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Running Time: 50 minutes
Retail Price: $19.99
Features: Host Profiles, Location Profiles
Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, English Dolby Surround, English Closed Captions, Scene Selection (19 Scenes)
Released: September 24th, 2002
It's pretty amazing to me that well after ten years, MTV's "The Real World" is still such a popular staple on the network that is far from dying out. Compared to "Survivor" which has been barely on CBS for two and a half years as I write this (who cares about that?), "The Real World" still does really well in the ratings (well, for cable at least) and makes fine water cooler chat still. I guess it's normal for humans to still be interested in how other humans interact with other humans: talking, loving, backstabbing... you've been there. Just maybe not in a house in some major city with a whole bunch of other people.
Still, I don't think people give enough credit to "The Real World." Whether you want to believe it or not, I consider it the original reality program that really helped define for the genre. Haven't you noticed those separate camera interviews on reality shows where one person dishes about everyone else alone? I give credit to "The Real World" for that. Naturally, given the crappy amount of reality shows on the television landscape these days, it's become a mess of which came first, who did what, who's suing who and the like. But thankfully, there will always be "The Real World" which broke ground in the first place and after all these years, is as popular as ever. It will certainly never be forgotten (well not with all the merchandise, books, tapes and as of late slew of DVDs).
This "Real World" DVD covers never before seen footage of the cast trips "Real World" casts took. Amaya ("Real World" Hawaii), Jamie ("Real World" New Orleans) and Theo ("Real World" Chicago) host this special. There are some pretty fun and hot moments, and some moments of interesting activities you could only expect in certain unique countries. You also got the locals, the casts having fun and basically amusing stuff that didn't fit in the first time around for the respective specials, but good enough here because there is no real relevance. Enjoy!
Presented in 1.33:1 full screen, just as the show was presented on MTV, the qualitiy varies since it's a lot of old clips from different places just slammed together. Contrast seems to be way too high, but the image is sharp and certainly very colorful and nicely saturated. The exotic places do stand out and jump off the screen. Noise and halo edges (A LOT), can be found throughout. It's fine for the show, and you're certainly not buying this for your home theater.
The English Dolby Surround track has very good fidelity and rather strong dynamics. Dialogue's crisp and clear, while the sweet background music and crazy antics the people get into provide for good background effects. I could see a 5.1 mix working for some aspects here... but a Dolby Surround track is just fine. Also included are English closed captions via your television.
Amaya, Jamie and Theo each get their own Profiles, with some brief text and then video footage of them talking about their own best and worst travel experiences, their own travel tips and to top it off, what they've done since "The Real World." Also included are Location Profiles for Nepal, Puerto Rico, New England, Morocco, South Africa, Kenya, Bahamas and India. Those profiles are text based.
If you're a giant fan of "The Real World," then this vacation disc is truly worth checking out. Otherwise for you casual fans, it's more of a rental if you're curious. The supplements are decent and the presentation is nice, not to mention a low retail... so if you want it, come and get it.