Mrs Filthy's Real World Review


June 19, 2001

Real World Tenth Anniversary Special

Whew! Talk about the Bunim-Murray Death March! I just endured 90 commercial-free (save an ironic reference to Pepsi here and there) minutes of Real Worlders patting themselves on the back. Host John Norris (aka Skeletor) adds fuel to the laudatory fire by calling Bunim-Murray's oeuvre things like "cultural icon" and "groundbreaking show that chronicled a generation." Eric Nies pontificates, "We represent the true nature of self!" Well, that's certainly a tall order. Interestingly enough, not one person mentions "guilty pleasure" or "cringe-fest ," which seem much more likely descriptors for the program.

The producers spend a fair percentage of our 90 minutes talking about all the serious issues that "The Real World" allowed American youth to ponder and discuss; the roster reads like a season's worth of After-School Specials: diversity and tolerance, spirituality, AIDS, abortion, suicide and substance abuse. And, I will not deny that those are indeed serious issues. But, mes amis, let's take a peek at the "5 Greatest Moments" as voted by RW viewers around the world for this anniversary special.

5. Heather falls on her face walking Norm's dog in New York.
4. Ruthie and Teck skinnydipping in Hawaii.
3. Melissa's strip-tease in New Orleans.
2. Stephen slaps Irene in Seattle.
1. Mike, Melissa and the brunette waitress getting friendly in Miami.

We've got pratfalls, sex, sex, violence and more sex. Now we know just how important the serious issues are in attracting viewers, no? And why else would we slog through an hour and a half of inebriated, self-satisfied burbling from these people, unless it was to see the marked decline in muscle tone and professional opportunities for said personalities. Or, to see the big fight that broke out between Puck and Kameelah, or the threat of a strike from Real World personalities? Oops, sorry, you're not going to see much of that, even though it happened. This was a case of reality being a little too interesting for reality television, I suppose.

I consider it my duty, darlings, to condense the whole messy sh-bang into something brief and less painful. If I can keep one person from watching the "Real World Tenth Anniversary Special," I can rest easy. Below is a list of some of the Real Worlders featured and their current stations in life. I couldn't get them all, and really, would you want them all?

New York
Heather B: Her first album is due soon. This is a statement we'll hear from probably one out of every two Real Worlders.
Eric: After "The Grind," Eric's manager ripped him off, to the tune of a quarter million dollars. Eric considered suicide, but bounced back enough to share his story with Melissa and the rest of us.
Kevin: He's a writer, and still single, much to Miami Cynthia's delight.
Andre: He claims "The Real World" ruined his life.

Los Angeles
Jon: His first CD still isn't out, but it's supposed to be out soon. And he could probably carry a couple dozen of them in his cheeks!
Irene: She's still a police officer and has kids aplenty. She's actually arrested Puck before.

San Francisco
Puck: Complete with little dog and shoulder-length locks, he gets place in his own isolation chamber for the bulk of the show. He's proud of his continued notoriety, but I say he's sold out. He picks his nose not once in the 90 minutes, except in flashbacks. Plus, he does what his mom tells him.
Rachel: She's lost the Morticia Addams bangs she had last year, but she's held on to her lumberjack hubby Sean (Boston) and their daughter Evita.
Pam and Judd: They are engaged to be married, still.
Mohammed: He's working on musical projects, too. Big surprise, eh?

Mike: He makes a point of boasting that he "owns a race car TEAM" now.
Neil: He has a job, a family and most of his tongue.
Lars: This formerly googly-eyed German (his eyes seem to have retreated back into his skull) regrets being a Real Worlder. He DJ's the reunion party at LA's Club Blue.
Kat: She is sad not to be the hottest person in the room for the reunion, but then again, there wasn't much competition in London.

Elka: She's looking almost matronly, instead of the wispy Walter-loving waif of years ago. She and Walter are engaged.
Kameelah: Kids at Stanford had a choice of seeing Kameelah or Chelsea Clinton, and they chose Kameelah!
Jason: He sports a retro wavy page-boy; he should be hanging out behind the high school selling pot, or something. By the way, he boasts that he "discovered" Teck when he worked on the RW casting team.
Syrus: His head is still enormous, figuratively and literally.
Sean: He's proud of himself to have dragged Rachel and Rachel Jr. to the wilds of Wisconsin. He's a lawyer.

Cynthia: She's still looking for a man and a career. I think she likes New York's Kevin, judging from the flirting and fawning.
Mike: He's still expanding, and he still works as a private investigator.
Flora: She's still flashing the camera with her bosoms.
Sara: She's very uncomfortable at the glitzy Los Angeles party.
Joe: He's barely recognizable with his shaved head and slouchy stature. He sort of looks like a little man made of pebbles.

Rebecca: Her first CD is almost ready. She seemed pretty inebriated, at one point asking Miami's Dan to marry her. She must be pretty drunk!
Nathan: His hair is a tad longer and wavier than in his VMI days, and he sports a soul patch, presumably instead of a personality.
Lindsay: She's the scariest person in the whole room. Actually, she's the scariest shrunken head in the room. But, at least her petrified face doesn't stop her from working as a DJ in Atlanta.
Stephen: He's been moving from town to town, leaving broken hearts in his wake. And yes, these broken hearts belong to women. He's still sorry for slapping Irene, but he's not afraid to be known for that deed, either. Oh, and he'll have a CD out soon.

Ruthie: She's looking hale and hearty, but no more eloquent than back in 1999. We learn that she doesn't like tan lines, however. She has a new song coming out, too!
Teck: He's still a ladies man. A very talkative ladies man who often makes no sense, for ladies who like that sort of thing.
Amaya: She got her boobies upholstered in red naugahyde. It makes for easy cleaning, you know.
Kaia: She offered only the briefest, gloomiest glimpse of her Margaret-ness.

New Orleans
Jamie: He was recently arrested for bungee-jumping where he shouldn't have been.
Kelley: Hardly anyone remembers she was even on the show. She and beau Dr. Peter have marriage plans.
Danny: Yeah, yeah, we all know he was on Dawson's Creek.
Julie: She has a nice Mormon boyfriend, and all is well. She still cries at the drop of a hat, though. She can't even thank Boston's Elka for her inspiration without weeping.
David: He claims to have learned a lot from watching his gaffes on television, but he still will babble on and on about not much of anything. If tv teaches one anything, it should be brevity.
Melissa: She seems to have embraced the role of perky hostess on Bunim-Murray related shows and will fondle her chest for anyone who asks.
Matt: He was inspired by New York Eric to "punch his abs."

Who's Not There: Julie (New York), Jacinda (London), Irene (Seattle), Colin and Matt (Hawaii) are some of the more notable MIAs. Anyone else that I didn't list above was there, but had nothing interesting to say.

Next Time: I'm sure MTV's self-congratulations don't end here, my darlings; the casting special for Season X is next Tuesday. Here we go again!


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This Week, Mrs. Filthy's Reading:

Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time, Vol. 4) by Marcel Proust