Welcome back to Top 5 Tuesday! Last week I discovered several seasons of MTV’s The Real World were available on Hulu!! I’ve been a fan of the show since I stayed home sick one day in sixth grade and marathoned the Boston season. Of the 30 seasons that have aired, I’ve watched seasons 1- 16, 24, 26, and 27. I’ve seen bits and pieces of other seasons, but not in full. Guys, MTV just wants to know what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. =)
Below are what I consider the top 5 seasons of The Real World!
5. San Franscico (1994)
By the time season 3 San Francisco aired, the novelty of the “seven strangers picked to live in a house, stop being polite, and start getting real” concept had become common. Thankfully, the casting for this season couldn’t have been better. These days, on every reality show there is a major volatile and hated cast member. I think Puck from season three was the pioneer for this archetype. He arrived late to the house on the first day because he was ARRESTED. Come on, MTV. He was obnoxious, hateful, disgusting and was the first Real World cast member to be sent home. On the contrary, Pedro was a kind, soft spoken, AIDS educator who was HIV positive. He was also the focus of the first same-sex ceremony to ever air on TV. Pedro passed away in November of 1994, only a year after his season was filmed. Pam and Judd started a budding romance, and eventually married. They have continued with Pedro’s AIDS education programs and have become pioneers in AIDS/HIV research.
Best of the best: Rachel. She was a feisty, outgoing, young republican who wasn’t afraid to tell you her opinion. She had brief flirting bouts with Puck, but that fizzled pretty fast. Rachel went on to marry Sean from The Real World: Boston, which is pretty hilarious to me.
4. Back to New Orleans (2010)
There are many differing opinions on this season, but I personally love it. The two main story lines were Knight and Jemmey hooking up and Ryan pissing everyone off. In keeping with the trend of the next best season, Hawaii, Ryan’s behaviors moved closer to the line of mental instability rather than just the line of crazy. There was also McKenzie who we thought would get a story line- but really she just got drunk and pretended to black-out sometimes? Also, we can never forget Preston peeing on Ryan’s toothbrush. In post-Katrina New Orleans, the cast spent time volunteering at Habitat for Humanity and the New Orleans Mission soup kitchen, rather than having to get jobs.
Best of the best: Jemmey. Her thick Mississippi accent made me feel at home and when you looked past her drunkenness, you saw her sweet openness.
3. Hawaii (1999)
Oh sweet Hawaii. How the producers found these people, I have no idea… but I love the hot mess that ensued. The show opens up with Ruthie getting naked, jumping in the pool, getting drunk AF, blacking out, and the cast calling paramedics. Also, let me point out that Ruthie was adopted, bisexual, a twin (or triplet??), and had a pretty serious drinking problem- so, needless to say, she had a lot of air time. Then there was Justin, who maybe hated and tried to destroy everyone and ended up just going home for a “family emergency.” Don’t worry, he was pretty forgettable. Kaia was a forever topless weirdo, Teck was entertaining and wanted to be a VJ, Matt was completely forgettable, and Colin was a good mix of boring and cute in a very Jim Halpert way.
Best of the best: Amaya. Even though she always talked about being in a sorority, Amaya was sweet and absolutely the most relatable character of the season. She had such a crush on Colin (as did I) and she was one of the first people I ever saw use a hair straightener.
2. Seattle (1998)
This season is at #2 for several reasons. First, it was enjoyable. Second, it was important. The Seattle season is mostly remembered for the “slap heard around the world” that Stephen gave Irene as she was leaving the show. Should he have been kicked off? Probably. In the show, Irene left because she had lyme disease but she wrote an article a few years ago sighting she left for ethical reasons? IDK. Another important incident from this season was when Lindsay found out her friend committed suicide. It was heartbreaking and gave The Real World a reality check. Seattle also brought a twist of casting 2 military friends, Nathan and David, in the same season rather than 7 actual strangers. And who can ever forget David’s secret romance with fired-mtv producer Kira? I think we can all agree that the Seattle house, which was actually a pier, was one of the coolest!
Best of the best: Rebecca. She was sweet, looked out for her roommates, and recorded a song with Sir Mix-a-Lot during her stay!
1. New Orleans (2000)
This season is the best by leaps and bounds! Everyone in the original New Orleans cast had legit story lines and air time. I mean, when your most boring character was Kelley who ended up marrying Scott Wolfe from Party of Five… you’re not doing too bad. There was romance- most notably between recently outed Danny and his blurred military boyfriend. There was adventure- the cast was sent to South Africa for vacation. There was a little drama- mostly racial and religious. There was Julie, the naive Mormon virgin. Jamie, the goofy fratboy-esque heartthrob. Matt, the religious quiet type (but with the bleachy-est spiky hair). Danny, one of the most beautiful men to grace MTV who now apparently works for Mail Chimp? Weird. David, mostly remembered for his “hit” single Come On Be My Baby Tonight. Kelley, the serious smart sorority girl. And last but not least, Melissa, who we’ll talk more about in a moment. The casting for New Orleans was so spot on! I could watch this season back to back!
Best of the best: Melissa. She is probably the funniest and most unique cast member to ever be on the show. She had her fair share of drama, but she ultimately made her housemates laugh and enjoy themselves. She later appeared on Oxygen’s Girls Behaving Badly.
So, what do you consider the top seasons of The Real World? Who’s your favorite cast member? Where was your favorite house?