This is a True Story…
I have an addiction that I’m not proud of. As hard as I try, I cannot pull myself away from season after season of Real World/Road Rules Challenges. I don’t even watch The Real World anymore, and I’m pretty sure Road Rules hasn’t been on TV since the Clinton administration. So at this point, I don’t even know who most of the Challenge cast members are (unless one of the old farts from the early seasons comes out of retirement… I’m looking at you, Syrus. And even then it’s more embarrassing than entertaining. Are you really still saying “I’m not here to make friends” at forty?). So as much as I love watching this train wreck, it still sometimes keeps me up at night.
It may be even less “real” for the guys. I went to college, and from my experience, constant binge-drinking and partying did NOT result in my stomach looking like this. Yet somehow, these guys metabolize Jagermeister like it’s a protein shake.
When I first started watching Real World and Road Rules in the mid-’90s (I actually have favorite seasons. God, I’m disgusting), I legit thought of them as documentaries. There is absolutely no mistaking it for a documentary nowadays. Documentary subjects are either animals or they look like this, not this.
Documentary subjects also tend to leave the spotlight once the doc is done. The Challenges, however, seem to be a black lagoon that keeps sucking these people back in. I’m pretty sure they’ve all swapped bodily fluids at this point, and it makes me wonder if a cast member would be ostracized for not dating “one of their own.”
I’ve heard that recent Real World seasons have been a little less vapid lately, but I still haven’t gotten back into it. Yet for some reason I cannot break my habit of the Challenge. It’s a tough thing to admit that you unabashedly love a TV show aimed at 14 year-olds, but that’s why I consider myself so unbelievably brave. I’m like a 9/11 firefighter.
I’m glad to finally get that off my chest, plus the newest episode of the Challenge: Fresh Meat II is on my DVR. So I’m gonna go rip some tequila shots and make out with a stranger. ‘Cause apparently that will do wonders for my abs.