When 'The Real World' debuted in 1992, reality TV was in its infancy, people used pagers, and MTV still aired music videos. The idea was novel: throw seven strangers into a house for several months and film their every move.Created by Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray, no one in 1992 could anticipate that the scripted reality show would become the longest-running program in MTV history. And for a generation of youths and young adults watching the early seasons, the show was a visual introduction into sex, racism, alcohol, religion, and politics.
The Real World also boasted some serious real estate eye candy. Although the show's goal was to find out what happened "when people stop being polite, and start getting real," the show's homes increasingly became over-the-top caricatures of the cities they resided in—fake volcanoes in the Hawaii beach house, ski chairs in the Denver loft, tiki bars in San Diego. The Real World houses weren't so much real as they were fulfilling the housing fantasies of a generation of viewers dreaming of leaving home.
The show's producers also preferred to film in locations that were "up-and-coming" or rapidly changing, causing many observers (and critics) to accuse the Real World of encouraging gentrification. The Real World cast lived in lofts, penthouses, piers, and city condos, all filled with fishtanks and pool tables and IKEA furniture. But despite the illusion of urban grit, the cast members were always sheltered from the reality of their neighborhoods, whether through security guards or, as the show grew ever more popular, literal fences.
In total, there have been 31 seasons of the Real World, and the 32nd season is currently filming in Seattle. We've rounded up each and every house, from the original Soho loft in New York City to the show's luxurious Las Vegas penthouses. Whether you watched one season or 20, it's a trip down reality show memory lane.Read More