On The Real World Homecoming: New York (not a recap)

Alexandra Richmond
9 min readApr 3, 2021

Hey! Let’s get the band back together and put on a show! Now, more than ever, we really need it! It’s a global pandemic after all, and we ain’t getting any younger. So, for six days, MTV was able to assemble the original cast of the Real World to reunite and be filmed for six days in (surprise!) the original loft they filmed in back in 1992, thirty fucking years ago. They are all in their 40s and 50s now, and were absolute infants then, ages 19 and up. Heather B snuck in her cat, and Norman snuck in his giant dog. They were kids! People were into social issues! They were trying to make it! And MTV filmed them and you know what happened next. Our country fell into a hole and keeps digging. But that isn’t the original cast of the Real World’s fault. It’s just how the culture came to eat itself. People wanted to be artists then, and not rich influencers! What the hell happened? I can’t say where America went wrong, but let’s catch up with the original Real World cast with The Real World Homecoming: New York.

Well, Kevin has written 14 books, conducted th(re)e definitive interviews(s) with Tupac, and has Dave Chappelle’s respect. And he’s the first one to enter the loft, now fitted out in true, garish, wealthy NYC real estate fashion. Oh, Manhattan. The rich really got richer. Becky is the second to arrive, so they chill for a bit.

Kevin lounges atop the loft kitchen’s marble countertop and marvels at the luxurious layout, asking “What did we have back then? A phone, with a cord that went into the wall?” Certainly not bowls of artichokes and Meyer lemons! Not succulents! Like 19 year olds give a fuck about succulents. Then Becky, having chopped an organic apple within an inch of its life, also remembers the old phone, and then says that they were dealing with “the same shit” that America is now. Kevin manages to get a word in edgewise and says “Anita Hill was Me Too, Rodney King was Black Lives Matter,” and Becky interrupts that she hopes that now the situation/”same shit” is “incendiary enough” that “we will be able to put this endemic racism to bed, because it is becoming a pustule.” Becoming?

Kevin makes the point that there was no reference point to their show before they started, and they all thought it was a doc about artists, and has a hearty lol at that concept. And I think at the result of their show! Which is of course, the explosion and dominance of the “reality” genre into our culture, mostly for worse. And the first (only?) reality show…

Alexandra Richmond

Writer, photographer, student in Austin, Texas. Former contributor to many publications a long time ago