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Paramount Studios presents
The Real World You Never Saw: Las Vegas (2003)

"Ah, fresh b.o."
- Frank

Review By: Jeff Rosado   
Published: February 19, 2003

Stars: Brynn, Frank, Irulan, Alton, Steven, Trishelle, Arissa
Director: Laura Korkoian

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for strong language, partial nudity, sexual situations
Run Time: 00h:55m:36s
Release Date: January 28, 2003
UPC: 097368754843
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B- B-BB+ B

DVD Review

Okay, honesty at the top here. With the exception of a few passing glances during its debut season a decade or so ago, I have never seen a complete episode of MTV's mega hit The Real World. Besides, my viewing of the music channel waned after:

A) They stopped playing music 24/7...
B) Did away with reruns of The Monkees....
C) Daisy Fuentes departed for greener pastures....

If I remember correctly, the basic premise of the show consisted of the bringing together of six or seven college-age kids to try to co-exist with one another in a house or apartment for a specified period of time.

My lord, they're ripping off Big Brother!

All right, I'm being silly here; as a serious student of television history, I know that British import debuted years after MTV's cash cow hit the airwaves. So you might say that The Real World is one of the granddaddies of what we now dub reality tv. Which, come to think of it, may not be the highest compliment.

Unlike some of those programs whose sole purpose is to hurt and embarrass their participants, World seems to have more sense and purpose. Nobody gets voted off, no one gets roses to prove their worthiness nor does anyone pretend to be somebody they're not. Minus the snazzy lofts, these folks are just like those of us in the audience having to learn to get along with others, whether it be in the workplace or at home. In other words, this show is deserving of the term "reality."

But all realism and no play makes for dull television, right? After all this time, The Real World hasn't endured on seriousness alone. Occasional field trips and getaways from home base have provided some of the show's high points. Or at least those that could be shown to basic cable viewers.

For the 12th incarnation of the series, the producers chose Las Vegas as the locale to initiate the latest round of roomies. Only too happy to oblige, this cast evidently had more than their share of decadent antics as judged by The Real World You Never Saw: Las Vegas-Confessions From Sin City, a 55-minute travelogue of hijinks too hot for the telly.

As a virgin to this season, it was not unlike going to a party with a friend who wanted to introduce you to her pals. All I could do was smile, watch with more than a pinch of passing interest and try to not let my jaw drop too close to the ground. There's a little bit of everything for the Porky's in all of us, from "birthday suit" beachcombing in Australia (obscured &aacutle;la Cops, sorry, guys) to Steven and Trishelle's seemingly unending quest to get cozy in every room of the cast's digs at the Palm Hotel, to Frank mastering a very tricky household appliance: a washing machine.

In the end, I have to admit feeling slightly underwhelmed by this so-called exposé. Honestly, there's more raunchiness to be found in 30 seconds of Red Shoe Diaries and Real Sex than in any minute of madness contained within. That's not to say I didn't enjoy spending time with this attractive bunch, but aside from a couple of off-color moments that I wouldn't let my mother watch, my attitude was not unlike Paul Hogan's bemusement after thwarting off those New York muggers in Crocodile Dundee: just a bunch of "kids having fun."

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Considering the various set-up's and location conditions television crews must endure on programs like The Real World, the results are fairly impressive. Minus the visual anomalies of cable and increased resolution DVD offers, you can almost smell the aroma of dirty laundry coming from the boys' room. Only a little drabness in the interiors of the gang's living quarters, as far as color reproduction, is about the only detriment.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Considering the advancements in audio technology since the show's 1992 debut, it's surprising that the soundtrack was only in basic Dolby Surround. But it gets the job done; dialogue emerges clearly from the center while music will give your fronts, rears and sub a major work out.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 22 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Cast Video Profiles
  2. House Tour Hosted by Cast Members Brynn and Frank
  3. Wrap-around Bloopers
  4. Two Hidden Outtakes
Extras Review: Fans of the show will enjoy never before seen audition interviews with all 7 cast members along with a brief set of bloopers that occurred during the filming of new sequences for the video. You'll also be treated to a tour of the cast's living quarters with Brynn and Frank as your hosts. As a special final bonus, two hidden outtakes that even the most technically challenged easter egg hunters will be able to uncover are also included.

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments

Season 12 devotees will take to this edition of The Real World You Never Saw more easily than I did, but newcomers unfamiliar with the program are best advised to check out the show's first season DVD releases (The Real World New York: The Complete First Season; The Real World You Never Saw: Back To New York) and proceed from there.


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