5 Times MTV's 'The Real World' Changed TV for the Better
Because sometimes getting real means getting real good.
It's easy to forget about all the great things that The Real World brought to TV because it's more fun to remember the arrests, the fights, the threesomes, and the millions of absurd tears shed. However, there's plenty of reasons to regard America's reality show template as a series of cultural high points.
So many moments from all 30 seasons are worth remembering fondly, and here are a few that I'll never forget. Most include bravery and honesty, something I wish reality TV thought more about today.
Season 2: Tami Has an Abortion
Despite Jon begging and pleading that Jesus would tell her that an abortion is a mistake, Tami makes the best decision for herself and terminates an unwanted pregnancy. And for 1993, this was a big step for humanity.
Season 10: Coral Explains Racism to The Miz
There's no better place to realize you are a sheltered idiot than living with educated strangers. That's just what happens when Mike says that black people aren't as educated as white people, and therefore are inferior. The ensuing conversation and fellow roomies lead The Miz down a more enlightened path.
Season 17: Paula Talks About Mental Illness
Suffering from weight problems, anger issues, and addicted to diet pills, Paula is brave enough to talk about her mental illness on camera, in a therapy office. This was one big step toward breaking the stigma behind metal illness altogether.
Season 18: Stephen and Davis Talk About Race and Homosexuality
Davis explains to uber-religious Stephen that he did not chose to be gay, a seemingly insane concept to his seemingly awful roommate. But alas, by the end of the season, Stephen seems to have a better sense and clear mind about humanity and sexuality.
Season 20: Joey Talks About Addiction
Troubled by living with six strangers because that's an insane way to live, Joey falls back into his addiction problems. The Real World producers convince and help Joey get to rehab, and ultimately talk about the severity of addiction.