In 1992, on this exact day, MTV aired the premiere of their reality television show The Real World, which was created by Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray and apparently based off of a 1973 documentary series An American Family. But is this landmark 20th anniversary something to celebrate or something to shun?
The show is pretty much responsible for bringing the reality craze to every other channel on the dial, and is the longest-running reality series in history. Sadly, this also means it has even outlasted the practice of playing full music videos on the network that was created for and once dedicated to music. If video killed the radio star, reality television killed the video star.
Though the quality of content and character cast on the show has diminished throughout the past 28 seasons, things started off on a pretty good note, right here in New York City. The first Real World NYC house was a loft at 565 Broadway, but they later brought the series back—in 2001 the cast moved into an 8,000-square-foot, four story building at 632 Hudson, and in 2008 to a massive space in Red Hook. Here's a look at Entertainment Tonight's preview of the show in 1992:
The current season is set in St. Thomas, and while MTV has ordered another season (the 28th), the location has yet to be announced. Want to feel old? You can watch all of season one on Hulu.
And here's the American Family show it was all based upon: