When I first heard that MTV was taking "The Real World" to Sydney for the new season that begins airing tonight, I was excited about the potential rebirth of one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Having been to Sydney, I can attest that it's a very cool city for young single people, and I thought that perhaps this season, like all the others in international settings, would usher in an interesting cast from all over the world.
Now, having watched the first episode, I actually think "The Real World" has moved from guilty pleasure to downright painful. This time around, they take six of the more vapid white Americans they've managed to find so far and put them in a house with one well-spoken, rational Middle Eastern woman from New York named Parissa. (No Aussies? Aussies are fun!)
If that sounds like a coldly calculated attempt at conflict, well, it is. And if the pilot is any indication, the housemates aren't exactly immersing themselves in Australian culture. Note: When Dunbar says "I'm not gonna lie; Australia kicks ass," he's talking about a fireworks display outside a nightclub. But if train wrecks are your thing, you can't do much better than "The Real World: Sydney." To watch a preview for the season — which, I must admit, makes it look much more exciting than the first episode did — just read more