Why didn't you watch The Real World: DC ? Was it because a) you thought the series ended in 1998, b) you thought MTV ended in 1998, c) Real World house decor triggers your epilepsy or d) the political discourse presented on the show was too challenging/esoteric?
If you didn't answer "d," I'm afraid you're wrong (we would have also accepted "Glee came on around that time"). You see, the most recent season of The Real World wasn't a ratings failure because the show hasn't been good for years, and the DC season made that glaringly apparent. According to Jon Murray the show's creator and producer who amazingly still enables this trainwreck year after year no one watched it because it was just too serious. Washington Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes reports:
"In that first Washington, D.C., episode, there was a discussion of religion, and what we heard back was, 'If I wanted to hear a discussion about religion, I'd tune in to CNN'," Murray said ruefully.
To restore levity to this program, MTV decided to film its next season in New Orleans, which is just a 24/7 party! Nothing that has happened or is happening in New Orleans is ripe for any sort of discussion about politics, religion, race or the environment which is a relief because if that happened, people will think they're watching CNN and become very confused.
Another part of its strategy to get people to watch this giant pile of Mardi Gras Beads is to recruit characters that viewers can identify with. Like this guy:
"We have this guy, Knight, who was a hockey player and was addicted to painkillers. That's a very relatable story to our audience misuse of prescription medicine is a big thing out there. ... This is a story they can relate to more so than a story about politics."
There's also a self-proclaimed "legit" hairstylist with ADHD and OCD, a girl called Jemmye whose personality and self-esteem level should be apparent by her name, and a sorority girl who partakes in "Hurricane Relief by day and pounding hurricane cocktails by night." Woo!
These are the people MTV thinks you can relate to. You are a mentally ill hairstylist with a jacked-up name and a pill problem. How does it feel, America?