I'll admit it: I cringed when I first heard MTV was dramatically changing the format of its tried-and-true (yet flailing) reality show The Real World. Now that the show is halfway into the San Francisco-set season, the roommates' exes have arrived at the house, and I'm glad to say Real World: Ex-Plosion has become way more entertaining than the last few seasons of the MTV staple. Yes, Ex-Plosion is still a drunken mess for the most part (some things never change), but the twist has breathed new life into the formula, and even if you haven't been watching, now might be the perfect time to start.
Here's where we're at: after six weeks barhopping and bonding, the six remaining roommates came home from a lovely vacation to find their exes have arrived at the house . . . and they're all staying. Never you mind everything that happened before, because there's so much coming up. Here's why now is the time to tune in.
- Love triangles = so much drama. Because the original roommates didn't know their exes would be joining them, they formed romantic bonds with others in the house. Jenny (above) started hooking up with Cory (above, left), but when her ex, Brian (above, right), arrived, she pretty much said goodbye to Cory, who's busy with his ex, Lauren, anyway. Meanwhile, Thomas and Jamie have been a hot item, but the arrival of Thomas's ex, Hailey, has thrown Jamie into a fit of jealousy. It doesn't help that Hailey is definitely out to reconcile with Thomas.
- Some knife dancing is about to happen. Jenny gets fed up with her ex, and when he asks her to put down the knife she's using (for something nonthreatening, like making a sandwich), she just dances around with it. Classic Jenny!
- This season is more transparent than ever before. One of the things I love about this season is that MTV isn't pretending like this isn't a produced TV show for once. You can hear audio of producers asking questions or calling to tell roommates stuff. The roommates gripe about the drawbacks of the lack of privacy, and one of the exes straight up admits it's her job to create drama. It's kind of a cool peek into the inner workings of Real World that viewers haven't gotten to see on previous seasons.
- Someone is about to get pregnant. This could be reality TV trickery, but it seems like someone really, actually got pregnant while on the show. The teaser for the rest of the season implies that Cory got someone — likely Jenny — pregnant by having unprotected sex. This is, clearly, a very serious issue. And yes, I am kind of curious to see what happens.