Real World Is Finally Changing Its Format. We Have a Lot of Questions.

MTV The Real World

Real World as we know it as gone. According to Entertainment Weekly, the reality TV stalwart is changing up the format and renaming itself Real World: Ex-Plosion. Quoth EW:

The season begins like any other: Seven young, attractive and single diverse cast-mates from around the country move into a house … They’ll start to form bonds, with each other and with San Francisco locals. Then, one month into the three-month shoot, they’ll go away for a day trip. When they return, they’re in for a huge shock: Their exes have moved in too.

I know. I have a lot of questions, too. Let’s run through them:

  1. Is this a world we want to live in anymore?
  2. Are the producers openly crediting the success of The Challenge for giving them this idea? Because this is basically that show, without the athleticism. It’s C.T. and Diem drama writ large (relatively), minus the backstory.
  3. If there is no backstory, will we care about watching exes fight?
  4. Does this mean the cast will no longer have “jobs” while filming? It seems like it’d be much more difficult to arrange fake jobs for 14 people than seven people.
  5. Where will the exes sleep?
  6. How many houses will there be?
  7. Did Bunim/Murray get two houses on the same street? The San Francisco housing market is highly inflated right now, so that seems logistically challenging.
  8. Are the first seven and their exes eligible for The Challenge?
  9. Was this just a ploy to widen the Challenge casting pool? Conspiracy theory: The first seven were boring and did not demonstrate a sufficient commitment to fitness, so Bunim/Murray introduced more potential competitors.
  10. How did casting go down? The EW story touches on it, explaining that “producers had to scramble to convince the exes to drop everything and join the cast too — five of the seven agreed.” More importantly, even if the exes were vetted in the original casting procedures, casting five more people seems like a big risk. This season of Survivor has a similar format with 10 returning players and their 10 loved ones. Unlike Real World, though, Survivor’s structure ensures there will be some compelling moments even if the personalities are boring. There’s a reason why some of the Survivor family members were not on the show solo.
  11. What about those two exes who did not consent? Are there only five incoming?
  12. Will this season feature more revenge sex than ever before?
  13. Will there be an element of couples counseling, opening the door for a Dr. Drew appearance? The Dr. Drew brand is lacking on the Viacom-owned stations these days. Let’s get that guy back in the mix!

The beauty of reality TV is that transparent stunts like these often work. When Survivor began a season with racially divided tribes, it was morally questionable (at best) but provided for exciting television. Despite all these foreboding questions, I have faith in our Bunim/Murray overlords. Bring on the exes.

Filed Under: Survivor, The Challenge, The Real World