Reality Check: The Real World Vs. The Hills

When MTV announced that the 20th (20th?!!) season of their veteran reality series The Real World would be set in Hollywood, my first reaction was “um, redundant, much?” After all, don’t I already watch another Hollywood-based reality show every week on MTV? Is Hollywood big enough to handle all this reality?

Let’s take a look at some real-life issues and see which one of these shows comes out on top.

Issue: Diversity

On The Real World: From dreadlocked, break dancing Will to southern belle Kimberly, the Hollywood cast follows in the Real World tradition of depicting a fair and balanced representation of several different stereotypes, I mean colors, of the world.

On The Hills: Um, does Audrina having brown hair instead of blonde count?

Who Keeps It Real: The Real World.

Issue: Housing

On The Real World: The roomies live in their own personal arcade, complete with an Astro-turf yard, a marquee above the door, and Andy Warhol-style portraits of celebrity mug shots.

On The Hills: Lauren and Audrina live it up in a posh pad at the Hollywood Villas. Or maybe not. Lauren has confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that the exterior shots of her apartment building are a fake-out to protect her privacy.

Who Keeps It Real: The Real World -- their house may look more like a miniature golf course than a home, but at least we know the cast actually resides there.

Issue: Careers

On The Real World: This season’s cast has assembled in Hollywood to try to make it in various aspects of show business. Recent college grad Sarah wants to be a broadcast journalist. Kimberly also wants to be a journalist, but the kind that reports on the comings and goings of Lindsay Lohan. Brianna is a stripper, and a former American Idol reject. Joey is a personal trainer who wants to be an actor. I think his best shot at an acting career might be in the WWE.

On The Hills: Lauren is an aspiring fashion designer who attends college, recently graduated from an internship at Teen Vogue to a job at fashion PR firm People’s Revolution, and DESIGNS HER OWN FASHION LINE when the cameras aren’t rolling.

Who Keeps It Real: The Real World. Unlike with the ladies of The Hills, I truly believe these morons are struggling to break into their desired professions.

Issue: Relationships

On The Real World: The only house mate who claims to be in a committed relationship is Sarah, but the disgusting chewing gum exchange between her and Will, and her reaction to his resulting “kindergarten crush” proved her eyes (and her lips) may easily wander. Will’s crush, though, only started after the revelation of Brianna’s career choice put an abrupt end to his affection for her. By the end of the premiere, Brianna (who’s facing criminal charges for assaulting her ex-boyfriend), had her eyes on Joey, and super-jock Dave was getting cozy with Kimberly. Only grumpy Greg was left with no one to hook up with, but that was fine with him, since he claimed there were no attractive females or “associates,” as he likes to call them, in the house.

On The Hills: Single gal Lauren has had a hard time finding love again after breaking up with her loser boyfriend Jason. Audrina keeps going back to her loser boyfriend Justin Bobby. And Heidi gave up her friends for a new life with her super controlling loser boyfriend Spencer.

Who Keeps It Real: The Hills. Over the years, The Real World seems to have devolved from a social experiment into a drunken mating experiment. People in their twenties make a lot of terrible relationship choices, and the harsh realities of those choices are one of the few notes that ring true on The Hills.

So, by these calculations, it would appear that The Real World is the most real of these MTV reality shows. But if the real world really was anything like The Real World, would you want to live in it?