'You Will Find a Little Bit of Yourself There:' How The Real World Maintains Its Relevance Nearly 30 Years Later

In the years since the season one cast members of The Real World moved out of their SoHo loft, roommates Heather B. Gardner and Kevin Powell have been busy busy.

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Gardner hosts three radio shows a day, beginning with Sway in the Morning at 8 a.m. on SiriusXM, then Heather B. Live at noon, and The Happy Hour with Heather B. starting at 6 p.m. where she teaches audiences how to entertain at home.

“I love to cook! That’s been my therapy for me over the years, just dealing with the ups and downs of life and family and industry and all of that,” said Gardner.

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Meanwhile, civil and human rights activist Kevin Powell has traveled to all 50 states, plus five of the seven continents, in addition to writing 14 books since the first season. And now all of the original cast is back 29 years later in The Real World Homecoming: New York on Paramount+.

But it wasn’t without some hesitation on both Kevin and Heather B.’s parts; neither initially wanted to sign on to the project, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

“But I also thought about the fact that the seven of us had not been together since that first season, really,” said Powell, who also noted, “this might be the last time we ever get a chance to do something like this.”

Gardner said she eventually came around after a phone call with Kevin and speaking with two of her other castmates, Norman and Julie.

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“My God, I loved doing that show in ’92, which is also part of reason why I didn’t want to come back. I was like, why mess up a good thing?”

Heather B. and Kevin share even more about why they decided to sign on for The Real World Homecoming: New York reboot, what made the franchise a success, how filming the show has changed almost 30 years later, and more in the video above.

DISCUSSION

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Gameface doesn`t play nice with others

Early years of the TRW used to piss me off because they ALWAYS threatened to eliminate the Black cast members for some “you make me scared/uncomfortable” bullshit because they pointed out racist behavior. It was always compelling tv but it used to annoy me that the Black women were always painted as angry and the men were “threats.” Miami was my fave season hands down, followed by New Orleans

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