Friday, October 14, 2005

Run's House: A Castle Constructed of MTV Ten Spot Reality Show Dreams

Reverend Run of Run-DMC fame has made it back to the MTV spotlight, new and improved and in celebrity reality show treatment form.

Run's House, which premiered Thursday night at 10:30 after the jubilant return of P Diddy's Making the Band III, centers upon the Reverend's home and family life.

It's a large brood, which means there will likely never be a lack of material for MTV's battle-honed reality editors to hook a storyline around. Wife Justine helps the good Rev. to raise Vanessa, a college student; Angela, a new high school graduate and the focus of the debut episode; and three younger boys: JoJo, Diggy, and Russy.

In the middle of it all is the Rev., of course, who combines life lesson-level observations with the street knowledge and repartee that helped to create one of the most famous hip hop acts of all time. While Rev. and co. seemed slightly stilted in front of the cameras at first, things soon settled in upon the normal drama and tension you'd expect at an upscale mogul's sprawling home.

Due to her stellar grades, Angela has been granted a high school graduation party. Ah, but she has stars in her eyes: a glass floor over the pool for disco dancing, fireworks, and goody bags replete with iPods (just the Shuffle variety, mind). Daddy Run is forced to swoop in, however, to mandate his version of the festivities: music ("DJ High School," and not Funk Master Flex as Angela had desired), barbeque, swimming, and a few decorations.

By the second time we see Run discussing a family crisis involving the kids with his wife while lounging about in bed, it had become clear to me that MTV was looking to replicate The Osbournes successful model of iconic-music-star-confronts-domestic-strife.

There's more than that at work, however. Angela's ultra-party dreams brought in elements of another guilty pleasure of an MTV staple, My Super Sweet 16, in which uber-rich soon-to-be-society gals plan opulent parties that cost more than New Zealand's GDP. And because Sean Puffy P Diddy Fellow Mogul Combs is the Executive Producer of Run's House, we can expect a fair amount of reality show co-mingling over the coming weeks.

In the end, the Rev. was proud that Angela accepted the lower ($6,000) budget party with good grace and cheerfully enjoyed her graduation festivities. So proud, in fact, that he laid the keys to a brand-spanking red Mercedes Benz on his 18-year old daughter.

At Run's House, it pays handsomely to keep it real.

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