MTV's "The Real World" is entering its 16th season, which makes me realize that I am old. I had a crush on Eric Nies — I know, I'm cringing, too — from the original...

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MTV’s “The Real World” is entering its 16th season, which makes me realize that I am old.

I had a crush on Eric Nies — I know, I’m cringing, too — from the original “Real World: New York” when I was in high school. I was still a diehard fan six seasons later when one of my sorority sisters in college (Janet) was cast on the Seattle edition. But by the time the seven strangers moved “Back to New York” (season 10), the whole thing seemed sort of juvenile. “Those crazy kids,” I thought, followed quickly by, “Good God. I sound like someone’s grandmother.”

For better or worse, the pioneer reality series has had a shaping influence on a generation that grew up watching MTV. Who in their “twirties” didn’t consider applying to be on “The Real World” sometime in the mid-1990s? (See Dave Eggers’ “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.”)

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I personally have learned valuable life lessons from more than a decade of watching “The Real World.” For instance, don’t pull off a bedsheet that someone is using to cover herself in the hallway even if she is laughing (Los Angeles). Don’t try to climb through the bathroom window while spying on your roommate in the shower if your breasts won’t fit (Miami). And definitely don’t taunt someone who has anger management issues about his sexuality or you might get slapped (Seattle).

The 16th edition of “The Real World” will be filmed in Austin, Texas, starting next month, and is set to premiere in June 2005.

“Project Runway”

Hey, what is Mugatu from “Zoolander” doing on this show? Oh, wait, it’s just designer wannabe Jay McCarroll in sunglasses and a white fur capelet. I got thrown off by the crazy curlicue hair and bushy goatee. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills! (10 p.m. Wednesdays, Bravo)

“Nanny 911”

This show reminds me of that Fox program from the ’90s, “When Animals Attack.” The ominous voice-overs at the start of each episode make children sound so scary. Anyway, the Johnstons of Long Island have seven young daughters and poor dad can never get into the family’s one full bathroom. (They really should’ve applied to be on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” instead.) And how come the moms always wind up crying on this show? Although if I had seven kids and one bathroom, I’d probably be crying, too. (9 p.m. Wednesdays, KCPQ)

“High School Reunion 3”

Every time Jaime (“The Obsessed Ex”) is on the screen, I can hear the shower-scene music from “Psycho” playing in my head. (9 p.m. Tuesdays, KTWB)

“The Amazing Race 6”

There’s nothing more frustrating than having your rickety Hungarian car break down when you’re racing to get someplace. Add to that being lost in a foreign country and being stuck with a significant other who’s driving you crazy and there you have some truly quality reality television. The only bad thing about this show is that the contestants continually reinforce the stereotype of “ugly Americans” everywhere they go. (9 p.m. Tuesdays, KIRO)

“The Real Gilligan’s Island”

Seeing as how the Stearns (aka The Millionaire and His Wife) are already worth $500 million, I can’t get that excited about Glenn Stearns winning $250,000 and a car as the last castaway standing in last week’s finale. (To his credit, he did donate the prize money and then some to charity.) With their knack for strategizing and saying totally inappropriate things on camera, Glenn and Mindy should ditch the “Poor Man’s Survivor” and go for the real thing. Jeff Probst, can you hear me? Season two of “The Real Gilligan’s Island” is set to air next summer.

“The Apprentice 3”

Sam, Troy and Amy, oh my! In an attempt to pull “The Apprentice” out of its slump, Donald Trump is promising “more relatable” candidates along the lines of season one’s Sam (sleeps on the job), Troy (“I’m just a country boy from Idaho”) and Amy “Ally McBeal” Henry for season three. Dare we hope for an Omarosa in the mix? (Premieres 8 p.m. Jan. 20, KING)

“Survivor” casting call

Local auditions for the 11th season of “Survivor” will be held Jan. 8 at Kitsap Mall, 10310 Silverdale Way N.W. in Silverdale. The open casting starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Applicants must be 21 years or older and will be asked to record a 90-second application video; auditions are not guaranteed and will be conducted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visit www.cbs.com or www.kirotv.com for more information and online application.

Pamela Sitt: 206-464-2376 or psitt@seattletimes.com