We watch... so you don't have to.

Today MTV, Tomorrow The Real World

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. In the 1930s, America turned a blind eye to Europe. Not coincidentally, Adolf Hitler enjoyed an unchecked rise to power. More recently, no one lifted a finger to stop Microsoft running roughshod over competitors. Now we've got a nasty antitrust settlement to work it, with a resolution in the works that will probably help no one. And in perhaps the grossest example of indifference and negligence leading to incalculable horrors, Americans were content to fritter away the early 1980s, ignoring the greater good of society in pursuit of the almighty dollar. As a result, "Cats" enjoyed a 20-year run on Broadway.


Here at TeeVee, we're all about eternal vigilance. By keeping close tabs on the powers that be, we hope to spare you, the American public, the untold misery of watching the televised equivalent of Rum Tum Tugger gadding about to Andrew Lloyd Webber songs and frightening the children. That helps to explain the rationale behind pieces like Gregg Wrenn's hard-hitting look at reality TV and how it can all be blamed on the execrable The Real World.

But in his otherwise thorough piece, my colleague Wrenn missed The Real World's greatest sin -- more awful than the host of knock-offs and dreary porno movies it has inspired, more dreadful an act than locking seven sociopaths in the same apartment and turning on the camera, more unpleasant than unleashing Puck upon a weary nation. I'm talking about the number of The Real World cast members who have made this soul-draining show the crux of their existence.

Forget the cast members who have gone on to appear in Road Rules or "The Real World Reunion" or whatever bilge MTV passes their way. I'm not even that upset about the lunkhead cast member who wrote a book about his time on The Real World or the other lunkhead cast member who went on to get a job with the production company that puts out the show.

No, what has me fearing for humanity's future is the alarming news that two people who appeared in separate installments of The Real World have met, fallen in love, married and sired an offspring.

Don't get me wrong. I don't begrudge the happy couple and their child any moment of happiness or a full, rich life together -- provided it's lived nowhere in the vicinity of my TV. Rather, the frightening development is what could happen should more cast members of The Real World join together in wedded bliss.

Because right now, a light bulb has formed over the noggins of unscrupulous forces within the Bunim-Murray empire. They see two of their cast members producing a new generation of hardy souls for The Real World XXV: Biloxi and think, "Hey... why don't we do that with all our cast members?" They'll build a compound out there, somewhere north of Fort Peck, Montana on the edge of the Saskatchewan border, where all cast members of The Real World will be forced to live and breed with one another -- even the gay ones. And within a few years, Bunim-Murray will have a small army of cast members to lay siege to the nation's airwaves.

Everywhere you turn, there'll be cast members of The Real World clogging up casting directors' offices and inking pilot deals and taking lunches with Mike Ovitz. We'll be six-deep with The Real World-inspired shows. Sitcoms in which cast members will get into wacky predicaments because of their crazy get-rich-quick schemes. Cop shows where seven strangers are brought together to live in one house and solve crimes. Sunday morning talks shows paneled by The Real World cast where they'll discuss important issues of the day like gun control and Social Security reform and what a bitch Ruthie is for not taking out the garbage.

And MTV... Oh Christ, how the music-television network will be lousy with The Real World cast members. The Los Angeles cast can replace Carson Daly as the host of Total Request Live. The Boston cast can be in charge of Kurt Loder, mashing up his food and changing his soiled garments and making sure the aged hipster doesn't shatter his hip getting out of bed each day. MTV can bring Singled Out back, having the Hawaii cast compete for dates with the folks from The Real World: London. And of course, every member of The Real World and Road Rules and "The Real World Meets Road Rules" will serve as VeeJays, introducing music videos and...

Wait a minute. What am I saying? This scenario is ridiculous. MTV doesn't air music videos anymore.

Never mind.


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