The Real World comes to Washington?

Posted by Dan April 9th, 2009 at 12:29pm In General

real-world-ct-ericIf you listen to the New York Post, Washington D.C. is going to be the next location for the eighty-fourth season of The Real World. And, frankly, I’ll believe it when I see it.

D.C. has been the perennial bridesmaid when it comes to The Real World location finalists. And for good reason. While it is a big city, it’s not necessarily a city known for drinking and fighting — the two pillars of Real World drama.  The drinking and fighting that happens in DC tends to involve Hill staffers rolling up their shirtsleeves at happy hour and really getting into it about which bill is full of pork and what will or won’t get out of committee. I can’t imagine the kids are going to want to watch that.

Even though the producers have claimed in recent seasons to search for cast members who have some substance, the only episode I’ve seen this season (the third time the show has gone to the New York well) involved one super-buff blonde guy locking up the kitchen cabinets as punishment to his other roommates (and another, in retaliation, stealing something of his and hiding it). While they may want to cast some smarties on this season, you’ve got to have at least a few dumb jerks to keep it watchable.

Generally speaking, to function in D.C. you need to at least be able to know most of the members of Presidential Cabinet and a few obscure congressmen to hold your own at cocktail parties. Let me put it this way: The most quintessential D.C. situation I can recall was a friend of mine telling me that he had found himself in a local gay bar, talking energy policy with a guy clad in a leather harness.

So, if The Real World does come to D.C. (and God help us all if it does), here are some possible neighborhoods they could live in:

Adams Morgan — If you want drinking and fighting, this is where it’s going to happen. While Adams Morgan is quite lovely on weeknights and during the day (hipsters brunching, grad students with their laptops), on Fridays and Saturdays it quickly turns into amateur night. There are girls in cute skimpy tops freezing their asses off in February, drunk guys in stripey collared shirts and fancy jeans calling each other ‘brah’ and any number of undergraduates puking their jumbo slices up on the sidewalk.

U Street — This is my new neighborhood. The U Street/14th Street corridor is rapidly becoming the new gayborhood (although maybe it’s already moved out to Shaw — it’s hard to keep track, the gays wear me out) and there’s a lot of nightlife with jazz clubs and rock clubs.

Columbia Heights — Probably one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Northeast DC (for now, the new Target is attracting the folks with strollers and nice sweaters), it’s still transitioning a bit. I can definitely see the cast at the Wonderland bar, a hipster dive that attracts a surprisingly eclectic crowd. But, then again, I wouldn’t want them there. So forget I said that.

Capitol Hill — Although this may change with the Obama administration and the powerful Democratic majority, the Hill has always seemed to be a haven for high school class presidents with pleated pants. The portion of the neighborhood in SouthEast DC is arguably the most happening area (a piano bar, the gay cowboy bar — ooh, I bet you they will totally cast some gay dude who wants to be a DC Cowboy) and they’ll probably be able to find a relatively cheap house to gut and redecorate.

Welcome to the city kids. If you stay away from Nellie’s, The Black Cat, The Fox and Hound, Toledo Lounge and The Raven, we’ll get along just fine.


  • 1. Vance  |  April 9th, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    RWBrooklyn was actually pretty terrific (though that’s with a heavy dose of relatively speaking) though there was a stream of practical jokes that went too far (it IS RW you know). Still, the shirtless guy Scott made it pretty watchable. hehe…

  • 2. Marisa  |  April 9th, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    I haven’t seen the last couple episodes, but I’ve watched all of The Real World: Brooklyn. (It’s funny that they might be moving from my city to yours.) But it doesn’t matter where they land in DC. What disappointed me most about the show was that there wasn’t any Brooklyn in it. They lived in a isolated, gated compound right on the river. They had no neighbors. They never walked down the street. When they went out, they took cars to Pete Wentz’s bar in Manhattan. The only Brooklyn landmark I actually saw them go to—and not in a photo-op way—was Fairway (a supermarket). Other than that, it could’ve been anywhere.

    The pleasant surprise, though, was that the people *were* less stupid than past seasons of The Real World. There was only one person I’d describe as a total narcissist (Devyn). The rest of them look like they fit past Real World types, but they didn’t do the whole binge-drink-until-we-hook-up-in-the-communal-shower thing. The buff douchebag-looking guy was actually the nicest one in the house. The military guy was also against the war in Iraq. The Mormon was clueless, but he had a good heart. At the end of the episode you were talking about, the buff guy lent more than a thousand dollars to the person who he was mad at just so she could stay in the house. It was very sweet.

  • 3. wojtek  |  April 9th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I lived in Columbia Heights for, like, a week!

    You can thank me for my contribution later.

  • 4. Rebecca  |  April 13th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Agreed, Marisa. I missed the last few episodes of RW: Brooklyn, but I really hope Bunim/Murray got a lot of positive feedback on this season because I’d take mildly boring antics over drunken asshole antics anyday. Ryan (the Iraq vet) was actually my favorite; his relationship with Chet-the-flaming-Mormon is a bromance for the ages. Ryan is actually getting sent back to Iraq sometime this month. Talk about your real world.

  • 5. N/A  |  April 16th, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Actually, I hear they are looking for the cast to live around Embassey Row in DuPont.

    I’m willing to bet the DC cast will have substance. You may just be surprised. 😉


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