Mrs Filthy's Real World Review

August 15, 2000


We know that something ill is afoot, dearies, when we see Melissa clutching her old hairstyle desperately. Does she have a headache? Split ends? Or is this the producer's way of letting us know that Melissa, our sad clown, is not happy and will monopolize yet another episode?

Melissa is indeed unhappy. After years of trying to laugh and strip-tease and crotch-grab away her sorrow, her childhood traumas are paying an unwelcome visit. Melissa seems to just have realized that her formerly alcoholic father's abusive behavior left her with some pretty difficult memories. About her parents nowadays, she says, "I love 'em. They're weird." As if they could be anything else!

And besides the old parent trap, Melissa also has to deal with unfair standards of beauty, with different views of spirituality, with the whole world being different from her. She has to deal with the unfairness of life, which certainly doesn't seem fair, does it? It all proves to be too much for her, and she crumbles while having a phone conversation, rather a phone monologue, with her mother. "Oh my god. Do you think I'm going to die?" she wails. Even in her own words, this is "the most stressful situation that doesn't have to be stressful."

From Little Miss Firecracker to Little Miss Walking Wounded in just a few short weeks! With all this drama, the housemates can't help but notice that Melissa rides a attitudinal roller coaster and refuses to leave her hands on the safety bar. She's actually pretty hard to ignore, since she bends every available ear with her childhood memories. Jamie calls Melissa's relationship with her folks, "completely absurd and wacked." Danny's sure that Melissa's headed for a big, splashy cannonball into the deep end. David notes that Melissa is quieter, at least.

But, if Melissa follows her whim, the house will be much, much quieter. David's scat singing will fairly reverberate through the empty halls of the Belfort mansion. Melissa actually considers leaving the house, so that she can be miserable and self-involved off camera. The other girls protest vociferously, knowing that the producers would have to cancel the show without their main character on board. No one else is ready to ditch those fine digs just yet!

Why does she want to leave, mes amis? Melissa, even as she thinks of nothing else but her own problems, declares that she is sick and tired of discussing "deep stuff" anymore. Unfortunately for everyone, she seems unable to follow her own advice. In the blink of an eye, she and Julie are both upset about religion, or something, emphasis on the "or something." Melissa is offended because Julie seems to be offended, even though Melissa is trying very hard not to be offensive. Anyway, it makes them both turn red in the face and cry. Melissa threatens again to leave the house; not one little moment there has been a happy one for her (although she seemed to enjoy grabbing Jamie's crotch).

Julie apologizes and pleads for closure, even resorting to manhandling Melissa to make her point. She claims that she would be miserable if she knew that she was the one who made Melissa leave. Honestly, she must be the only one who feels that way! And, due to the power of editing, they magically become friends again, and slather on some makeup to make themselves feel better. It's like a big slumber party! Lipstick and eye shadow are again in evidence as Melissa and Kelley discuss the current topic, which happens to be, of all things, Melissa. Kelley is less tolerant of Melissa's perennial trauma and tells Melissa that if she really wants to solve her problems, she'll have to get some help for them.

Melissa's first step is to leave a cryptic message ending, "I'm about to have a nervous breakdown. Bye," on some poor person's voice mail. But, she does manage to make an appointment at the Center for Better Living, and plans to pursue the goals of loving herself and discovering herself. With that sort of conclusion, I'm afraid that we won't get out of this Melissa rut any time soon, mes fleurs. You know what Melissa really needs? A hobby! Volunteer work! A job! Something other than brooding around the house, babbling to her beleaguered housemates.

The secondary plotline revolves around Matt and his fear of girl cooties. Even though he's a stylin' dude (note the matching lowrider bike and shoes), he just hasn't met even one girl he would like to take out to dinner. After a moment, Monsieur Romantique remembers that he did have a girlfriend and they must've gone out to dinner, but it totally slipped his mind. But, just in case anyone thinks he's getting soft, he then warns Kelley that if some icky girl tried anything funny, he sure would push her off the couch!

Even though Matt's disdain of the vast majority of women would seem to be intimidating, that doesn't stop dozens of ladies from signing his website guestbook with alluring messages, asking for the honor of "chilling" with him. Ooh la la! And they've even seen the albino's picture!

And Matt's not entirely immune to feminine charms, or as Julie says, "Wow, Matt's not asexual!" To avoid being pushed off the couch, a girl should be "groovy" and have "some kind of spunk." It also helps, apparently, if the poor thing has the same sort of fashion sense as Matt. (I just know that I'll see all the young ladies in polka dots now!) As a matter of fact, Matt is smitten with a heavily eyelinered lady named Kelly, whom Matt met at a local establishment called 735. Matt notices that she carries herself the same way as him and wears the same sorts of clothes. Matt actually gushes, "I like your hairit's like looking in the mirror almost!" Now that's a scary Bride of Frankenstein moment, if I ever saw one, luvs.

The housemates are less enthusiastic about Kelly. Julie, who had been nursing an inexplicable crush on Matt, doesn't think the worldly Kelly is right for snowy pure Matt. But, she nobly decides not to say anything, lest she appear biased. Jamie calls Kelly a "Monet," due to her rather spotty and impressionistic allure. The two spiky blond heads hug a few times. Will Matt lose his "very virgin"-ity? Or will he push Kelly off the proverbial couch?

Did You Know? According to the New York Post, possible sites for next year's Real World include Toronto, Vancouver, Australia (maybe the kids can hang out with the folks from "Survivor II"), Las Vegas, France and the Caribbean and Harlem.

Who's Shirtless: No toplessness tonight, but there's plenty of bellyaching.

Who Cries: Julie and Melissa both shed tears over Melissa's misery.

Most Annoying: I don't know about you all, but I'm about sturm und drang-ed out for the season. Melissa gets the honors this week just because she's trying so darn hard.

Best Quote: "The extent of my pickiness is disgusting," quips Matt in a rare moment of candor.

Next Week: The cast celebrates Mardi Gras!

Want to tell Mrs. Filthy something?

This Week, Mrs. Filthy's Reading:

The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean

Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia by Robert Fishman