Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Lisa's Favorite Sites

"The Real World: D.C." crashes and burns

Bringing "The Real World" to Washington has proven historic for MTV.

Historically bad.

Ratings-wise anyway.

Wednesday's "The Real World: D.C." finale attracted about 1.1 million viewers -- the smallest finale audience in the show's 23-edition history.

As if that's not bad enough, the three least-watched episodes ever in "The Real World" history all came out of its Washington edition.

Five of the six least watched "Real World" episodes ever -- also Washington.

What went wrong? Was it us? Are the capital of the free world and "The Real World" mutually exclusive?

Back in February, when MTV was in the middle of airing its D.C. edition of its hot-20-somethings hook-up show, its executive producer Jon Murray said in an interview that the latest iteration of Washington edition of the aged franchise would break the mold because it would be all about "young people ..... in D.C. trying to make change."

"That doesn't mean they're not still dating, they're not jumping into a hot tub," he told RealScreen magazine.

This edition was going to give us a very "different side of being 22," he said.

"It gives you that idealistic side."

How right he was.

Take Wednesday's finale, for instance. In the episode, the Real World housemates fought one last time when Callie, this season's token best-behaved small-town chick, tries to turn the house into a giant Craft Corner for an art gallery exhibition, but this edition's token loser/punching bag/assumed virgin Andrew was too busy snuggling with his new girlfriend to pay much attention or work on his project.

Finally, the exhibition all came together, and everyone forgot the drama of the past few months as they kissed and made up -- literally. A goodbye game of Truth or Dare led to the house's token bi-sexual, Mike, and good girl Callie making out, and the others stripping off various items of clothing and running around the neighborhood, reminding the residents of Dupont Circle how much they're going to miss these idealistic kids.

We asked around when the numbers came out, to figure out what went so tragically awry with the Washington edition. Virtually every non-MTV person with whom we spoke agreed: what MTV's viewers want to see is not "idealistic" 20-somethings in Washington -- it's tanning-bed obsessed 20-somethings in Jersey Shore. Sigh.

Speaking of "Real World: D.C.," the Reliable Source has details on local band Wicked Liquid, with ladies' man housemate Josh Colon.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  April 1, 2010; 6:39 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Didi out, Diddy sings on 'American Idol'
Next: Nat Geo Channel's solitary confinement campaign kicks off

Comments

I know not a single person in my group of friends and family (ages 14 thru 62)who watched this pablum...

Posted by: sigmagrrl | April 1, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I tried to watch it to see the DC moments, but the cast members were too irritating. Not because they were "idealistic" (which they weren't), but b/c they just fought all the time about incredibly stupid stuff.

Posted by: Corn_Laden | April 1, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I tried watching a few episodes of this season, and I was completely turned off by the cast. They didn't come off as "idealist" at all. They seemed to be more interested in fighting over dumb, inconsequential stuff. Or maybe I'm just getting old.

That being said, I think you can blame the shooting location, as well. It was a mistake bringing the show to a city as "safe" and white-washed and bland as DC is. As much as DC is a nice city to live and work in, other cities have more character to them, and I think that came out in the episodes for those seasons. Come on, what are really the defining traits of DC? That it's full of government workers? There are tons of think tanks and law firms? The museums are free? DC is totally transient, which is what makes for a lack of character.

Posted by: ezcheese81 | April 1, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

What in the h*ll is a Real World?

Posted by: madstamina | April 1, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Liked Mike, Andrew & Callie. Neutral on Emily & Ty, though sometimes their interaction became a bit much. Didn't like Josh much. Didn't like at all Ashley & Erika, everytime they were on the screen I found something else to do. Too much time was spent on Erika's drama. Reading the bios Ty had far more drama in his life that might have been explored yet that was not covered. After watching the season recap there were whole storylines / issues that were not covered at all so editing, in retrospect appears to have been poor. This was the first season in a long time the cast didn't have a common work or volunteer task to do so they weren't forced to work together until the art show in the last episode. That might have provided more interest.

Posted by: HarryR | April 1, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

It was flat out boring. Can they ever cast a blak guy who doesn't pant around after white girls? Geez. And folks wonder about the epidemic of single women in the black community...

Posted by: davis_renee | April 1, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I tried watching a few episodes of this season, and I was completely turned off by the cast. They didn't come off as "idealist" at all. They seemed to be more interested in fighting over dumb, inconsequential stuff. Or maybe I'm just getting old.

That being said, I think you can blame the shooting location, as well. It was a mistake bringing the show to a city as "safe" and white-washed and bland as DC is. As much as DC is a nice city to live and work in, other cities have more character to them, and I think that came out in the episodes for those seasons. Come on, what are really the defining traits of DC? That it's full of government workers? There are tons of think tanks and law firms? The museums are free? DC is totally transient, which is what makes for a lack of character.

Posted by: ezcheese81
=========================

LOL!!! DC has no culture. DC has no character.

I love it when people who never travel east of gold coast talk about how transient DC is when there are people who have called this city (and its suburbs) home for generations who know this city has plenty of character (and characters).

BTW, the politics is part of what makes DC interesting.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | April 1, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

You say MTV is still around?

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | April 2, 2010 5:41 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, if you combine history, with dining, with monuments, with museums, with night clubs, with politics, with the most powerful city in the world - I don't come up with DC being a "boring" city at all. Not even close.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 2, 2010 5:53 AM | Report abuse

What is boring is the reality TV format in most cases. This particular version of Real World lacked ratings probably bc there was not enough drunken hooking up or super hot girls or outlandish characters ala Puck although I found Andrew to be a somewhat amusing character. Most of what I caught was whining over nonsense. Hmmm...yeah, I want to watch a TV show of real people in an ideal situation for their age complaining about nothing - three whiny girls on the same show is bad casting. At least the Jersey Shore people knew they were lucky and turned into clubbing-fist-pumping-drunken-fiends who offered entertainment by being completely over the top. GTL anyone? MTV's formula of the good girl, the black guy, some offbeat goofball, and the gay/bi guy struggling with his sexuality etc etc is tired. Been there done that. That is what the ratings are saying as well! Has nothing to do with location.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 2, 2010 5:55 AM | Report abuse

Does MTV still show Iron Maiden videos? ........probably not!

Posted by: beezone | April 2, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

"That being said, I think you can blame the shooting location, as well. It was a mistake bringing the show to a city as "safe" and white-washed and bland as DC is."

ezcheese81, you're an idiot. In one short post, you displayed to everyone who lives in or near DC that you have never once visited our city. White-washed? Seriously? That's probably the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

I won't go into all the details of why DC is an amazing city. Those of us who live here know. Those who don't seem to be moving here right and left. We'll be just fine without you.

Posted by: dclindybomb | April 2, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Young people in D.C. trying to make change? How about, young people trying to become famous. That's all the show is anyway. I tried watching and all it was was Andrew trying to scheme on girls. No depth there or anywhere else with this group.

Posted by: dclifer97 | April 2, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

That being said, I think you can blame the shooting location, as well. It was a mistake bringing the show to a city as "safe" and white-washed and bland as DC is. As much as DC is a nice city to live and work in, other cities have more character to them, and I think that came out in the episodes for those seasons. Come on, what are really the defining traits of DC? That it's full of government workers? There are tons of think tanks and law firms? The museums are free? DC is totally transient, which is what makes for a lack of character.
-------------------
No, imbecilic out-of-towners like you create a lack of character here. I'm tired of non-native whiners who have nothing better to do than to trash one of the greatest cities in the world. I've been to New York (40+ times), Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, Brussels, Stockholm, Bruges, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Miami, Savannah, Charleston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Bangkok, and many other cities. I have seen character, and D.C. has plenty of it. All one needs to do is to explore Georgetown, the Mall, Embassy Row, Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, and many other neighborhoods to see it. To all the uninvited guests: Keep D.C. beautiful--leave the city.

Posted by: boxdesoap | April 2, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

ezcheese81, DC's 65% non-white population would like to have a word with you. In fact, while I can't speak for them, I'd bet a large chunk of the other 35% of the population would also like to have a word with you.

Posted by: dkp01 | April 2, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

DC IS a boring place to live; been here over a decade. I don't think its so much the monuments, museums, dining, etc etc. Its the people. Everyone here is so engrossed in their own little worlds they cannot be bothered to talk with strangers on the metro. People would rather ignore you then tell you what time it is or where M Street is.

Now Denver; that is a cool place to live. You cant walk 3 blocks there without being approached by a friendly face for a random convo.

Dont even get me started on MTV.

Posted by: BrownTown5000 | April 2, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

You cant walk 3 blocks there without being approached by a friendly face for a random convo.

Posted by: BrownTown5000 | April 2, 2010 10:26 AM

It always cracks me up when I see long-term tourists act like this doesn't happen in DC.

Posted by: dkp01 | April 2, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I have to say that out of the last few Real Worlds, DC was the most down to earth cast I have seen. They weren't drama oriented at all. They solved issues like adults and unfortunately in today's world, that doesn't mean ratings. I loved how they all solved things as one group and that there wasn't too much drama. They stayed true to themselves which shows. It wasn't your typical Real World drunk orgy-fest.

Posted by: lll1424 | April 2, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The problem with DC is the unfortunate presence of non-natives who don't appreciate the derth of culture and history and excitement in one of the most beautiful cities! Maybe it's not DC that's boring...it's you.

The ones that aren't friendly, that won't randomly talk to you, say "sir" and "ma'am", and "excuse me" and "thank you" are transplants to this great city. We take pride in our city, we take pride in our quirky, almost Southern/country mannerisms, and I'm tired of hearing y'all bash DC. If you don't like it, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!

DC has more personality in one block than you do in your entire body. Each neighborhood has it's own history (did y'all know Georgetown was once majority Black, and my grandmother was one of the first Black students at Dunbar...cool, right?!) and it's own vibe, and I'm proud to say I'm a true native (born in DC!!!) and think this is a great city!!!!

Posted by: reliford | April 2, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I'd echo the common theme of "it was just too stupid".

But not because DC is a bland city where nothing happens. You have to admit that DC has one of if not the highest proportion of educated professionals in a metro area in the US, if not the world.

So ok compare it to Jersey shore which is about (so I hear, I've never seen it) a bunch of Italian muscleheads and some Italian "bimbos" who go out and get drunk and party and have sex and fight on the boardwalk in New Jersey. So...DCRW could easily have been about everything *else* that is still interesting and it would have done well.

Obviously it was about anything else but that. It ends up as just another carpetbagging disaster. But that doesn't mean that the idea itself doesn't have merit (even though some will look at the ratings from this and say that). It just means that it was poorly-executed.

If we rate TV as a whole the way that some will surely rate DCRW as a general concept, we'd look at the fact that 6 out of every 7 pilots don't even make it to production and cancel the whole idea of TV. We would never succeed because of past failure. It's just plain time for people to stop rewarding stupidity and give new ideas and new players a chance. We've got 5 universities in this area, surely someone from one of them can pitch a RW show in the DC area that will actually be popular. Or at least critically-acclaimed.

Posted by: dubya1938 | April 2, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Dance puppets, dance.

Posted by: BrownTown5000 | April 2, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Clearly ezcheese and other MTV brains want more mindless ignorant schlock than what DC has to offer. That is the best proof positive there is as to why ezcheese's post could not be more wrong. DC clearly has more substance and less of the idiocy of other locales (though obviously the idiocy is here too). I have been here almost 20 years now -- longer than where I grew up -- and could not be more in love with the diversity, culture, and constant surprises this city offer. Try leaving Adams Morgan's barffest on a weekend ezcheese. There's more to life here than clubs with velvet ropes.

Posted by: esmerelda123 | April 2, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I was excited for this season, not just because of DC but because MTV promised that it would be different, more like previous seasons. They wouldn't make the cast work together at a contrived job, they would all get to do their own thing.

But this season's cast was THE WORST of all time, and that's saying a lot. They never did anything but drink, hook up and fight over the most ridiculous, petty stuff. Everyone's a stereotype now, fulfilling their role.

I honestly don't think it's because we're getting "old" - I'm only 25, and I remember the good ones: San Diego, New Orleans, Miami...those were the days!

Posted by: laney619 | April 2, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I want to echo the comments of @dkp01 and @reliford that respond to comments like the one from @BrownTown5000 below.

I am a native Washingtonian, proudly and will always be. And frankly, BrownTown5000, if you need to ask someone where M Street is, I question how much time you've actually spent exploring this amazing city during your "over a decade" of living here.

For the record, I love Denver too (about 1/3 of my cousins all live out there) -- and I will talk to anyone on the Metro, at a bus stop, at a bar or any place else. It's how I've met some of the most interesting people that I would never have otherwise met!

Posted by: HenryStin | April 2, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

It was a "for instance", only to illustrate how closed off people act here. I know where M Street is & i know the time. Sheesh.

Next time you ride the metro and start up one of your conversations, (Good for you. Fight the status quo. Much respect.) be aware of the dirty looks you receive while breaking the unwritten code of silence on the train. When you notice these looks, ask yourself; Are these looks of hostility and contempt for not following the norm? Or are they simply longing to be like you, charming, easy going, personable and maybe even down right like-able.

DC needs more folk like you, HenryStin.

Posted by: BrownTown5000 | April 2, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

This season of the Real World was excrutiatingly boring. Erika whined and cried, Ty played the role of the angry black man chasing a white girl, Callie played the role of the All American small-town girl, Josh played the role of the talentless jerk who is bigger in his own mind than he is in reality, Mike played the role of the gay guy and Emily played the role of the girl who wants to boss everyone around while masking her own issues. That about sums up the entire season - one humongous yawn and a total waste of DVR space.

Posted by: daphy9551 | April 2, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I was so excited when I heard that The Real World was filming in DC...then I watched the first 4 episodes. This was THE most boring, whiny, irritating cast I have ever tried to stomach. The "always crying over spilled milk" chic..the one who sings (i cant even remember her name) was the most annoying one of all. I was so happy when she finally left!! And Josh (is that his name-the Lenny Kravitz wanna be who thought he could sing) why why why...Out of the whole cast Mike was the only one that didnt give me gas pains while watching him. I think Washington needs a DO OVER we are a great city and need some EXCITING individuals to come and show The Real World community how much fun we are!!!

Posted by: LadyT1 | April 2, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

*gasp*

Could this FINALLY be the beginning of the end for "reality" TV?

Or is it just that there's so many other places to watch whiny brats lament the horrors of being young?

Posted by: ComfortablyDumb | April 2, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

This show has gone on for 23 years? Why God why? It was never worth watching. Anyone remember when MTV played music?

Posted by: flonzy3 | April 2, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"All one needs to do is to explore Georgetown, the Mall, Embassy Row, Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, and many other neighborhoods to see it."

Emphasis on "many other neighborhoods." I hated how this cast stuck with thse "safe" locales you listed. Had they cast locals this season they would've known where to go outside of Georgetown and Dupont.

Posted by: GoldenSilence | April 2, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Geez...those "Why doesn't MTV play music anymore????" comments stopped being relevant 10+ years ago. It's because people no longer want to sit around watching a bunch of terrible videos when they can find what they want immediately online.

Posted by: laney619 | April 2, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Show filled with whiney people and this message board filled with whiney people. Typical DC behaviour. Also, are you guys really comparing DC to the likes of NY and Maimi? Lmao.

Posted by: jamalnasir_2000 | April 2, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I watched this season as well, and I have lived in the DC area since 1983. It was funny to see some of the places the cast went and having no idea where it was.

I think the season was too short. Some people said, they only went to safe areas? Well, maybe MTV would have shown more if the season went longer. If you had followed the twitter feeds, you could figure out where the cast was going to be and where they went, most of which wasn't shown. I like the fact that MTV showed some of the good things the cast did, that hadn't happened in seasons past.

Then you had people like Erika who simply couldn't handle a big city.

DC clearly has some of the most educated people in the world. There is so much to do here, and most of that wasn't shown (I suspect the cast went to the museums at some point).

Posted by: Mike2854 | April 6, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company