Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Real World

The Real World, still airing today, is a reality show that premiered on MTV in 1992. It was created by Mary- Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray, inspired by the 1973 PBS family documentary series titled "An American Family". The show focuses on a group of strangers that agree to live under the same house.  Bunim and Murray originally wanted the show to be a scripted series based on the lives of young people. However, when the cost of production deemed to large, the creators decided to have a cast of non-actors in a non-scripted show. The show initially focused on the real subject matters, such as sexuality, politics, and drug abuse, that young adults had to deal with. A central figure was Pedro Zamora, who appeared on the show in 1994 and was openly gay and an educator of HIV/AIDS. That season featured his commitment ceremony with his boyfriend, Sean Sasser. Sadly, the show that year also chronicalled his dealing with his own affliction with AIDS until his passing. The show, for better or worst, opened up the floodgates for reality based television programming, as producers saw that cheap production costs can garner high ratings. Whether loosely scripted or meticulously planned, this formula drives reality television today.


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