You think you know, but you have no idea. The second season of “World of Jenks,” which kicks off Monday night on MTV, is hoping to bring you closer to understanding three very special folks that you may never have gotten to know otherwise.
Andrew Jenks kicks off the new season of his MTV docu-series by letting us into the lives of Kaylin, a San Francisco fashion designer/writer battling cancer; season one vet Chad, a high schooler with autism; and D-Real, a young Oakland native who created the viral video “Dancing in the Rain” to deal with the deaths of two people close to him.
When Jenks stopped by MTV News to preview the new season, he explained why he decided to change up the series’ format and focus on these three individuals.
“The reason that we changed the format is because I think that in the first season I moved into 12 different subcultures or worlds, however you want to put it, and after commercials each episode is only 19 minutes and 20 seconds. It felt every time I moved in with a young woman who is homeless or an animal rescuer or a college football star, at the end episode you were like, ‘This person really cool. I want to get to know them more.’ And then, boom, it was on to the next episode,” he said. “So for season two, we thought it would be better if it was an hour long and I lived with three people over the course of a year, so that you can really get to know their stories and really follow the trajectory of their lives.”
While “Jenks” fans will already be familiar with Chad’s story, they might wonder how he enlisted Kaylin and D-Real as his other subjects for the series.
“I wanted to find three people my age that had stories that wouldn’t normally get exposure on national television, much less MTV, where you can really reach millions of young people,” he explained. “And so I was looking for young people who had real substance.
“The three people that I followed are all going through extraordinary things in their lives that are really difficult, but none of them feel bad for themselves,” he said. “So Kaylin has cancer, Chad has autism [and] D-Real is dealing with the death of his brother and best friend and many things. But none of them are walking around like ‘Oh poor me,’ which I think shows kind of the best of our generation. That they’re not self-pitying in any sense and they’re trying to make a difference despite all these things they’re up against.”
Jenks hopes that by spending this season with these three people, viewers will have a better understanding of other people like them. “I think the idea is just to humanize them, so that we look at them as friends. That way when we meet other people who are going through similar circumstances, we don’t look at them awkwardly or we feel tense or we don’t know how to respond,” he said.
The new season of “World of Jenks” premieres Monday (March 4) at 11 p.m. ET on MTV.