In what might be the single weirdest bit of socially distanced accommodation we’ve seen in this entire year-and-counting-oh-god-still-counting crisis, TVLine notes that Real World housemate Eric Nies didn’t actually live in the show’s house during the recent filming of the upcoming reunion season, The Real World: Homecoming New York. Instead of serving as a loftmate, Nies was, instead, a screen-mate, having been broadcast via a video monitor into the loft where the other members of the show’s cast—pulled from that famed first season, at least in part as an effort to get you all to give a damn about Paramount Plus, please—were living. Given that the entire point of The Real World, depending on who you ask, is to see how rude human beings can get toward each other during a prolonged period of enforced roomate-dom, that kind of seems contrary to the show’s ostensible purpose, but Nies says it wasn’t his call, noting that the setup was “not by my choice, but I accepted the outcome.”
Nies promised explanations will be forthcoming, but the immediate assumption is presumably something to do with COVID quarantining requirements, since it would be a fairly bad look for MTV to shove 7 people into a house and see what happens when they stop being polite, and start getting really infectious. The show’s other six participants—Becky Blasband, Andre Comeau, Heather B. Gardner, Julie Gentry, Norman Korpi and Kevin Powell—all reunited formally, though, living together in the SoHo loft where the groundbreaking reality show was first filmed 29 years ago.
The Real World: Homecoming New York is set to air starting tomorrow, March 4, alongside the launch of Paramount Plus.