‘Skeletons’ United ‘Real World’s’ Guilty-Pleasure Present With Its Socially Conscious Past

The 30th season of The Real World had to be something special. It was not only a milestone in reality television (the big 3-0!) and the follow-up to a strange, “shocking” new format (Real World: Ex-Plosion), but it also had to justify the show’s continued existence. To accomplish this, MTV introduced Real World: Skeletons, another format change in which the basics are the same (seven strangers in a gorgeous house), but there’s a twist: Each of the roommates is visited by a “skeleton” from his or her past. MTV opted to bring in not just exes but other kinds of skeletons, too — reuniting the roommates with enemies, siblings, and even an estranged father. The decision often made for compelling television, especially for a franchise that has been slowly fading out for years. … Read More

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Can Guests Like Charlamagne and Angel Haze Keep ‘Catfish’ Fresh in Season 4?

Catfish was already beginning to show signs of wear and tear in its third season. It remained entertaining throughout, but it was clear that the catfish were different, more self-aware, and perhaps even catfishing purely for the purpose of appearing on the show. It’s the problem that most reality shows face after a few seasons: How do you continue to stay real — or even “real” — if participants know the rules and can easily fit themselves to the mold? Catfish hasn’t figured that out quite yet, but it has found one way to shake things up this season. Because Max is off filming a movie, Nev has a string of celebrity guest hosts to fill Max’s void. It’s just too bad that this change doesn’t really add anything, making the Season 4 premiere disappointingly boring. … Read More

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Jill Soloway Is Developing an MTV Comedy

Jill Soloway, creator of Transparent, has set her sights on MTV (and perhaps, just as Transparent temporarily made us forget … Read More

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MTV’s Gruesome ‘Eye Candy’ Is a Solid Teen Psychological Thriller

Thrillers aren’t exactly MTV’s forte, though it’s also true that MTV has no idea what its current forte is. Its reality shows are quickly growing stagnant, and its scripted teen dramas can only be judged on an episode-to-episode basis, because they vary so widely each week. Eye Candy is the network’s newest scripted program, a cyber-centric mystery thriller starring former Disney queen Victoria Justice. Based on a novel by R.L. Stine and developed by Christian Taylor, Eye Candy aims to have (teen) viewers second-guessing their e-dating habits and online addictions. Even with gruesome visuals, the show has a tough time navigating its confusing plot, but the potential is there. … Read More

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2014 in TV: ‘Faking It,’ ‘Degrassi,’ and the Year of Realistic LGBTQ Teens

If there is one thing that the world at large is terrified to talk about but television seems obsessed with exploiting, it’s teenagers having sex. It’s something that adults — namely parents — prefer to ignore, while TV series — namely cheesy dramas — put it front and center, often in a shameless play for ratings. There are only a few stories about the topic that TV has historically deemed important enough to tell: If teenagers were having sex, the girl immediately got pregnant; virginity was put on a pedestal, so much so that losing it never just happened, but was instead an episode-long event promoted in advance. Everything that falls under the umbrella of teen sexuality tends to appear in frustrating extremes on television, and this is especially true when it comes to teen LGBTQ narratives. Traditionally, if a teenager came out of the closet, they were swiftly ostracized by their parents and peers. Teens were either strictly gay or strictly straight, with no room for ambiguity. For a while, TV had no interest in murky gray areas or sliding scales of sexual attraction. But in 2014, there were a number of refreshing programs that aimed to tell more unique and nuanced stories. … Read More

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Your Weekly TV News Roundup: ‘Smash’ Musical Heads to Broadway, ‘Girls’ Casts Shoshanna’s Parents

The television world moves so fast that by the time you learn of a show’s premiere, it could already be canceled. It’s hard to keep track of the constant stream of television news, so Flavorwire is here to provide a weekly roundup of the most exciting — and baffling — casting and development updates. This week: Sarah Silverman’s HBO pilot, Hulu gets the rights for FX/FXX shows, and Girls casts Shoshanna’s parents. … Read More

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‘The Real World: Skeletons’ Is MTV’s Latest Attempt to Reinvigorate a Tired Franchise

How do you even review The Real World? The reality show has been on for 30 seasons now, and no two are alike. Most are objectively awful. Yet this can rarely be blamed on the show’s premise — The Real World has, for the most part, stuck with its original “seven strangers picked to live in a house” format. Whether or not the format works is actually the result of the particular characteristics of each group of seven strangers. Are they “real” people who are legitimately open to new experiences, or are they empty caricatures of the reality show roles they are molding themselves to fit into? Are they genuinely interested in meeting new people, or are they just down to fight and fuck in order to become “famous” on MTV’s blog or in a GIF recap? The cast is usually the main draw of The Real World, but lately the show has resorted to more desperate measures, like last season’s “EX-Plosion” or this season’s “Skeletons.” Whether these conceits “work” is tricker to figure out. … Read More

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Watch Benedict Cumberbatch Attempt Christopher Walken, Matthew McConaughey, and Taylor Swift Imitations

Benedict Cumberbatch — who is now engaged, lest you forget — is just so endlessly charming, right? That’s why… Read More

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MTV Debuts ‘Braless,’ a Teen Web Series About Sex, Feminism, and Celebrities

If we needed any further proof that feminism has gone from being a maligned activist movement to a dominant strain in pop culture in the past few years, it can be found in Braless, the adorable new teen web series from MTV which will air on YouTube each Tuesday. … Read More

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