Mrs. Filthy's Real World Review


May 21, 2002

A Friend Indeed

I will say this for the Chicago household, mes amis. They all recognize the obvious fact that Kyle and Keri do not have the healthiest of "friendships." Of course, one housemate in particular may have an ulterior motive in introducing Keri to Chicago's eligible bachelors. Cara simpers, "I'm introducing Keri to everyone I can, so that she can get over Kyle!" What remains unspoken is the last clause of that sentence- so that Cara can finally partake of the same furtive groping and passive-aggressive shenanigans that Keri's enjoyed all this time.

To that end, Cara introduces Keri to the geeky friend of the total stranger she met in a gym. Keri, earlier, had proclaimed, "I hate blind dates!" She must really mean it, because the pasty, unfashionably dressed sight of Matt drives her right into Kyle's unloving arms- in Matt's presence. Now that's called sending a message, mes petites chous! Afterwards, she laments that only "midgets" and "men over 85" seem to find her attractive. You know what? I'm still not convinced that Kyle is a step up from these choices, my sweets.

Now, this is a bit of a sidetrack from the plot, but I feel obliged to mention two bizarre facts about this particular blind date, dearies. First, one of the guys (presumably it's Cara's one night beau, Jason) decides that chihuahuas make hip and happening fashion accessories. Sacre bleu, do I feel out of the loop on this one! In Arvada, dogs aren't fashion accessories; they're just dogs. I guess that's why we're not a big city like Chicago.

Second, the makers of this program have decided to pay homage to "Blind Date," and include little thought bubbles to express Matt's yearning, Keri's indifference and yes, even the chihuahua's cockiness! I'm certainly not proud to admit that I watch "The Real World," but really, I think just about every program is above an homage to "Blind Date," no? Even "Blind Date" is above a homage to "Blind Date!"

If Keri hasn't completely dropped Kyle from her man-menu, then Kyle still harbors mixed feelings as well. On one hand, he worries that he continues to lead this Louisiana lass on with his attentions. On the other hand, he still pounces on her at every opportunity. At one cringe-worthy point, we see Kyle brooding, then getting up from his seat and seemingly smothering his "friend" with "friendly" attentions. Keri isn't doing a hoochie-coochie dance, or acting seductively in any way. As a matter of fact, she has the quilt clear up to her chin. Kyle is just marking his territory, just in case his other options fall through.

He might as well be marking his territory, because for the rest of the episode, he certainly treats Keri as if she's dripping with smelly pee. When Keri assumes that she'll be hanging out with Kyle and his pals, Kyle scowls and tries to warn her about the horrible time she'll have. When that doesn't succeed in making Keri miserable, he bends everybody's ear about how clingy and deluded she is. He complains that he just wants some time alone with his friends, but he doesn't ever take the simple step of just telling her so.

Instead, he blames Keri for his acute discomfort. "I like hanging out with her less and less," he fumes, as he worries she's falling in love with him. Keri, for her part, had a great time on her own with Kyle's friends, who remind her of her "friends back home." She seems more like a person looking for amusement than a cow-eyed girl in the grips of infatuation. This makes Kyle fume even hotter, and he then vents to Cara, who's only too eager to witness the Keri-Kyle rift growing wider. Kyle accuses himself of being "too nice," and Cara applauds his "sensitivity." These two deserve each other.

But Cara may have to wait, because Kyle is apparently still holding out for his ex, Nicole. Nicole calls the house (the entire household, I may add) from a vigil in honor of the World Trade Center, and Kyle weeps over it repeatedly. He treats it as an intimate love letter and as a reason to continue to treat Keri shabbily. His new, post-September 11th priorities include telling Keri that he doesn't want to get involved with her and implying that their friendship is based solely on pity and dependence.

Keri is offended enough by Kyle's words to say, "This relationship is over." Whether she means it is another question entirely. For now, both parties head to opposite corners to lick their wounds. Kyle pats himself on the back for overcoming an "obstacle" to his self-righteousness, even though he seemed happy enough to hang on to that obstacle whenever he felt a pang of loneliness or lust. Keri whoops it up with her gal pals, and even finds a complete stranger to grapple with on the postmodern furniture. This may not be the healthiest response, but at least it gets her out of Kyle's clammy clutches.

Speaking of clutches, Aneesa has car trouble. Actually, she has key trouble. One evening, while peeing in an alley on a lark (this girl uses toilet seat protectors at home, and yet pees in an alley?) she loses the car keys for the household's communal vehicle. Peacemaker Cara reasons, "Keys are so easy to lose," but the other roomies aren't so forgiving. As a matter of fact, they've almost written off ever seeing that car again.

Aneesa finds that her drunken mistake will cost her hundreds of dollars, so she calls her mother. Her mother, clearly fed up with years of brattiness and self-centered behavior, refuses to send any more money. This makes Aneesa cry and realize that she needs to grow up. Aneesa seems to realize her need for maturity just about every week, my chickadees. If she grew up every time she discovered she needed to, she'd be collecting social security by now!

But, my pets, I wouldn't get my hopes up just yet. For Aneesa, "growing up" seems to mean begging from her brother, instead of begging from her mother. And even with her brother obliges her by sending her a new key at a much-reduced rate, she still finds reasons to whine. Ah well, the Real Worlders have their precious wheels again, so conflict is averteduntil next week.

Who's Topless? Kyle stalks through the house, shirtless, while Keri makes whoopee with a new guy.

Who Cries? Kyle pretends to cry red, white and blue tears over a patriotic vigil in NYC, but I think we all know that he's crying over his unattainable Nicole. Aneesa cries like a big baby when her mother refuses her money.

Most Annoying: Kyle treats his "friends" like garbage and then worries that he's "too nice." May I repeat, darlings, that he's just plain creepy?

Best Quote: Wait a minute, did I hear Keri say, "I'm not a man-gina, thank you?" Maybe I should clean my ears, because that made no sense.

Next Week: Cara's ex chews her out!


Mrs Filthy's "Battle of the Seasons" Review


May 20, 2002

Victory Lap

As morning dawns upon the Road Rules Villa, the sleepyheads discuss what their final mission will be. Will it be something that involves luck? Will it be something intensely physical? In any case, those tanned and toned Road Rulers are confident of victory. This, mes amis, sets them up for a grand comeuppance- not that I'm trying to give the ending away, or anything!

The Real World clan is also confident- confident that the Road Rulers will kick their scrawny derrieres all over the beach, that is. Sean again offers his standard pathetique speech about being young and in debt with a baby on the way, but Elka's situation seems more serious. "I have tunnel vision. I'm ready to win." Shouldn't she see a doctor about that, darlings? Let's hope the final game doesn't require peripheral vision!

Of course, even if the Team Real World loses, most of them will still walk away with enough to "have a good meal and pay off a credit card," in the words of Kelley. Everyone has entered into the profit-sharing plan engineered by Sean, except for Holly and Coral. Holly says she doesn't want to share any winnings because, "If I win, it's because I'm chosen to win." I'm sure she means "chosen" with a capital C, complete with the halo and heavenly choir. Why should she let any generosity of spirit interfere with Divine Will?

Left out of the plan, Coral doesn't have the luxury of theology. Simply put, Holly is "the Wicked Witch of the East, man." Oui, but what does she really think about Holly, after all the tact is stripped away?

Finally, the teams assemble for the final competition, which is sort of your standard, season-ending contest-melange, including everything from kayaking to cliff-climbing to puzzles. The "ultimate" team on each side (that's Theo/Holly and Sean/Elka) will direct their showmates in the succession of contests, each of which involve retrieving a fish decoy from various aquatic environments.

I wonder, my sweets, who are the folks who design all these reality-show games? Is there a specific job description, or do the producers just get the lowly intern to do it? The variety of contests doesn't faze the Road Rulers in the least; Theo thinks that even a scaly, old iguana could beat those flabby Real Worlders. It's all those sad sack Real Worlders can do to force a smile and a "Go Team!" Again, I smell comeuppance in the balmy ocean breezes of Cabo!

But not, my darlings, without some suspense! Timmy and Emily paddle their kayak leagues ahead of noodle-armed Kelley and Danny, but get stuck upon reaching their goal. Their fish decoy won't detach from the buoy, and Emily is forced to recall her feral roots and chew through the rope. Rowf! Holly takes this turn of bad luck personally, "This is so NOT okay!" I practically expected St. Self-Entitlement to add, "Father, why hast thou forsaken me?"

The Real Worlders are ecstatic at this second chance. However, that doesn't stop them from frittering it away on the free dive event. By the time the two teams reach the longboard portion of the game, the Road Rulers have another hefty lead. It doesn't help that Mike and Coral are sinking rather spectacularly. "Mike is riding Coral instead of the board," marvels Kelley. You knew it would happen someday, my pets, but perhaps not in such a public place!

But, Theo and Holly aren't having such an easy time of it, either. "I'm struggling like a shot squirrel in a pile of poo," Theo explains. If he can't win the $300,000, by gum, he's going to win some sort of Colorful Backwoods Simile title! Anyway, Theo and Holly, even with Theo's rodent issues, maintain a lead, and the whole Road Rules team rushes to the next game, a stacking puzzle. The instructions for the puzzle are convoluted and not interesting to us here. What's important, my loves, is that that tight-knit Team Road Rules soon dissolves into a screeching, angry mob.

Zut alors! Will Real World brains triumph over Road Rules brawn? I never really associated "Real World" with the word "brain" before, but I guess there's a first time for everything. The Real Worlders not only catch up, they solve the fish-stacking problem in a trice, thanks to, of all people, Mike. Sean credits the Real World victory to teamwork, but I think there's something else going on here. Coral mentions that Mike "gets this look on his face like he just saw a naked woman," shortly before he solves the puzzle. Is Mike some sort of porn-fueled savant?

In any case, it's a mere hop, skip and a jump before Team Real World has scaled the final cliff and claimed their Chili's checks with much hooting and hollering and hugging. Sean and Elka as the victorious Ultimate Team win yet another Saturn. The Road Rulers still linger among their scattered fish decoys, and endure the mockery of the local pelicans. Later, Theo will try to sound nonchalant when he calls a friend, "I just lost fifty grand and a new car; what's new with you?"

A Real World victory means that everyone gets some money, except, of course, Holly. Does she think that God chose her to lose, I wonder? The rest of the episode features lots of slow-motion hugs and sappy "What I Learned From My Vacation" speeches. Suffice it to say that friends are important, challenges build character and it's how you play that matters. Hindsight makes everyone a good sport, my dears. And now, I have my Monday nights back.

Want to tell Mrs. Filthy something?

This Week, Mrs. Filthy's Reading:

I'll Let You Go by Bruce Wagner