We never thought we’d utter these words again, but here we are: The Real World is back!
One of the longest-running reality series in TV history, MTV’s “true story of seven strangers” is often credited with launching the reality TV genre, at large (no big deal). Debuting March 4 on Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access), the original group will be reunited in The Real World Homecoming: New York, which will follow the cast as they move back into their original loft almost 30 years later (watch the trailer here).
To celebrate its return, we’re deep-diving into seasons past to choose our top 10 very favorite Real World seasons of all time (and of course, we’ll sprinkle in a few of the worst for good measure). Our picks are fueled by rocky romances, explosive fights, and one brave, gay man’s AIDS story that quickly became national news. We also added an honorable mention for an under-loved season that deserved far more attention than it got.
And we’re not going to lie: We were glued to allll the hot tub happenings and steamy hookups, as well. Not one, but two threesomes make our list, in addition to a pregnancy scare, an abortion and loads of other hot-button topics that lit up our screens and kept us chatting at the watercooler throughout the decades. (Y’know, back when we actually left our houses and communed around the office water supply.)
A bit of housekeeping: Our “best” picks are ranked, but our “worsts” are not. There have been some truly terrible runs, and after watching all 33 of them… haven’t we suffered enough?
Peruse the list and photos below, then be sure to speak your peace in the Comments to tell us which ones we may have missed and which ones you love!