As I am sure many of you have heard by now, the Real World is here and filming. For the moment, we are the center of the MTV production world while the 27th season of the thought-provoking, soul-searching, and endlessly entertaining reality show plays itself out around St. Thomas. Technically speaking, the show should be called Real World: USVI as they are not actually living on St. Thomas, but rather on small Hassel Island in St. Thomas Harbor. The little island is predominantly Virgin Islands National Parkland with some historic buildings and ruins, and was attached to Frenchtown by a small isthmus until 1865 when they widened the harbor. Also on Hassel Island, there is of course a luxury villa large enough to accommodate the 7 lucky young folk and the entourage of those monitoring their every move (this luxury villa is for sale, should anyone be interested; price available upon request, so it’s most likely very reasonable and within your budget).
Much of their time is spent on St. Thomas when they are not carousing, creating drama, and co-mingling in their lovely villa. Evidently their first night in the villa was spent hooking up with each other; by night three, they were fighting like cats and dogs. They also frequent Duffy’s Love Shack on Wednesday’s Ladies’ nights – free drinks for the girls (always a plot helper). Early on, one of the guys (described as tall and tattooed – think he was in the newspaper the first official day) evidently had a slightly (or more) inebriated emotional breakdown to a waitress outside the bathroom, bewailing the extreme stress of being followed by cameras 24-7. What did he think he signed up for? Maybe he’s setting himself up at the sensitive one. Who knows? (Who cares?) I also heard they skipped out on a bill or two – ballsy, and not a little stupid considering the size of this island and the long memories of people here.
I had my first run-in with the Real World a couple of weeks ago, when we were leaving the Butterfly Farm near the end of the West Indian Company (WICO) dock in St. Thomas harbor. This is where most cruise ships dock, and there are only a few things all the way at that end: a gym, Señor Frogs, and the Butterfly Farm (pretty sure they weren’t headed there, although it is a extremely lovely corner of the island). We were about to pull out of the parking lot when I noticed two guys who looked straight out of central casting for the Jersey Shore (Bingo! I thought) with athletic-looking people toting large television cameras running around them (Eureka!). I fumbled my phone out of my purse, took a 2 second video first by accident, then as I was waiting for them to come into decent view again, one of them looked over at me (actually think it was the tattooed one again, unless they all have tattoos) and shot me the dirtiest look ever. As in, ‘how dare you take a photo of me?’ To which I responded silently with, ‘look doofball, you’re the one who signed up to have umpteen cameras follow your every move for months. Let the housewife take her photo.’ I think they were headed for the gym, and I probably would have followed with the car to see, but I have no desire to end up on TV looking like a stalking crazed housewife in her dirty mommy car (or ever, for that matter).
I haven’t seen the show since I was home bored one summer when they had the first Real World (New York) marathon on TV, which was – gulp – almost 20 years ago (now I feel old, at least in MTV years!). At any rate, I know with absolute certainty what I will be watching this summer.
This blog was all ready to go a while ago– I only needed to put in some photos. I should have gone ahead and just posted it as now it is seriously out of date. The title of tomorrow’s post: Hiding From The Real World At Coral World.