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‘The Real World’ Revisited: When Reality Had Bite – The New York Times

The nostalgic reunion series is surprisingly polite. But on a rewatch, the original season is still an eye-opening piece of TV and social history.

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The series looks much different, and not just in the grunge and hip-hop fashions or the Gen X baby faces of the cast. Theres a raw, earnest documentary feel, even as the producers prime the action with gambits like a getaway trip to Jamaica. Cast and crew alike are figuring out the rules of the new genre and the boundaries of the fourth wall.
For sure, there was more artifice to the series than in the cinema-vérité documentaries, like PBSs An American Family, that inspired it. It was a constructed…

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