Like most TV fans of my generation, I know the words to the opening credits of MTV's the Real World as well as I know the lyrics to the theme song of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air or Saved by the Bell. "This is the story of 7 strangers, picked to live in a house, work together and have their lives taped. Find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real. The Real World, Enter City Name Here".
So imagine my surprise when on Wednesday night's premiere of the new season (its 21st!) it is revealed there will be 8 housemates! Or, "The Ocho" as one of the cast has nicknamed them. Not quite sure what prompted MTV to add another "stranger" into the mix, but it seems to me that more cast members, equals more drama, and well, that's just fine by me!
The new season takes place in Brooklyn, NY. As an NYC fanatic, I was thrilled to hear the new cast would be living in the city's most famous borough. They are living in an enormous house, on the water, with an unobstructed view of the statue of liberty. Money!
Let's meet the cast:
1) Katelynn - A 24 year old arriving at the house from Missoula, Montana where she lives with her devoted boyfriend. Katelynn recently returned from a trip to Thailand where she had sexual re-assignment surgery to become physically female, after being born a man. THANK YOU MTV, for stepping up your game! I am thrilled by this casting choice, and intrigued to see how each of the housemates react as she reveals this transformation. Well done, MTV, well done.
2) JD - A gorgeous young man from Miami Beach, FL. JD finds himself bonding with Katelynn right off the bat, and offers to take her to his favorite NYC restaurant, just the two of them. On the cab ride to the restaurant, JD reveals he was abused as a child, and left home at age 13. He also reveals that he is gay. JD and Katelynn share a hug and some tears, and agree they are each other's best ally in the house.
3) Ryan - Just completed 3 years of military service in Iraq. He has written a book all about his experiences that he hopes to share with his grandchildren one day. Sigh. Much to my surprise, Ryan is also a musician, who likes to write songs, sing and play guitar. My favorite moment of the entire premiere episode involves Ryan and Chet (more on Chet in a minute) sitting in a row boat in front of their house, writing a song about their roommates. Ryan also has a girlfriend back at home, Belle, who I sincerely hope makes an appearance in a future episode.
4) Chet - A Mormon from Salt Lake City, UT, Chet proclaims "I came onto the Real World to show people that Mormons can be fun". Well, Chet, Julie already beat you to it. Julie, from the Real World New Orleans, was also Mormon, and had many hook ups, and late nights out at raves, proving that party girls come from every faith. Chet looks like a contestant on Project Runway. He has a faux-hawk hair do, makes his own clothing, and loves the colors pink and purple. I can already tell he's going to be an interesting one.
5) Baya - Also a Salt Lake City native, but not Mormon. She says that is everyone's first question. Baya is a dancer, and hopes to catch her big break in the big apple. She received the least amount of screen time, so that's really all we know so far!
6) Devyn - Oh honey, put the boobs away. Devyn is a former Miss Teen USA, and Miss American USA and has clearly had a breast enhancement. One she shows off, at all times. She has the diva attitude and the swagger. She is going to be trouble.
7) Josh - A personal trainer for Salem, NH, (he has a Boston accent!) who has been working in his gym since he was 14. Josh has a sick body, as the editors of Men's Health magazine clearly agree, since they exposed him to the world in their most recent issue. Josh hopes to start a modeling and acting career while in NYC. Devyn already has her eye on him, and needs a 9th housemate just to wipe up the puddle of drool she always seems to leave on the floor when he is in the room.
8) Sarah - Covered in tattoos, Sarah says that security guards always follow her around stores because they think she is going to steal, since the tattoos make her look like a bad girl. Sarah is arguably the sweetest person in the house, and is the first one Ryan trusts enough to share his military experience. Sarah arrived at the house with JD, after a water taxi ride in which she reveals she does have a boyfriend, but its the first man she has ever dated. All her previous relationships have been with females. I am loving this already!
I could not have picked a better cast if I made the selections myself! I am jumping up and down with excitement and anticipation to see what happens next with our new strangers. Look out Brooklyn, here come The Ocho.