‘RetroMTV: The Real World’ Marathon Kicks Off Friday!

Before the new 'Real World: Portland' season debuts on March 27, MTV will air full runs of the original New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco seasons.

It all started so innocently in 1992, when MTV aired a little show called “The Real World: New York.” The series, which is widely credited with helping to kick-start the reality show boom, followed the lives of seven cast members fighting, living, loving and trying to figure out life in front of prying cameras.

In anticipation of the March 27 debut of “The Real World: Portland” at 10 p.m. ET/PT, MTV will fill the airwaves with a marathon weekend we’re calling “RetroMTV: The Real World.” Starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT on March 22, we’ll take a trip down memory lane to three of the most iconic “Real World” seasons.

First up will be that first New York season, followed by the unforgettable, sinful 12th season in Las Vegas and finishing up with the groundbreaking third season in San Francisco. The marathon will also feature exclusive sneak peeks of the new Portland cast, along with insider commentary from “Jersey Shore” veteran Snooki, “Nikki & Sara Live” hosts Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer as well as a number of comedians, “Real World” and “Challenge” veterans about their favorite “World” moments.

The marathon kicks off at 8 p.m. on March 22 with a look at the New York crew, a diverse gang who set up in a SoHo apartment as they pursued dream jobs in modeling, dancing, writing, rapping, singing and art. As they tried to navigate their lives, Eric Nies and Julie Gentry hooked up, gay roomie Norman Korpi embarked on a serious relationship and future magazine writer and Senate candidate Kevin Powell differed with some of the other housemates on issues of race and equality.

Fans will take a trip back to the drama-packed 12th season in Las Vegas on March 23, starting at 2 p.m. ET. Living in a lush penthouse suite at the Palms Resort and Casino, the seven Vegas roomies made the most of their time in the land of high rollers. Steven Hill and Trishelle Cannatella got romantic, as did Alton Williams and Irulan Wilson and, in a preview of “The Jersey Shore,” the hot tub was the place to be.

The marathon will wrap up on March 24, when the entire San Francisco season unfolds starting at 8 a.m. ET. Best known for chronicling the HIV/AIDS battle by Pedro Zamora, the show’s third season also introduced one of the most legendary rogues in “World” history, the unforgettable David “Puck” Rainey, who eventually got evicted from the Lombard Street residence for his outrageous behavior.

That should more than prep you for the March 27 debut of the Portland season, when a cast of seven strangers will move into their loft amid the usual mix of flirtation and conflict that is the hallmark of the series.

If you can’t get enough of the televised action from Portland, soon you’ll be able to check out exclusive Spycam videos from inside and outside the house and “Meet the Cast” videos on MTV.com.