I have a great love/hate relationship with The Real World. I have watched faithfully since around the third season (of course I watched the first two on reruns). I think the idea of it really was groundbreaking and I think it's been a very important part of my generation's culture. The Real World was where I had my first interactions with people completely different from me. Where I grew up there wasn't a whole lot of diversity and I think seeing people from all different walks of life helped shape some of my ideas about the world (obviously my parents helped too).
I never missed an episode until we hit San Diego which is when it started being more about hook-ups and binge drinking than anything else. This continued for the next few seasons with a few bright spots (like Key West). I enjoy random drunken moments and love when cast members hook up (oh like Pam and Judd!) but I think it reflected a lot on how much times have changed for our generation. Getting toe up drunk and sexing whomever is clearly the very accepted lifestyle for us, but I need more hope for our generation.
I think this season (Brooklyn) has been just what I needed. Sure there's been some shallow behavior but we've also touched on pretty diverse subjects. Last night's episode was so great. It not only touched on the election being historic but it showed one of the cast members being called into active duty for his second tour of Iraq. (I just read that he helped guard Saddam Hussein at his trial during his first tour) It was seriously one of the most heart breaking moments I think I've ever watched on TV. I hope you can catch it in re-run at some point.
Cheers to Mtv for bringing me a little hope for our future, but I won't hold my breath as I just read that the next season is Real World: Cancun. Shoot Me.