Thursday, December 10, 2009

Reality Rant: A Letter To Jonathan Murray

In the wake of another crappy finale for another crappy season of The Real World/Road Rules Challenge, I've decided that it's high time to explain to Bunim-Murray Productions' co-founder my frustration, and offer up my own solution.

Jonathan Murray
C/O Bunim-Murray Productions
6007 Sepulveda Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA 91411

Dear Mr. Murray,

I’ve been meaning to write to you for a while now. I’ve been watching The Real World/Road Rules Challenge for ages. I even recapped it for six seasons, which you can read on my blog at And I have to ask you a question, since your name is on top: Do you care anymore?

I just saw the end of The Ruins, yet another grueling season . . . not just for the players to compete in, but for true fans to watch. After untold weeks of drama, three of the biggest jerks wound up winning a sizable amount of money: Johnny Devenanzio, Kenny Santucci and Evan Starkman. The three of them have been a pain to watch since Fresh Meat. Watching them act like misogynists, especially around Sarah Rice, got to be tiring. Add that to the trainwrecks (Tonya Cooley, Wes Bergmann), the quitters (Casey Cooper, Evelyn Smith) the hotheads (Wes again, Brad Fiorenza), and the alcoholics (Tonya again, Katie Doyle), and it’s a recipe for disaster.

I’ve decided to take the initiative. In March 2008, I posted on my blog on how to improve the Challenge. I was frustrated by the events of Gauntlet 3, and I figured out ways to make your show better and more fair, without detracting from the drama. I thought that I was qualified, given how much detail I could pick up from the episodes. For instance: why was Jamie Murray put on the Rookies team in Gauntlet 2, even though he was on two Challenges? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to transfer Ace Amerson from the Veterans, because he had competed in four missions total at that time? Anyway, I’ve included my post with this letter. At the very least, I’d like to know what you think.

I’d like to call myself a fan, but you and the rest of Bunim-Murray Productions makes it so hard. At times, you still show quality product, like the Return To Duty special that aired last month. And The Real World: Washington D.C. does look to be more than fighting and fornicating. But I feel that the Challenge needs to improve, and quickly. Why? Because I don’t need another season of Evan and Kenny sublimating their lust for each other by belittling others and patting themselves on the back. And judging from the forums I visit, I am not alone.

Jason Borelli

PS: Could you at least consider replacing TJ Lavin as host? The man brings nothing to the table except for allegedly hooking up with female contestants. Ever consider Coral Smith in that role? I think you should.

I included the address at the top because I could never find a general e-mail address for BMP. Bottom line: If you're tired and dissatified by the Challenges, let 'em know how you feel, because it may be the only way they'll learn. And if Mr. Murray or anybody else from BMP responds, I'll post the results here.

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