This is true story of a writer who just re-watched the pilot
episode of The Real World: New York,
in which seven strangers were picked to live together to have their lives
taped for the masses to consume and hopefully learn from. Twenty-three years
after the experimental series premiered on MTV, there are obvious stark
differences between the hook up-crazed youth who have comprised the show’s latter
seasons and the markedly more mature, settled cast who spent three months in
1992 in the NYC loft.
Included in the original Real World
seven were Norman Korpi, Julie Gentry, Becky Blasband, Kevin Powell, Andre
Comeau, Heather Gardner, and Eric Nies. I vaguely recall watching this episode with a bit of interest mixed in with a fair amount of indifference. Who were these people and why were they on TV? Furthermore, was this entire show actually as "real" as it claimed to be?
Well, 30 seasons later (gawd, that makes me feel old), the longest-running show on MTV (and the longest-running reality series ever) doesn't feel as authentic as it was in the beginning. For example, the pilot episode is way tame; I don't recall seeing a single drunken moment, no one hit the 'fridge for alcohol or jumped in the pool (what pool?) for a half-naked makeout sesh. Honestly, watching make me wish the show would revert back to its original less showy format, but sadly, I don't own a time machine and drama = ratings. So yeah, the best thing any nostalgic Real World fan like myself can do is reminisce over these forgotten moments from The Real World: New York pilot.
1. Julie Had the First Real World Cast Member Intro Ever
Right away, the aspiring dancer from Alabama introduced the world to her dance moves, her super religious upbringing and her touchy relationship with her father, which brings me to...
2. The Inside of Julie's Dad's Car
Whoa! All red everything.
3. When Julie Says Goodbye to Her Family at the Airport
This was a typical reaction to a naive 19-year-old leaving home for more than a couple days, but the most striking evidence of how out-of-date this debut season is the fact that non-passengers were allowed to wait at the airport gates.
4. This Hilarious Cabbie
This guy wasted absolutely no time filling Julie in on all the awful things that happen in New York City, from the criminals to the perils of having a full bladder in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
5. Eric Nies Arrived First
6. The Living Room Furniture
7. The Bare Mattresses and a Portable Fan
This is what the modern day Real World-ers would refer to as "roughing it."
8. When Eric and His Hat Called Everyone They Know to Brag About the House
Also, does anyone else remember that old school phone?
9. When Becky Made Her Entrance
This was probably one of her cheeriest moments on the show.
10. Kevin Powell and His Overalls
He has such an amazing smile, but for some reason, I couldn't stop obsessing over Kevin's overalls.
11. Eric's Modeling Shoot
12. Norm's Dog Gouda
Because reality TV is unbelievably hard on a pet.
13. Heather B.'s Music Video
Seriously, who didn't love Heather B.? She was (and still is) the bomb.
14. The Infamous Beeper Scene
Nothing made the potential of The Real World "experiment" more clear than when Julie asked Heather whether she owned a beeper because she sold drugs.
15. When Andre Talked Sex and Relationships With the Girls
Totally forgot how much I loved Andre and his amazing hair.
16. When Eric Couldn't Remember The First Girl He Had Sex With
More than two decades later, I'm still not sure whether to take him seriously.
17. Norm's Dog and Heather's Cat Had the First Fight in the House
No humans were harmed in the making of this video, but I can't say the same for the animals.
18. The Sleeping Quarters Were Tight
I mean, really tight. That's almost like my first apartment, which is way too normal for The Real World we know today.
19. This Scary Subway Incident
According to this witness, a passenger got his foot caught in a door and was dragged by the train. Luckily, he survived.
20. Becky's Performance
Although Andre was also a musician, Becky has the distinct honor of having The Real World's first genuine rock star moment.
21. Norm's Bathroom Interview
22. When Julie Convinced This Stranger To Take Her For a Ride on His Harley
Otherwise known as the "Julie is so utterly charming" effect that would basically engulf the entire house throughout the next three months.
Sigh. Real World of years past, please make a comeback.
Images: MTV (22)