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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Favorite Moment: Dan and Melissa's Fight on the Real World Miami

Here's a blast from the past, The Real World: Miami. In 1996, Cynthia, Dan, Flora, Joe, Melissa, Mike, and Sarah lived in a million-dollar mansion on the Florida coast. 

"Was it fucking yours to open up, you stupid bitch?!"
One of the stand-out moments from the season was Dan and Melissa's fight on the stairs. After Melissa had irritated the housemates by going through other people's things, Dan confronted Melissa. Apparently, Melissa had found projection slides in an envelope. The envelope was unmarked, but they were two slides from the Birdcage, the Robin Williams/Nathan Lane movie. Supposedly, they were hundred-dollar slides from Dan's job.

Dan found the slides conspicuously lying around, outside the envelope. He waited the entire day for Melissa to come home, stewing in his juices, ready to confront her. What resulted was one of the shortest, yet most epic Real World fights.

In 2007, Jezebel covered the fight. The fight erupted into a grotesque confrontation, with both Melissa and Dan lobbing horrible insults toward the other in less than two minutes. Jezebel has the full video, complete with uncensored language and commentary from Dan, Flora, and Nathan (Seattle).

Plenty has changed since Miami aired 16 years ago. The Miami house actually had a television, which producers found created hours of footage with the roommates sitting on the couch. Melissa was also a Miami native. Producers would later avoid casting locals in the cities they would film. Melissa would often escape the house to find refuge with family and friends, and moved out before the season wrapped.

However, even with the sensationalized nature of recent seasons, this fight stands out as one of the best Real World fights in the 20-year history of the series.

Monday, May 21, 2012

MTVs longest running program, the Real World, turns 20 today

Twenty years ago tonight, MTV debuted The Real World: New York. 

The first cast of the Real World. 
On May 21, 1992, The Real World: New York was broadcasted into homes and a generation stayed tuned in. The series, a pioneer in the reality television genre, brought contemporary issues to light in the eyes of seven twenty-somethings. The series has aired twenty-six seasons, is currently filming in St. Thomas, and has been renewed into 2013.

Since its debut, The Real World has been responsible for setting off a national conversation about young people and the issues they face today. The series brought serious discussions to the national stage. For example, a fight between Julie and Kevin in New York culminated in a discussion about race relations in the United States. Tami allowed cameras to document her abortion in Los Angeles, setting off a discussion between roommates. Most notably, after HIV-AIDS activist Pedro joined the San Francisco cast, the series gained widespread notoriety for its attention to the global issue.

The Real World is MTV's longest running program. In 1995, the network brought the first spin-off to life, Road Rules. Road Rules came to light after Jon, Tami, and David drove cross-country in a RV during the first two episodes of the Los Angeles season. The two shows experienced a rivalry that would ultimately culminate in the Challenge spin-off in 1998. Road Rules ran for fourteen seasons and the Challenge has started pre-production on its 23rd season.

Critics argue that the series has de-evolved from an honest documentary to a drunken revelry. During the Hawaii season in 1998, out of control Ruthie was sent to a 30-day program for alcohol abuse. The Las Vegas season in 2002 brought constant partying, debauchery, and pregnancy scares. The first Las Vegas season marked a turning point for the series, when the series began to become known for its party atmosphere.

Nonetheless, the series still tackled sensitive issues. In 2004, Frankie, a castmember with cystic fibrosis joined the cast, passing away three years later. In 2009, Katelynn, the show's first transgendered roommate, battled misperceptions and insecurities in Brooklyn. And for the first time, Dustin of the show's second Las Vegas season, a castmember was forced to deal with the consequences of a troubled past that resurfaced during the show.

Congratulations to Bunim-Murray Productions for twenty years!