00s Reality MTV | Varyer
I WantMy MTV
Paige Hanserd
May 2022

For many of us, MTV was our introduction to the genre of Reality TV. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone born in the last 40 years who can't identify, vilify, or relate to a Real World cast member or moment. The "anyone can be a celebrity" culture quickly escalated to "celebrities—they're just like us!"

Back with another trip down memory lane, Paige Hanserd shares her thoughts on a few of MTV's most iconic families.

The Newlyweds

I was utterly obsessed with Jessica Simpson in this. HER OUTFITS, UNMATCHED. I kinda think she was super underrated for her 'fits. I rewatched it recently (I have it on DVD) and they still hit. Her little macramé shawl thing—obsessed. Still looking for one! No one did platforms with shorts better. She wasn’t actually that dumb either…to be honest Chicken of the Sea is fucking confusing. Like is it tuna or is it chicken FR, it comes in a fucking can? Like, is it cheaper to use chicken so they made it taste like tuna? IDK I always got her point.

Also, she was twenty-two!!!!!!!!! Twenty-two years old and at the height of her career. Kinda whack she was supposed to be any more than working on her career, learning, and living her fucking life.

Not much to say about Nick other than….meh. He was 30.

I really loved Jess, she was a brat in a way that I think is okay :) I’m gonna rewatch it now.

The Ashlee Simpson Show

Okay, I guess there’s a theme here, but maybe I loved the Simpson sisters? Autobiography meant everything to teen me and still does to adult me at karaoke and it’s kind of a perfect pop record. Anyway, the Ashlee Simpson show invented vocal fry...actually maybe The Simple Life invented it, but The Ashlee Simpson show reinvented it.

I still don’t get the Ryan Cabrera thing, but I’ll never forget that era for her because she wore low-rise baggy camo pants most of the relationship and so did I (from Hollister [that I’d borrow from my rich friend]).

Does anyone remember her first boyfriend on the show, the guy from the Disney channel? LOL Pretty sure he was in Brink!.

Ewww and when she got laryngitis and they showed a close up of the back of her esophagus and it looked like a vaginal canal, then she couldn’t sing because she lost her voice, and that SNL thing happened :/

Diggy Simmons

Run's House

One of the first reality shows about a Black family that I could relate to (except for the rich part LOL). Diggy’s hot now. Russy was such a funny little freak little brother and I remember being perplexed and obsessed with the fact that Angela would date Lil Bow Wow. It was the only reality show my dad would watch with me. I kinda think they should reboot it; they walked so the Kardashians could run, and I think they could run again. No pun intended.

The missing sister

The Osbournes

First, I have to say that I own every season plus the Christmas special on DVD. With that said, I am still obsessed with this family to this day. I owe everything to Kelly Osbourne for my style from Junior to Senior year of high school. I remember Junior year when I came back to school I went from like Forever 21 slutty stiletto girl to like emo side bang ringer band tee with a tie. The hair was NOT inspired fully by Kelly though, that I owe 100% to Kelis in the Bossy video.

Anyway—the Osbournes. Upon further watching, it’s like incredibly clear Ozzy is fucked up the whole time, but I think what people didn’t know is that he had Parkinson’s too. So. But yea, he was also….on drugs. There are so many scenes where Kelly and Jack are arguing and literally punching each other and the dogs are shitting and peeing everywhere and Sharon is yelling at the neighbors and all the while, Ozzy is coloring in a coloring book LOL. Despite having been really into skaters, I didn’t know who the fuck [Jason] Dill was before the Osbournes lol. Now look at him! He’s a silver fox and owns Fucking Awesome. He was like the dumb idiot friend of Jack's who would overstay his welcome and drive everyone crazy. I think there’s an episode where he tried to make them breakfast and used an electric hotplate on the electric stove and like almost burned the house down. And remember when they had those shitty neighbors who would play techno all night and Sharon threw FULL hams at them?! Oh and when Jack and Kelly went to some show with their “friends” and their friends were Elijah Wood and his sister LOL. They had like 8 dogs. OMG, and they had that one sister the entire time who refused to be filmed, but was also living there which has always been fascinating to me. She was the only one who was actually punk. Okay wow….I’ve said too much, just rewatch it. It’s gold and it makes me feel better on rainy days.