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Paramount Studios presents
MTV: The Real World—Exotic Vacations (2002)

"The following program contains bad, bad words and conversations involving acts we didn't think were even humanly possible. Some cultural scenes may be hard to stomach. MTV does not condone this, but hey, what can you do."
- from the Disclaimer

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: October 07, 2002

Stars: Amaya, Theo, Jamie
Director: unknown

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for language, censored nudity
Run Time: 00h:49m:12s
Release Date: September 24, 2002
UPC: 097368600942
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B D+A-B- C+

DVD Review

When you think about it, the idea is really rather brilliant. Take six strangers who don't get along well, transplant them for a week or two to an exotic location and see that even when surrounded by beautiful locations, they still really can't stomach each other. Real World: Exotic Vacations is the latest in the cash cow that is The Real World, an MTV giant that offers a look at strangers picked to live together in an extravagant to create a sort of frenzied soap opera that is not often matched by fictional programming.

Real World: Exotic Vacations is a look back at numerous exotic locations including India, Nepal, South Africa, the Bahamas, and New England. Well, they are all exotic except for that last one but you get the idea. Hosted by Jamie (from the New Orleans season), Amaya (Hawaii), and Theo (Chicago), the collection clocks in at a relatively short fifty minutes, which is helpful, given that much of the material is thin in terms of entertainment value. For fans of the show, this disc will likely please as it offers some never before seen footage, including a heated argument between the Seattle members as well as the the dangers of becoming sick on vacation and the hassles that vaccinations can create.

Overall, the disc is more or less a bore. Topics change every five minutes (the fifty-minute program features a whopping eighteen chapter stops), which prevents one single topic from holding the viewer's attention. Several of the sequences are interesting, including a chapter titled "The Strangest Thing I Ever Saw," which deals with the shocking aspects of various cultures. I found myself wishing that there were more moments like this, where I could find some insight into the cultures and places visited, but sure enough, the topic eventually turned to the drama between roommates and my interest quickly faded. Another problem plaguing this collection is the hosts. The trio never really goes beyond the standard cue card dialogue, making for a very bland exchange.

While I applaud MTV and Paramount for their efforts to deliver single season collections of the series (New York was released in conjunction with this disc), I found Real World: Exotic Vacations to be a wasted effort.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: D+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented in a full frame transfer, The Real World: Exotic Vacations looks great, almost as if the collection were shot on high definition video. Sharpness and detail look terrific, while the bright colors of the interior of the Chicago house come off fine with no bleeding. This is a very nice transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Surround track is largely dialogue-driven, which is fine since the sound coming from the center channel is crisp and clear throughout. The surround, left and right speakers offer nice support to the popular music soundtrack.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Travel Tips
  2. Location Profiles
  3. Host information
Extras Review: A small but interesting collection of extra features are included. The most notable is a "Location Profile" section that offers a text screen of information about each of the vacation spots visit by Real World cast members. By clicking on Theo, Jamie, and Amaya, the viewer can also learn about the hosts of the collection, including their best and worst travel experiences and what their lives have become since leaving the show.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

For fans of the show, Real World: Exotic Vacations will probably make for worthwhile viewing. But for those, like me, who have only a passing interest, pass on this disc.


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