Summer Entertainment Report Cards: TV Shows – The Real World: New Orleans

Arts & Entertainment/Film and TV by

Despite wavering in popularity, The Real World is to reality TV what Columbus is to accidentally finding continents. Call it an innovator, call it an institution-either way, the franchise has produced 23 seasons, not including their latest, The Real World: New Orleans.

This time around, the focus of the show has been the tension between Ryan, an eccentric homophobe, and Preston, his openly gay housemate. Their verbal battles have escalated into a season-long series of pranks that most people would have abandoned as a method of conflict resolution long ago. These include messing with each other’s belongings and getting at each other’s throats, but never actually throwing a punch. Despite several attempts at a resolution, the feud has continued to escalate, peaking with Ryan calling the police on Preston in the latest episode.

While the conflict has been the meat of the show, there have been a few choice subplots as well. These include the relationship between Knight and Jemmye (it’s no shocker that at least one pair on any given Real World will pair up), McKenzie’s reckless drinking, and Sahar’s attempts to start a singing career. However, while most of the housemates and plotlines are interesting enough, there are a couple of “nothing” characters who simply have no right to be on TV. Specifically, I’m talking about Ashlee and Eric: the pair are rarely involved in any major storyline, and are instantly forgettable when they’re off-screen. A testosterone-fuelled dude with an anger problem or a backstabbing gossip girl would be a welcome replacement for these two nice, meek types in season 25.