While it may seem moot to debate the “reality” of shows like The Real World, Survivor and America’s Next Top Model (especially considering the fact that The Real World, once a pioneer in the reality show genre, is essentially toothless when it comes to both ratings and cultural impact), the fact that it is getting harder and harder to walk into a bar, restaurant, or park without running afoul of bratty twenty-somethings trailed by a slew of cameras, lights, microphones, and sound mixers is not an easy one to accept.
Having spoken to bartenders who are subjected to drink orders made by these “Real Worlders,” they are embarrassed to be a part of the circus. And the kids who are on the show, once out of their houses and into public places, are social pariahs who are constantly surveyed not only by the cameras but by their so-called peers, who are either excited or bothered by their presence. It’s a lonely life for the participants and a disruptive presence for everyone else. So why not call it a wrap and let everyone live in the Real World.