‘The Real World Homecoming’: Is There Enough Love for the Series to Revisit Every Season?
“There are definitely seasons that would be fascinating to revisit,” co-creator Jonathan Murray told Rolling Stone. “But we’ll see how people react to this. My assumption is that if it’s successful, maybe MTV will want us to revisit some of the other seasons.”
Murray mulled over which seasons producers would be willing to explore in a reunion show. “New Orleans, Hawaii… Even Season Two in L.A. was interesting,” he said.”There’s plenty. The show did chronicle the times that it was shot in and some of the issues that were dealt with at those times.”
Revisiting an old cast in a new world
“Our team talked to each cast member and got a sense of why they were coming back and whether they felt there was any unfinished business, or whether there were any discussions they wanted to have with either the group or an individual,” Murray shared.
“Once we had done those interviews, we felt like there would be something good here,” he concluded. “Andre [Comeau], for instance, feels that he was too cautious about really connecting with these folks and felt like he had missed some opportunities the first time around. He wanted to really embrace the experience in a way he felt he hadn’t before. Kevin [Powell] wanted to revisit some of those conversations that he had about race.”
“Then we talked about how we could trigger some of those conversations,” he added.
Reviews have been positive for the show
Concerns about a flat show or lack of drama were washed away when production used throwback videos to drum up conversations.
“We talked about having a monitor in the house and playing some clips from the earlier season for them to react to and to act as conversation starters,” Murray shared. Indeed, the 1992 conversation about racism between Powell and Becky Blasband went sideways and then south in 2021. Blasband became so frustrated she left the reunion. She did not return.
“When you do a show like this, you have a big, loose-leaf notebook full of different things, almost like a coach with plays you can go to,” Murray said. “There’s tape you can throw up. We were ready. At the same time, you have to be very much in the moment. We love it if something develops and we can just stay out of it and let it go where it goes. You have to constantly read what’s going on and know when to step in and when to step out of it.”
The chemistry and setting worked as critics embraced the reunion. Rotten Tomatoes gave the series a 100% rating. Variety referred to it as the “sort of nostalgia trip you’d expect.” And a slew of publications applauded the renewed discussion about racism on the show. “Yes, we’ve all gotten older and wiser in some ways more than others. Acknowledging that through Homecoming: New York makes it a more worthwhile trip than any memory lane rewind can offer in 2021,” Salon reviewed.