When it began in 1992, The Real World was a lark, a fresh, quirky TV idea, a grabber: Throw a bunch of people together who’d never met before, let them cohabit, and tape the results for a programming respite from what were, a half decade ago, the increasingly exhausted notions of MTV’s reason for being — rock videos.
Five years on, and oh my, how things have changed. Rock vids now seem like an afterthought on MTV’s schedule, which is stuffed with cartoons both animated and human (Beavis and Butt-head and Kennedy, respectively) as well as Real World’s pointless rip-off show, Road Rules, beginning its second season.
Road Rules emanates from the same producers, who should be asked, Why? Road duplicates Real — young strangers thrown together, not in a house but in a Winnebago. And there are five new travelers, none of whom is particularly notable save for sweetly smiling Christian, a 21-year-old Norwegian with more brainpower than the other four combined.
In the season opener, the Roadsters tool around Florida and go swimming with sharks (real ones, though MTV might have done better by having them tread water with, say, the CEOs of a few music labels). They also attempt to break into the Real Worlders’ Miami house in a cutesy cross-promotional stunt. Won’t know the results of that caper until a future episode, but I sure hope Puck suddenly shows up to kick their tails. D