The formula for the “Real World” series seems so simple: people + cameras + drama.
But there’s another part of the equation that defines the landmark MTV reality series: the house.
Every season, that house is a unique reflection of the pop zeitgeist as well as the geographic setting, whether it’s a neon-tinged bowling alley in Las Vegas or a fishing hole in the floor of a house built on a Seattle pier. And from the start, there has been the fishbowl, a home for aquatic life and a glassy metaphor for the “life on display” experience of the show.
This season, there is no fishbowl (for the first time!) and no fish, even though the show has returned to Seattle. The home features natural wood, darker colors, and a “grunge room” inspired by concert posters on street poles.
“Our first objective was to have it not look like a reality show house,” production designer Matt Tognacci told Zillow during the hectic preparation phase this summer. “We tried to base it off something more mature, like the Ace Hotel.”
This season – the 32nd(!), premiering October 12 – “Real World” has a twist unlike any the show has seen before. It’s called “Bad Blood,” and it means that our seven strangers will be joined by seven “exes, rivals, frenemies [and] estranged family members.”
There are a total of five bedrooms in the house in the Capitol Hill neighborhood (though not all of them are immediately revealed). A large open space dominates, containing the kitchen, pool table area, a dining space and an office. There’s just one bathroom, but it contains four sinks, two open showers and two water closets.
Of course, there is a confessional, where the roommates tell their secrets for the cameras. There’s also a hangout space at the entrance and an under-the-stairs lounge.
When the Bunim/Murray Productions team landed in Seattle, the property was not a living space, but an office. Six weeks later, it had become a home – ready for the cameras, and for the cast members to get real.
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