Here's the final episode of Sex House, the Onion-produced series of YouTube shorts documenting the adventures of "six sexy singles" who "move into America's hottest mansion meticulously designed for only one thing: sex." (If you haven't watched the rest of the series, you can catch it all on YouTube; start here.) It's a reunion show, of course — bizarrely, jarringly chipper after the dark, J.G. Ballard-rewrites-No Exit feel of the first "season" quickly took after the premiere.
In a Reddit AMA timed to the premiere of the last segment, the show's writers revealed that its director of photography, Mark Niedelson, had worked on a season of The Real World (Paris):
We had the actors just go out there and do their scenes without telling the cameramen where or what they'd be doing. So the cameramen would just chase around and try to get the shots and generally cover everyone, like in a real reality show. And the best shots, invariably, were the ones where the camera would whip around and 'find' the speaker.
Sex House's success as satire lies in its fluency in the language of reality entertainment — the cast of staple characters, sure, but also the camerawork, the music cues, the editing. It's this fluency, and the clear affection the show's creators have for The Real World and its descendents, that makes Sex House so much more effective than reality-television allegories like Hunger Games. Where Suzanne Collins, in a distant, disapproving way, locates the logical endpoint of reality entertainment in brutal violence, Sex House sees it in the crude, blanket sexualization of every activity and the profit-maximizing, cost-cutting needs of a faceless network. Watching it, you see that the future of television and entertainment won't be in lavish spectacle, gloriously violent and massively popular, but in something that barely makes money and exists fathoms below the lowest common denominator; something like real life but smaller, cheaper, and crueler — something like Sex House.
Also, the frogs! And the mold. You really have to watch this show, I'm telling you.