We launched Get Real Denver in June, 2006 as a way to chart MTV’s longest-running reality show, “The Real World,” when it landed in Denver in the spring of that year. The blog, written by Denver Post A&E reporter and Reverb co-editor John Wenzel, with help from various contributors, went on (for a time) to become the most successful online venture The Denver Post had ever produced.
Now that the crapfest is over, the site has expanded to include all the best nightlife and entertainment news, reviews and interviews for the discerning Denverite and visitor. Comedy, music, food, clubs, group beatings — you name it!
Bunim-Murray Productions wrapped production on “The Real World: Denver” on Aug. 31, 2006. Good riddance. For the previous three and a half months, the cast and crew of MTV’s longest-running reality show had been spotted around town at numerous bars, restaurants and stores, usually acting like the attention-hungry Young and Not-So-Famous losers that they were, often not paying or tipping (and in-turn pissing off lots of bartenders) and generally treating our city like an ashtray.
Of course, MTV did its best to keep the whole thing hush-hush while they filmed.
Whether you were a fan of the show or a skeptical LoDo resident worried about wannabe celebs puking nightly on your doorstep, Get Real Denver brought you exclusive news and gossip about the seven-member cast, plus the juicy, behind-the-scenes realness you didn’t get to see on TV. And we brought it to you months before the show premiered in Nov. 2006, and months before any other local or national media outlet. We were the first to uncover all the cast members’ names, bios and jobs, despite the active impediment of MTV and Bunim-Murray Productions, which created the show.
Because we’re nice like that.
Was “The Real World” good for Denver? Why were they really here? Who are these people, and where in god’s name did they come from? We answered these questions and provided a forum for fans and haters alike to duke it out. Our interactive, multimedia blog allowed you to post comments, photos and feedback, chat with others, watch videos, and eventually, gain an unfiltered picture of the unfolding, manufactured drama long before it hit your video iPod. We also had our 24-hour webcam trained on the “Real World” house so you could check in whenever and see what was going on.
The show is over, but this blog is still a work in progress. We want it to grow and change with the feedback of our readers. We’ve expanded it into a destination website for entertainment options in our fair city. Music, food, nightclubs, comedy — all the best entertainment the city has to offer.
A big part of the fun with the initial site was your continuing feedback and messages about “The Real World: Denver.” Why? Because MTV went way out of its way to restrict access to the show (especially to the media) by having cast members, bar and restaurant employees, cashiers at grocery stores and every on-camera member of the public sign confidentiality agreements. In other words, unless you were willing to keep your mouth shut until the show aired, they weren’t giving out any info. That meant no talking to the media, under any circumstances, under pain of legal action, and no divulging the movements of the sometimes huge crew of cast members, camera, lighting, sound, production and off-duty cops that acted as security.
The network would have rather controlled all information about the carefully arranged (but seemingly spontaneous) enterprise long before it ever airs. And if that meant intimidating you on the sidewalk (or threatening you to stop taking pictures) well, they weren’t above that either. Just know it was illegal for them to do that if you were on public property. This is our town too, right?
This only made our random sightings and hilarious stories all the more juicy. Watching “The Real World” crew as they traipsed through town provided insights into the nature of TV commerce, the motivations of TV execs and wannabe celebrities, and especially, the lengths locals went to in order to get a piece of the action. And partying. Don’t forget partying.
The cast members were essentially aspiring actor/models looking for a celebrity gig with MTV. “Real World” appearances can lead to other opportunities like “Road Rules,” celebrity challenges, reunion shows, and the like. We didn’t get everything about them exactly right on the first try, but hey — that’s the nature of a rumor-fueled, reader-driven gossip blog. Considering the fact that MTV did everything it could to prevent us from getting near them, I think we did a pretty damn good job.
In the months following production I was able to interview some of these cast members (like Brooke and Tyrie) and they turned out to be pretty average people. Looks like it was more the production crew that was so hysterical about controlling the way the “drama” unfolded.
In any event, thanks for stopping by. Feel free to suggest anything you want to see on this site — and let us know when you like something you do see.
And please, for the love of LoDo, keep Denver real. Or at least realistic.
– John Wenzel