Now THIS Is the True Story

Posted by Marisa January 14th, 2009 at 11:30am In MTV The Real World

Photo by MTV

Seems like every reality show is in New York this season. There’s Top Chef. There’s The City. I wouldn’t be surprised if Survivor announced that its next location was Manahttan. (Hey, it’s an island, and they could do immunity challenges like having contestants carry a week’s worth of groceries to a sixth-floor walk-up.)

The one that hits closest to home, though, is The Real World: Brooklyn, which airs its second episode tonight. And by “hits closest to home,” I mean my home, because I live in the Borough of Kings, too, though not in Red Hook. Still, I vowed to watch this season. I haven’t really committed to watching a whole season of The Real World since San Francisco–that’s the one with Puck and Pedro, for those keeping track–back when MTV still cast people who were older, goofy-looking (Judd), and had real jobs (remember how Pam was a doctor?). I briefly got into the London season–aka the one where there was no conflict–but that was it. And so, after a 15-year hiatus, I’m back.

I don’t really care about the cast– at least not yet. I’m watching because I want to see how they portray my adopted borough. So, after watching the premiere, I made a list of things you could surmise about Brooklyn from the episode. In parenthesis, I put whether or not they ring true or false when compared to my experiences here. Here goes:

  • Brooklyn is, as Roommate Chet says, “The place that you don’t want to end up.” (False. Um, have you met anybody?)
  • Graffiti covers almost every available wall. (Fair enough.)
  • People play stickball in the street. (True…in 1955. Today, not so much. There are cars.)
  • Everybody lives, as Roommate Baya says, “Right on the ocean.” (False. While some have water views, it’s not quite the ocean yet if you can see Bayonne, NJ across the way.)
  • Residences are akin to compounds, where eight people have a re-purposed industrial building to themselves and, while they have to share bedrooms, they have a shower ratio that’s pretty darn close to 1:1 in addition to their own personal gym. (Uh, false.)
  • People get everywhere by water taxi. (False.)
  • People ride the water taxi once and only once, for novelty purposes. (False. No one takes the water taxi ever.)
  • Concertgoers, like Roommate Chet, put on a pair of fake glasses that look like prescription glasses just to be cool. (True. Sadly.)
  • Each of said concerts begins and ends with someone shouting, “Where Brooklyn at?” (False.)
  • One is able to move into a residence–in Red Hook, no less–without going straight to the IKEA. (False.)
  • Everyone talks about working out all the time, like Roommate Scott. (True.)
  • Residents pay attention, even just a little bit, to the Statue of Liberty. (False.)
  • Girls either dress in punky, funky outfits that always look artsy and put together (like Roommate Sarah) or getups that show way too much cleavage (like Roommate Devyn). (True.)
  • Everyone is either a wannabe dancer, a wannabe actress, a wannabe musician, a wannabe writer, a wannabe filmmaker, a wannabe model, a home-sewer, or a DJ. (True.)


  • 1. katie  |  January 14th, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    i am none of those things, there in the last bullet point. i wannabe nothing at all.

    wow that came across as really sad.

  • 2. Marisa  |  January 14th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I think that makes you a wannabe existentialist.

  • 3. sara  |  January 14th, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    I would totally watch Survivor: Manhattan. In fact, I think that’s the only way I’d watch Survivor. Also, I’ve taken the water taxi a couple of times. But I don’t live in Brooklyn.

  • 4. Dan  |  January 15th, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Y’all are missing out on Survivor. I swear.

  • 5. Maggie  |  January 15th, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Katie, you occasionally knit (yes?), so I think you qualify as a “home-sewer.”

    They’re like steps from the IKEA, right? They should drop in to have lunch. Swedish Meatballs! Also, they probably take the water taxi because there’s no other way to get out of Red Hook.

  • 6. TV Blog Coalition - Janua&hellip  |  January 19th, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    […] Marisa had long since given up on The Real World, too, but the show’s new setting of Brooklyn lured her back. This week she compares the MTV BK with the real thing. (TiFaux) […]

  • 7. TV Talk From Fellow TV Ad&hellip  |  January 20th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    […] Marisa had long since given up on The Real World, too, but the show’s new setting of Brooklyn lured her back. This week she compares the MTV BK with the real thing. (TiFaux) […]

  • 8. Brooklyn Addict  |  April 21st, 2009 at 1:02 am

    I am born and raised here and I thought it funny the opening credits with the 80’s boom box.. Ridiculous..


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