Mrs Filthy's Real World Review

June 13, 2000

Meet Cute

As if we haven't said this each year, let me reiterate: the Real World cast has it so easy. They probably won't ever have to eat rats, they don't have to worry about getting singed by tiki torches (that was last season), and they don't even have to build their own fire (they have a fake fireplace of their own). I'm sure the poor slobs on "Survivor" are just kicking themselves. Mes amis, it seems the greatest danger the Real Worlders must face is ...themselves. Either that, or narcolepsy.

This week, mais oui, we witness the nascent relationships and conflicts among the seven freshly-scrubbed housemates: Julie, David, Melissa, Danny, Kelley, Matt and Jamie. And, if that doesn't hold enough interest for you (which is tres, tres possible), there's always the crazy, kooky, swankuluxe house to gawk at. This year's swingin' pad is a restored mansion in New Orleans' Garden District and comes complete with stuffed alligators, voodoo dolls, a Moderne kitchen and a hot tub- all the stuff you've come to expect from Camp Bunim/Murray. It's enough to make all the kids hyperventilate, though, and that's what counts. Melissa gets so excited by the décor she just indiscriminately starts grabbing butts. I mean, I don't think she would've picked Matt's fanny to squeeze if she really meant it personally.

Julie and David are the first to meet on the St. Charles streetcar. Julie is worried about the co-ed living arrangements, which are strictly against the rules at Brigham Young University, where she goes to school. The stern bearded patriarchs at BYU have no idea Julie is having this little annee de liberte. Big-as-a-house David says about the roommates he hasn't yet met, "I'm thinking fear." He doesn't explain why, though. Then he seems immediately comforted by Julie's presence on the streetcar.

Or, maybe aroused is more like it, darlings. He immediately hugs the girl, then coos, "That was a good hug." That should be danger signal #1, Julie! Anyone who's already analyzing a simple greeting hug is looking for more, more, more. Danger signal #2 comes fast and furious; David wants to know ALL about Julie's personal life. When Julie admits that she does not currently have a boyfriend, David asks her, "Is it lonely?" My little cabbages, I'm thinking fear.

In another vehicle, Danny and Melissa are hurtling towards their Real World destinies. Danny has admitted to Melissa that he's bringing a secret with him. (He's gay.) Melissa is bringing her own rice. Melissa is not content with her rice, and must have Danny's secret as well! (He's gay.) And while you're at it, make her a man sandwich! But, Danny is just using these precious moments for taunting, not for telling. (He's gay, for heaven's sakes!) One divertissement: When they pull up to the big honkin' house, Danny compares it to Tara. Melissa responds, "Who's Tara?"

When Kelley and Matt show up at the house, the plot thickens. Julie, after about 30 seconds, is already considering Matt official hook-up potential, but in a completely honorable and celibate way, mais oui. He's just got so many qualities, my loves! Kelley joins in the "Get Danny's Secret" game, which is sort of like "Hungry, Hungry Hippos," but without the plastic hippos. She tries to get him to reveal his secret in French, but his answer is nothing but unrecognizable muttering. Zut alors, his accent is more indecipherable than mine!

Finally, Jamie arrives all by his lonesome. He seems almost afraid to enter the kitchen, or maybe that's because Melissa is ready to pounce on whatever male human enters the room. One more layer of her man sandwich has arrived! For a blink of an eye, there's a little bit of tension between David and Jamie due to their respective Chicago neighborhoods- one poor and dangerous, one posh and posher. That concern fades as fast as a crepe-paper camellia, however. Soon enough, Jamie has moved on to telling Mormon Julie, "I thought you people got married at sixteen!" Such a tactful lad. I look forward to hearing more from him.

After some chatting and eating warmed-up Creole cuisine, the kids pick rooms in record time, thanks to Kelley's superior organizational skills. Then they head into the French Quarter for some dancing and shouting and general carrying on. Melissa gets her Man-which. Matt and Julie hold hands. It's all very touching. And go figure, my bon bons, no one is carried away in an ambulance!

Danny's secret is finally revealed when Melissa happens to notice all the photos of underwear-clad men around Danny's bed. She's unimpressed; "That's not a secret. A secret is, like, I have one nut." Truer words were never spoken, lady. Hot-tub action and slumber parties notwithstanding, Danny already has a beau. His name is Paul, his face is blurry and he's in the military. If that's not asking for trouble, then I don't know what is. The two guys have only met a few weeks ago, but they're totally in love, with all the hearts and flowers and stuff. Danny really wants to be faithful to Paul, but he also knows that he'll be lonely, and well Paul solves that problem by arriving in New Orleans in two shakes of a duck's tail, despite the fact that this trip could demolish his career.

David spends much of the rest of this first episode trying to "invite Julie into his world," and it's just her problem if she doesn't RSVP. He calls her "fresh like a snowflake" and the "Welcome to My Trolley" lady. When she mentions that she would like to add blues to her already weepy guitar repertoire, he replies, "I love blues, cause I got plenty of those." He writes a song for her, which seems to involve lots of teeth-baring. He brings a one-night stand home. Wait a minute, something doesn't seem right in this picture! But, luckily, Julie is staying home from David's little party. Her already fervent admiration of Matt doubles (he's so perfect, it pisses her off!) when she finds out that he's going to be celibate until marriage. But until Matt notices her (which might be some time, since he has some sort of bizarre coating on those orange sunglasses that makes him totally oblivious to girls who dig him), she'll just have to turn to the robot dog for companionship.

Did You Know? Kelley wants to be a motivational speaker when she grows up!

Who's Shirtless: The guys (except Matt) must've read the fine print in the contract; Jamie goes sans chemise once, David twice, and Danny lets it all hang out a whopping four times.

Most Annoying: My dears, David's pickup methods are relentless and disturbingly akin to those used by the drunks on my bus route! And Julie's not even wearing her cutest muu-muu!

Best Quote: "Is that the politically correct word- gay?" asks Jamie, who is presumably used to using other terms instead.

Coming This Season: Stripping, Attempted Kidnapping and Public Access Television!

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This Week, Mrs. Filthy's Reading:

Edge City by Joel Garreau

Cruddy by Lynda Barry