By Jules Suzdaltsev
Well, The Real World Ex-Plosion has finally come to a flaccid end; the fight we’ve been promised for the past 12 weeks turned out to be a drunken wet fart, and in the end everybody left as friends. So what did we learn from the temperamental (emphasis on the “mental”) cast? Let’s see.
Real San Francisco
As we’ve been endlessly reminded by the luxurious B-roll, this city is really, really beautiful – and yet watching the fellas on the street, or in a bar, or even in Dolores Park, the magic instantly disappears. It’s like when you’re walking down Market St., and you look up and see Sutro Tower, and for a minute bask in the picturesque wonder of this glorious city – then you step in human poop, and the glowing feeling is officially gone. The Real World's SF is a shitty town just like any place else, where couples break up, girls dance on stages for money, and two muscular bros go to town on each other.
I’d also like to take a moment to commend Subway for its extremely subtle product placement on the show. Sure, the company made the cast eat every single meal at the least likely place for someone crashing in the foodie-capital of the West Coast to go for lunch. At least Subway didn't sponsor their erotic dinner, which was the only time on the show I can remember the roommates eating something other than sandwiches. No wonder Tom was excited about having steak.
As it turns out, we’re like pandas at the zoo: just cram two of the same species together and wait. They’re probably going to fuck or fight, and either way, it’s good TV. We are creatures of proximity, and there is no better place than San Francisco to get close to someone, where our population density is second only to Manhattan. If only the selection was better, ya know? Despite being caged and leashed (and mic’d), the moment these animals could hit the club, they were mackin’ all over the place, dirty dancing, and who knows what? ‘Cuz in this day and age, nobody is putting a ring on anything, and that’s the way we like it.
Real TV Millennials
I was born in 1990, so I know what the hell I’m talking about when I say: all any of us want is attention. Ironically, our generation has done the least attention-worthy things so far. Our parents built the internet, collapsed the housing market, shoved us into two wars, and we’ve managed to respond with selfies galore and Miley Cyrus shaking her ass. The Real World: Ex-plosion was most notable for the fact that almost nothing happened on the show. Besides a tragic loss and a pregnancy scare (pulling 1.3 mil and 1.75 mil viewers respectively), the rest of the series was a lot of talking, posturing, flexing, and cleavage (thanks Jenny!).
But really, as much as we love to dump on reality TV for its unrealistic aspects, looking at the big picture it’s all pretty clear: we are just as terrible as the reality TV antics we’re subjecting ourselves to. There’s a reason we’re not watching Masterpiece Theatre; because we love to get drunk, scream at our exes, pee in alleyways, and convince our parents we aren’t failures due to the fact that people have tangentially heard of us.
San Francisco is no different than the cast using our city as its playground, and until you settle into a nice one bedroom in Nob Hill for a king’s ransom with a baby, a puppy, a cat, and a back patio, you’re just as wild and lost as the cast of The Real World: Ex-plosion. The first step is admitting it.