casting is always predictable, usually something along the lines of the alcoholic, the douchebag, the minority, the small towner, and the gay. These usually vary to some degree but the construct remains the same. After almost twenty years on the air, you start to wonder how many alcohol-induced fights, make-outs, hook-ups, coming outs, and slaps you can watch before it just gets boring. Luckily, MTV has figured out a new angle to use: throw in a gay porn star!
Dustin Zito is a 24-year-old “gay-for-pay” porn actor who has been featured on the website Fratpad under the name Spencer. Producers obviously knew about Zito’s previous indiscretions but figured it would be a good source of drama for the show. The preview for the show even gives you a glimpse into the impending drama as participant Heather Cooke tells Zito, “You got taped having sex, it’s all over the Internet!” Cue the Death Cab for Cutie soundtrack. Someone is probably going to cry.
As if Jersey Shore wasn’t bad enough. Way to go MTV. Thank you for contributing, so sufficiently, to the decline of the American reputation across the globe.
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