MTV and Bunim-Murray Productions has recently announced that the island locale of Key West, Florida will play home to the upcoming seventeenth season of one of their most popular reality series, The Real World. Key West will be only the second time the show has ever taken place inside the United States, but not on the mainland (the eighth season was filmed in Hawaii). The show is scheduled to begin filming in Key West this fall with a premiere date tentatively set for early next year.
The only problem with MTV’s decision to film the next season in Key West is that it is, by far, the smallest city that the show has been hosted in. For a show that’s mostly known for sticking to cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, London, Miami, Austin, New Orleans, Seattle, etc. it seems a bit strange that they’re moving into a city with less than 30,000 in population. Though the island boasts a fairly large gay community and a huge Halloween festival called Fantasy Fest (likely what influenced the show’s decision), does it feel weird to anyone else that The Real World‘s cities are getting smaller and smaller?
Key West isn’t a terrible location. Personally, I don’t blame them. The aforementioned gay community and Halloween festival provides perfect leads to stir up the drama — a key ingredient to the show’s formula for success — while at the same time pitching the cast into a picture-perfect island background. But could it be possible that MTV’s running out of locations to film the show in? There’s still several large cities that the show hasn’t filmed in. Being a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, I can’t personally ever see them shooting here. Minneapolis, Minnesota is another rather big metropolitan area that remains untouched by The Real World‘s radar. Phoenix, Arizona; St. Louis, Missouri; Atlanta, Georgia; and Nashville, Tennessee as well. All pretty big cities, but all cities I don’t see as the next location for the show (well, maybe Nashville…if the show aired on CMT).
Even though I don’t see it happening, I’d honestly love to see the show be set in one of these cities. The Indy 500 aside, Indianapolis doesn’t excel in any particular large events or festivals that could get the cast into trouble. In fact, they’d probably grow rather bored, but hey…that’s reality isn’t it? Which segues you right into the argument of whether reality television should actually feature realistic scenarios or not, so that’s a different story all together. Plus, moving into a city like Indianapolis or Nashville would more than likely influence viewers to ask themselves questions like, “Indianapolis? Please. What’s next? The Real World: Backwoods, Mississippi??” I’d also like to raise the question as to why London and Paris have been the only non-American locations that the show’s filmed in. There’s still plenty of great (and huge) foreign cities that the show could make use of…Rome, Sydney, and Tokyo just to name a few. Then again, I guess that would eliminate the need to ever sell the idea of the show to foreign markets to produce their own versions of The Real World, huh? The show has also made use of New York for more than one season. One might guess that if need be, they could always start re-using cities that they’ve already made use of…but that would seem rather boring, wouldn’t it?
I guess we’ll have to wait and see where the next locations for the show will be. Granted that the show will be going into its 17th season on the air, there’s always the chance that it could go off the air all together before they’re forced to deal with the dilemma at hand. But we’ll have to wait and see for sure.