Mrs Filthy's "Real World" Review

January 17, 2000

Bouncing for Dollars

Bon soir, everyone! I wanted a longer vacation than this, but when I heard that MTV was airing "The Real World/ Road Rules Challenge," I knew that it wasn't about what I wanted; it was about duty. But I have to admit, darlings, I really, really, really hate these things. The lifeless quasi-athletic events, the lack of juicy personal interaction, the scarcity of drama all leave me utterly cold. But, like I said- duty first, my little duckies!

That said, there's a lot of catching up to do. The first order of business on "Challenge 2000" is the introduction of each team's members and what they've been up to since they were big-time television personalities. Here's a brief rundown of our cast of characters.

The Real World Team:
Heather (New York) - She's pursuing her music career. She must be over thirty by now! What is she doing on MTV?
Kat (London) - She finished college, bought a Volvo, moved to Los Angeles.
Mike (Miami) - He's now a bloated-looking private investigator. Do you think he went to one of those cheesy classes offered by community colleges? Do you think he spies on cheating housewives?
Dave (Seattle) - He finished college and moved to France, hoping to find a new audience for his chest.
Teck (Hawaii) - He's hanging out with "money makers."
Amaya (Hawaii) - She been "sitting on her ass." But she did get a hamster.

The Road Rules Team:
Piggy (Australia) - Naughty girl, she hasn't been going to the gym faithfully.
Dan (Northern Trail) - He hates the advertising industry!
Los (Season 1) - I truly don't remember a thing about this person.
Holly (Latin America) - This CU-Boulder graduate greets everyone in TV Land as if we were all wondering how she was doing.
Yes (Semester at Sea) - He broke up with his girlfriend.
Veronica (Semester at Sea) - Her emotions are in turmoil.

Starting off on a swanky foot, each individual is blindfolded and transported by helicopter to Las Vegas. Bare-chested Chippendale's type beefcakes greet these kids and former kids when they arrive at the base of the Stratosphere Tower, aka Stupak's Shaft. Dave, who's decked out in a battered looking cowboy hat in order to draw attention to his chest, tries to look extra studly. It's all so very macho in a prissy sort of way. Gladys, the hothead who was ejected from the Latin America Road Rules trip, makes a guest appearance in order to explain the whole rigmarole. Just so you know, there are ten challenges total, and for each, the winning team will receive 10,000 E-Trade bucks to invest. Suddenly, everyone's full of smiles. Money is definitely the motivating factor this time around.

The first challenge is bungee jumping from the Stratosphere Tower, which happens to be the tallest tower in North America. The idea of hurtling off a 1000-ft tower brings smiles to some and wets the drawers of others, but it makes me yawn. Bungee jumping is available at every podunk county fair, for heavens sake. I think dueling chili cook-offs would probably be more exciting. Anyway, Dave and Yes are itching to volunteer, while Heather swears she won't do it. Wanna bet?

Dave goes first, hoping to snag the world record, because that would get people to notice him. However, according to the experts, "rubber has a memory." It must remember his antics from the Seattle season of the "Real World," because it refuses to allow him to reach the record. The rest of the crew proceed to throw themselves from the tower with little ado. Sure, Amaya cries, but she weeps buying toilet paper at the supermarket. There's a teensy bit of balking from a few people, but it's so business-like that there's no suspense whatsoever. All of the cast members want that money bad.

During the first jumping session, the wind picks up, so they have to postpone the remainder until the next day. The cast members head to their luxury touring buses and play with oversized condoms and braid each other's hair, like a big slumber party. Count Teck out, though- he's out to explore Las Vegas nightlife with some zebra-striped lady. Will he cost his team $10,000 by not showing up in the morning, dearies? We don't even get that satisfaction. Under the unmerciful Vegas sun, he ambles across the parking lot, just in time to join in the festivities. He is rewarded for his efforts with a beating from Heather. With a boot, no less.

So, Teck and Veronica jump with aplomb. Veronica even calls it "orgasmic," but I think that's just an attention-getting maneuver. It certainly wasn't that exciting for the viewing audience. Kat is the last to plunge, and she gets the shakes. Will she make it? The laws of television require that she not only make it, but she also has to get the world record that everyone else has been denied. Bunim/Murray complies with said legislation. It's all very rewarding for the cast members, I'm sure.

So, in a completely sunny and non-dramatic ending, each team gets its 10,000 smackers and looks forward with hope and confidence to the next challenge. So far, personal interaction has been kept to a minimum, and that which does appear seems friendly and laid back, even between teams. This is not what reality television is about, my bon bons! I can only hope that the backbiting begins soon, or I shall just wither away from all this amiability. From the clips the producers show at the end, it does seem like there's a fair amount of muck and grappling, at least. A bientôt!

Who's Checking Who Out? Both Piggy and Kat are impressed by Dave's go-getter attitude. Come to think of it, Dave is impressed by his go-getter attitude, too. Teck seems interested in kissing Veronica. Dave and Yes wrestle, and Dave isn't wearing anything on his bottom.

Quote of the Week: "She can be completely harsh and rude, but that's what I love about her," says Holly about Piggy.


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