MTV's The Real World, which bowed in 1992, has reached legal drinking age in terms of numbers of seasons, and is spending its 21st here in Brooklyn. This is another one of those pop phenoms I've never paid much attention to, but over the last two weeks it's been filming at my gym (the Sunday before last, when it was empty, and last night, when it was packed to the rafters after work). The show carries a small, and relatively unobtrusive, unit, just a cameraman, a sound man, someone taking notes, and the star, or stars: A compactly built fellow, and another, similarly proportioned guy hanging with him, neither of them looking transgendered, as one of the real world-ers is this time around. (I can't believe it took this long for the show, which has its progressive side, to go there.) I'm guessing the kid with the telegenic reddish blonde hair is the subject, and the brown-haired boy his water carrier, best friend, lover, clone, co-star, or some combination of all five. (Live with someone in a TV bubble for six months and it gets complicated in the real world.)
From where I was watching--and the other patrons weren't paying too much heed--there wasn't a lot going on besides their exercise routines. No drinking, cursing, or making out, staples of the program. I thought about smacking one of them upside the head with a barbell, or barging in and saying I was a long-lost father who needed a kidney transplant--unless something was being hotly discussed I can't imagine much of this getting airtime otherwise. But I decided to keep it Real, and may have to content myself with a cameo appearance when the show airs early next year.