In my experience, the terms “reality show” and “authenticity” might as well be antonyms. Which is why it’s kind of funny that the opening line of MTV‘s new trailer for forthcoming reality show Washington Heights seems designed to get viewers to associate the show with the “realness” of El Barrio:
“People call Washington Heights one of the last true neighborhoods in New York City.”
With the ghost of the Jersey Shore still haunting the nation, it is tempting to be cynical about MTV’s claims that this show will be “an honest, intimate and entertaining look inside the lives, spirit and hustle of a unique group of individuals as they strive to pursue their passions.” [emphasis mine]. But who knows, maybe MTV will bring it back to their Real World roots (the pre-Vegas cast) when reality TV actually connected with young audiences in a meaningful way.
Too soon to tell.
Here’s what we do know (based on the Washington Heights press release and my personal first impressions):
JP, a.k.a. Audubon, dreams of making it big in hip hop – while living at home with his mom.
Reyna is an aspiring singer described as “the fiery diva of the group.” Is Reyna the one slapping people in the streets at 1:06?? Tell me she isn’t. I’m going to be upset if the one overt latina of the trailer is the one getting her hair snatched on the sidewalk.