During the early wave of Real World seasons, viewers would get their official taste of the diverse strangers as they watched the intense disagreements and invigorating conversations unfold on the boob tube. Simply put: If you weren't related to a roommate or residing in the same city as their glitzy abode, the young adults' personal story was only exposed as the weeks progressed.
Casting specials followed (a personal favorite moment from these programs was when Colin learned that he would ultimately get the opportunity to travel to Hawaii for the once-in-a-lifetime adventure after being rejected from the initial pool of twenty-somethings), and magazine spreads unveiled the cast before its inaugural episode (I got my first glimpse at the OG New Orleans gang looking festive in their Mardi Gras beads in an image identical to the one below).
While the show has evolved immensely since Becky, Norman, Julie, Heather, Andre, Kevin and Eric stepped into that magical Big Apple loft -- friends going into the experience together, eight strangers instead of seven, repeating locales and jaw-dropping twists are just a few examples of the developments through the years -- the underlying format for the series has not wavered. It will always remain as a group of young adults who will "stop being polite."
But during this week's Go Big or Go Home installment, the iconic series really proved how much it has changed since the early days of the groundbreaking reality program. And the shift is directly correlated to the current obsession with and dependence on cyberspace.
Jenna, who has had difficulty clicking with her fellow Sin City transplants, learned that a mysterious someone was spreading information about her on the Internet. Specifically, that the Southerner had made racist and homophobic comments -- claims that could be damaging to her future.
The source of the leak is still a mystery, but the aforementioned situation is certainly an indicator of the times. The 31st season had not even aired yet, and rumblings about a roommate were already surfacing outside of the Gold Spike Hotel. It's certainly not a surprise or the first time someone has learned that scuttlebutt about them was circulating -- before even a minute of them had even aired.
During Season 25, Adam and Heather's mom discovered that cast member Dustin had been featured in adult films before participating in the MTV series (the aftermath of this revelation can be seen above).
But it's an important conversation for extreme enthusiasts of Real World -- like myself. No facts about the show are embargoed until the premiere. Access to the cast is a given. No one is stopping a rando who might stumble upon the RW clan from snapping a photo and sharing it on Twitter -- thus ruining the surprise and suspense of the participants. And anything about the men and women is fair game while they are "having their lives taped" and "getting real."
Be sure to keep watching Real World: Go Big or Go Home every Thursday at 10/9c on MTV.