VAN NUYS, Calif. — In a radical departure from its usual urban locations, MTV’s The Real World reality show has chosen to shoot its 31st season at Great Lakes Adventist Academy in Cedar Lake, Mich. “We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to shoot with a much younger cast in a rural location while exposing the world to one of the quirkiest subcultures in America,” said The Real World Associate Producer, Ed Rogen.
GLAA, for its part, hopes that the filming will bring some positive PR to Adventist education. “We’ve got academies across the country closing their doors for lack of students,” said GLAA Public Relations Specialist, Heather Patton. “It’s time to shake things up!”
The Real World creators will focus on the dynamics of life at an Adventist boarding school. “You’ve got all the usual situations you’d face with a boarding school filled with teens, but we want to dig deeper than the usual roommate spats, teen romances and rigged fire drills,” said Rogen. “Adventist academies insist on calling taco salads haystacks; bust kids for wearing jewelry and replace prom night with what administrators generously refer to as ‘banquets’ where hastily-assembled teen couples pose awkwardly for ultra kosher pictures, eat veggie chicken from a buffet line and don’t dance. It’s like an alternate universe.”
Administrators at GLAA said that they agreed to the pitch from MTV producers after careful analysis of the pros and cons. “With any filming of this nature you obviously have to go through mountains of paperwork to gain parental permission and the consent of students,” said Patton. “But our only other TV opportunities tend to be 3ABN specials so we decided to go for the lesser evil.”
Special thanks to BarelyAdventist reader Colin George-Baab for the story idea