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Thursday, September 9, 2010

"The Real World" explained: It could be much worse

Posted By on Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 8:30 PM

click to enlarge Knight experiences firsthand the salsa crimes threatening New Orleans' homeless.
  • Knight experiences firsthand the salsa crimes threatening New Orleans' homeless.

These weekly posts are intended as an episode-by-episode guide to the many psychological ailments, drunken gibberish, senseless actions, Bourbon Street mixed drinks and other embarrassments on MTV’s The Real World: New Orleans.
It contains spoilers — and who cares? You stopped watching this show several years ago — but also a lot of information that might help viewers of the series come to terms with their outrage over the cast’s cultural vandalism of New Orleans (and what was once a really lovely Uptown house), and also the bleak, black future of our society.

The emotional trauma caused by the show admittedly makes such coverage an overwhelming task, so posts may be supplemented by information culled from Wikipedia, WebMD and un-scientific polls of nearby Gambit staffers. Readers are also encouraged to submit any comments that may help us make sense of this wreckage.

Last night’s episode was all about perspectives. Yes, you’re living in a Disney World attraction — the chaotic decor of which mirrors your deteriorating sanity — but you could be living on the streets! Yes, you’re sort-of dating the male version of yourself who reflects and brings out your worse qualities (and has some awful teeth, to boot), but there are worse people out there! The Real World cast has a lot to be thankful for.

(And by the way, next week's is the last episode! Are you planning your finale party yet? It's easy: just throw Mardi Gras beads all over your living room and serve "Real World Cocktails" made with vodka and red food coloring.)
Real World nuptials. At the beginning of the episode, everyone gets drunk and tries to convince Jemmye and Knight to get married, with Ashlee officiating (all she would need is an online certificate and her fancy dress-sweatshirt, which she reserves for special occasions). The wedding never happens, and Jemmye punches Knight in the face. But anyway, did you know Real World cast members have actually “tied the knot” on the show? It’s true! According to Dr. Samuel J. Wikipedia, noted reality television historian, Los Angeles season cast member Irene Barrera-Kearns got married on the show and Pedro Zamora (R.I.P.!) exchanged wedding vows with his boyfriend during the San Francisco season.
Homelessness. Because New Orleans Mission boss lady/unofficial Real World house mother Loretta has a terrific sense of humor (or genuinely wants to teach these brats a lesson, I don’t know), she asked the cast to spend a night as homeless people would at the Mission. Preston, chronic avoider of volunteer work and all things altruistic, declined. But everyone else was excited! McKenzie said it was like going to a sleepover. The cast members fully immersed themselves in homeless life by begging for food (sneaking out to buy it from a gay bar), running from the fuzz (Loretta) and engaging in turf warfare (flour and salsa fights). All in all, it pretty much was like a sleepover, minus McKenzie’s friend’s weird dad who would stand all night staring through the cracked bedroom door, hoping to sneak a peak at her in her nightgown.

Speaking of sleepovers and all things childlike, do ya’ll remember Silly String? It’s that pastel green stuff you might find permanently caked onto the gravel at many an elementary school. Knight and Jemmye were chasing each other with it at one point, and it brought me back to carnivals in church parking lots and grade-school crushes. The fact that the two engaged in a Silly String fight, a prominent mating ritual among children, leads me to believe their love is 4 real.

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Pablo/Elie. We’ve heard about Sahar’s sort-of boyfriend from back home in DEARBORN, MICHIGAN (said in Knight’s shouty voice, while wearing a Chinese farmer hat), and last night we’ve had the pleasure of meeting the gentleman. And boy, is he the worst. Let’s put it this way: when your behavior elicits looks of confusion and embarrassment from the person with the pubic-area tattoo, you are intolerable. Time for you to go home.
The group had breakfast and $4 glasses of milk at Slim Goodies and, because they don’t serve booze, Pablo/Elie had to go to the nearest liquor store and buy a bottle the nouveau-riche vodka of choice, Grey Goose, to accompany his pancakes. Ughhh. He’s one of those bottle service-velvet rope V.I.P. section-Ed Hardy guys. So yeah, he was predictably sloppy (I’m guessing it’s the Goose, got him feelin’ loose, in the words of T. Pain) while Sahar sang her song with Flow Tribe at Tipitina’s and I don’t know. Sahar’s a decent enough singer to fulfill the obligatory generic-cute-girl-who-has-a-“passion”-for-singing role, but she’s not very memorable. I predict she’ll sing the national anthem for a few college football games and maybe even record a single that you may hear, for about three seconds, in the credits of Teen Mom (it'll be called "Real World (No Drama)"), but, like her relationship with Pablo/Elie, I think her career is probably doomed. But don’t worry — there’s always a spot for you on the next season of The Challenge: Potentially Dangerous Things Involving Bungee Cords, Sponsored by T-Mobile.
Inexplicable Phenomena:
- Why was Knight sleeping in the same bed as Preston? Did he mistake Preston’s slender build and small chest for Jemmye’s?
- I think Ashlee kind of has a sense of humor about her sweatshirt? When she greets Pablo/Eli and his pack of smarmy friends, she says “I wore this for you!” It’s funny, because it’s just a gray sweatshirt. So I think she just doesn’t care, which is respectable.
- I’m kinda getting a little sad about the show’s fast-approaching finale. What about you guys? Won’t you miss these clowns, just a little bit? That was addressed to the 10 people still watching this show, and the estimated two people in this city who are still at work right now (go Saints!).

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