'The Real World Homecoming': The 'New York' Cast on Reuniting and How to Watch (Exclusive)

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After first debuting in 1992, The Real World: New York cast is reuniting 30 years later for the Paramount+ limited series, The Real World Homecoming: New York. Becky Blasband, Andre Comeau, Heather B. Gardner, Julie Gentry, Norman Korpi, Eric Nies and Kevin Powell are continuing MTV’s “social experiment” by moving back in together to have their lives taped as they reflect on past iconic moments and create all new ones.

“There were a lot of feelings and a lot of memories and reflecting on a lot of the different experiences that happened years ago,” Nies tells ET, explaining that the reunion was “really emotional stuff.”

For Gentry and Powell, that meant revisiting their explosive fight about race and prejudice that unfolded on the streets of New York and became one of the iconic moments from the first season. “Going back and watching that first season and seeing my 19-year-old self say things like, ‘Well, I’m not a racist.’ That was eye-opening and cringeworthy,” Gentry says, while Powell adds, “The way I had conversations like that -- now I wouldn’t do that. That’s not who I am.”  

He goes on to explain that audiences will see lots of growth from all the returning cast members. “We’re adults now, and so it’s going to be pretty powerful [to watch].” 

“One of the things that I really wanted to achieve with the reunion was to revisit some of these topics with a little more wisdom, a little more patience and I think being a little more open myself,” Comeau says, echoing Powell’s sentiment. “So to be given that opportunity to share all that we have changed and evolved, it is very special.”

The Real World New York cast
Paramount+

While there’s lots of nostalgia that comes with them being back together, the experience quickly “becomes a whole new show,” Korpi says. “All of a sudden, all our connections and personalities start driving entirely new things forward.”

And then on top of that, the roommates are dealing with a whole new set of issues, including the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and even the Jan. 6 insurrection. “All of these things are happening,” Korpi says, adding that they “also become part of what you’re talking about. It’s interesting.”

Blasband adds, “When you’re back in the situation with everything, it makes everything much more sensitive.”

While Gardner admittedly was the most hesitant about moving back in together, she says now that “it was definitely worth it. We needed to see each other and we needed to be together for a lot of reasons that will be shown this season.”

The Cast Then and Now

The Real World cast then and now
Chris Carroll/Paramount+

When they first moved into the house in 1992, there were seven strangers willing to live together and have their lives taped -- not knowing what was going to come of it. “We literally pioneered reality TV,” Powell says. And within months, they not only became a group of friends, but they were “unwitting icons in pop culture,” Blasband says, adding that no matter what, even 30 years later, they’ll always be one big “dysfunctional family.”

What to Remember About Season 1

The series was created by producing team Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray, who admitted to ET, “none of us had any idea it would continue even maybe past the first season.”

Filming took place over three months, from February to May 1992, while the cast lived in a loft at 565 Broadway in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Over the course of the 13 episodes that first premiered on May 21, The Real World saw its social experiment unfold in unexpected and captivating ways -- Eric’s shirtless modeling shoots, Heather’s party antics, Norman’s bathtub confessionals -- with the topic of race and prejudice becoming a large issue in the house. (Read ET’s full recap of season 1.)

How to Watch 

The Real World Homecoming: New York premieres on March 4 on Paramount+. The multi-episode docuseries will debut weekly on Thursdays. Meanwhile, the first full season along with most of the 32 that followed are available to binge in full on the streaming network. (For more information about subscribing to Paramount+, read ET’s guide about cost and signing up.)

Check out the first three minutes of the premiere:

ET and Paramount+ are both subsidiaries of ViacomCBS.

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