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Flirting, Fights as 'Real World' Turns

July 03, 2001|STEVEN LINAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Long before "Survivor" or "Big Brother," there was "The Real World" (10 p.m. MTV).

The grandpappy of TV's unscripted, pretty-people shows launches its 10th season, returning to New York, where it all began in 1992.

Not surprisingly, its best years have been those boasting the most conflict, as in San Francisco, where the rude, crude bicycle messenger Puck was tossed out of the house after rubbing everyone the wrong way. That season also turned out to be a poignant one thanks to Pedro, a Cuban who battled AIDS.

A few years later, bisexual alcoholic Ruthie, who refused to acknowledge her drinking problem, captivated our attention in Hawaii.

Presumably, fans of the series will be pleased to know that the original formula remains the same as seven self-absorbed, endlessly self-analytical roommates share a brownstone in Greenwich Village.

There's friction in tonight's one-hour opener when Mike, a 19-year-old from a "really white" town in Ohio, offends Coral, a black woman from the Bay Area, with a racially insensitive remark.

Meanwhile, the dark-haired beauty Lori reveals her crush on Kevin, a broadcast major and cancer survivor who just wants to "hang and be cool."

Even after Mike apologizes, you suspect he and Coral will clash again soon, while Lori and Kevin are bound to be more than friends in coming weeks.

And did we mention the cast includes a virgin?

Surf Report

SPECIALS

"The Godfather Family: A Look Inside" (6:30 and 11:30 p.m. AMC) offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse, produced in 1991, at Francis Ford Coppola's remarkable trilogy of Mafia movies.

MOVIES

A father unwittingly leaves his daughter at the mercy of a cold, cruel headmistress in the 1995 adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's "A Little Princess" (8 p.m. WB).

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