Summarized by Kent Larsen
Julie Debuts on 'Real World' Tonight
Salt Lake Tribune 11Jun00 P2
By Kirsten Stewart, Salt Lake Tribune
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- BYU student Julie's life for the past few
months will come under public scrutiny tonight as the new season of
MTV's "Real World debuts. While her status at BYU remains uncertain,
many people will find out more about Julie and about the LDS Church
through what she did during the past few months.
According to an article in Sunday's Salt Lake Tribune, Julie says she
has no regrets for appearing on the show. While her religious beliefs
became the focus of the show at times, she says she feels good about
what she did, "I can't think of anything I did down there that would
cause me embarrassment or regret," she told the Salt Lake Tribune.
For Julie, the annoying part is the criticism she has received for
appearing in the show. She says members of her Wisconsin LDS Ward
gave her "grief" for agreeing to do the show, and she says she has
received "hate e-mails" from people, mainly fellow BYU students who
don't even know her. "It's pretty immature for people to send hate
mail to someone they know nothing about," she said. "It's easy to not
drink or not have sex or go to strip clubs. But it's hard to go to
your school and have people say, ' That's evil.' "
But Julie says that her family has warmed to the idea, and that she
has received letters of support from many people. "My family's been
awesome, and my close friends," she said. Initially, her family was
bothered by the idea. Her mom was uneasy, and her father even flies
to New Orleans during one of the episodes to try and convince her to
come home. "We don't even have cable TV, and one of the reasons is
that we don't approve of MTV," said her mother, Jan.
Julie adds that she was able to clear up the misconceptions among her
roommates about many things, including whether Mormons can drink
Coke, and even whether they can date or dance. "We have to stick our
necks out and inform other people," Julie said. "If we're willing to
look a little stupid for five minutes, then we'll learn too.
Diversity is the name of the game," she said.
Meanwhile, the Boston Globe observes that shows like "Real World" are
here to stay, part of the revolutionary changes that MTV has brought
to television and to the movies. Its fast-edit, slick-graphic style
have influenced movies, newscasts, ads, political campaigns, etc.,
and "The Real World's" success is also influential, if not for its
style, then for the number of spin-offs and copy-cat shows that it
has produced. Even mainstream network CBS has gotten into the game,
with its new show "Survivor" and its forthcoming "Big Brother." And
TV execs sat up and noticed when "Survivor" beat the popular "Who
Wants to Be a Millionaire" in the weekly ratings.
The Globe notes that each season of "Real World," which changes its
cast entirely each season, has its own classic moments and style. The
ninth season, including BYU student Julie, seems less 'promiscuous'
than the last, according to the Globe. Among the dramatic tensions
the Globe foresees, include religious conflict between Julie's
Mormonism and fellow castmember Matt's closely-held Catholicism.
Also writing about this season's 'Real World' is Rolling Stone, which
reveals the producer's process and discussions around casting the
show. The producers looked carefully at each of the cast members,
looking for extroverts, those with strong points of view, a good
sense of humor, and fearless about telling their stories. In Julie's
case, Rolling Stone chronicle's her reaction to an interview question
in which she was asked if she commits a personal sexual act that
Mormons consider a sin. Her reaction was, according to the article, a
shrieks, "Eww! No. That's gross."
But in spite of Julie's strong reaction, some of the producers worry
that her naivete will mean that she is too fragile to make it through
the season. But, they also decide that her naivete is one of her most
appealing qualities. The producers say that some of the best
candidates for the show are those that aren't familiar with it. In
the end, the producers decide that Julie will work, and that her
naivete and religion will make good TV.
'Real World' keeps turning
Boston Globe pgF01 13Jun00 P2
By Matthew Gilbert: Globe Staff
MTV's reality based soap opera opens 9th season
What is real?
Rolling Stone pg71 22Jun00 P2
By Katherine Marsh