So I heard the news last night that MTV's The Real World is coming to Austin finally. I say finally because at first glance it's such an obvious place to have it. It had been considered before, but since another MTV show, Austin Stories (who remembers this disappointing series?), was being shot here they crossed it off the list.
Well they're coming in February and I'm dreading it and wondering how it's going to work. There's only a few danceclubs in Austin (and two of them are gay clubs) so that doesn't provide much variety of locales at which the Real Worlders can get drunk and whorish, as is their wont. I dread it because well, it's The Real World.
Austin is a great place to live ... uh, but don't move here. Just come for vacation, spend some money at our wonderful local establishments, then go home. Or if you do move here, get with the program and don't complain about how you'd like it better if it was more like wherever you came from (I'm looking in your direction California) cause if you pull that crap you can just go hell, or back to whatever hellish place from whence you came. We like the stew of people that made Austin what it is: hippie cowboys, state employees, college students, Latino immigrants, musicians, techie people, enviros, etc. Sure the Chamber of frickin' Commerce is flogging that "Keep Austin Weird" thing now, but still.
Anyway, Austin's great but I can't imagine the RW producers would care about the RWers going to see a million bats flying out from underneath a bridge or quietly hanging out drinking beer and eating TexMex or swimming in a natural spring-fed pool. Wait, no they'll like the last one since the water stays 68°F year-round and the girls will probably get nipple-y.
The producers have been clear that they wanted to have the "cast" (I love how a group term for actors in a play or movie is applied to people on a reality show) here for SXSW. Great. I shudder to think of the desperate pleading from bands and labels to get the RWers, and more importanly the MTV cameras, to attend their showcases. It's going to be so, so ugly. And yet, I think I will be thoroughly amused if any shit goes down while I'm working registration. As my friend Carole once said, "I wanna be here when the yelling and screaming starts. I wanna be here when the famous people come."
You can read more details, including enthusiastic quotes from the mayor and seemingly nervous quotes from SXSW here and here.
One thing that I think will happen is backlash from the locals. Sure the target demographic and (fleeting) fame whores will be excited, but the rest of us? Not so much. I predict two instances of graffiti on the door of wherever they live, several letters of complaint over their lewd behavior to the Austin-American Statesman (the daily paper), multiple letters of complaint with pithy sarcasm to the Austin Chronicle (the free weekly), and countless scoffings at their mere presence.
So fellow Austinites, let the predictions fly about where they'll live, where they'll work, and what local band will get a record label interest because one of the girls is boinking the singer thus earning said band airtime.