September 12, 2000
Meet the Parents
Many of you dear readers have read my complaints about the narrow range of this year's Real World. I've whined almost every week, "Why is every show either about David or Melissa?" "What in the world could the other cast members be doing with all that spare time?" Well, my sweet peas, you will hear no more mewling from this kitty-cat. I've finally seen a Jamie episode, and it was tres pathetique.
We see Jamie the auteur, videotaping dancers at Congo Square. We hear him expounding upon the link between African tribal music and modern jazz, blues and hip-hop, as if he invented the thesis. We see him with varying amounts of facial hair covering his brick-like features. We see him lackadaisically plan at the last minute and then grab for excuses when he's an utter failure.
For one thing, Jamie is no master of planning. Jamie is still trying to round up his panel of music experts on "almost Wednesday." That would be Tuesday, young man! And the show is scheduled for Saturday evening ("almost Sunday" in Jamie's parlance), which doesn't give the other cast members or the guests much time to prepare. Jamie also isn't a big one for filling out program sheets or providing pertinent information to his colleagues. What follows is a "free-flowing discussion," which is code for a big, icky mess. The clips of "The Real 7" that we see are truly cringe-worthy. I feel so sorry for the musicians who are guests on the show; what a wasted opportunity!
And the best part is that Jamie tries so hard to appear confident while he stumbles. Or, if he is truly that cocky, he's really a whole lot dumber than I even I thought. His roommates already had him pegged as Mr. Irresponsible; says Kelley, "It's no secret that Jamie doesn't give a damn about this show." But is he incompetent as well? How ever will he get to be a dot-com millionaire? Even Melissa, who wants to get in Jamie's pants, says the show sucks!
As soon as the show is over, everyone else awaits a brutal scolding from Big Boss Elton. But not our Jamie! He almost skips into the room, "It was a good show! Well, I thought it was a good show." Counters Elton, "That was embarrassing." Jamie responds in truly alarming fashion, first pointing an angry finger at Elton, then defending his own actions. Even later, when he says that he'll take full responsibility for the abysmal program, he can't resist decrying the "apathy" of his housemates and accusing them of being jealous. Of what, his monumental obliviousness? Mon dieu!
The other main plot concerns Danny, who is expecting a number of visitors at the Belfort Mansion. Not only will his strait-laced parents be there, but Paul also plans to drop by, expressly to meet them. If Paul was Paula, Danny's parents would probably be thrilled to welcome her into the family, but without that last letter "a," the situation is a bit more difficult. Danny's folks know that he's gay, but his dad is reluctant to talk about it. And, he doesn't really know about Danny's and Paul's relationship. Or if he does, he prefers to pretend he doesn't. Darlings, ignorance is truly bliss for some people.
Now, the producers of the show would like you, the tres adorable viewing audience, to believe that this situation is headed for a crisis. Danny talks a little about his always-distant relationship with his Dad. We see Danny and Paul smooch hurriedly before the parents get back to the mansion. We see flashbacks of Danny's wild-boy antics, whilst he tells us about his parents' Baptist backgrounds. So, is there any yelling? Any wild flailing of limbs? Non! We see Mom cook dinner for the entire household (which must be tasty, because Melissa gushes, "For me not to be talkingthis IS good!"), and Dad talk about Colorado scenery with Dream-Boat Paul. Not a single slammed door, not a single raised voice. It's all very civil, dearies.
Even when the pious housemate Matt speaks out against "homosexual acts" (for some reason, this phrase reminds me of the "purity of our fluids" tirade in "Dr. Strangelove"), it only leads to another "frank discussion" and another hug. Matt explains his position that sexuality is granted to humans by God to unite and produce "like, children." Danny explains that his love for Paul interferes not at all with his spiritual life. Matt invites Danny to mass, and that's that. Everything's super. Really, my little cupcakes, if every problem was so easily solved, there would be not one iota of drama in anyone's life. We'd all just sit around and pick at our navels!
Did You Know? It looks like Danny just can't get enough of being on camera! Thanks to one of my readers, I've learned that Danny will play a lover-man on "Dawson's Creek" next season. He'll be making televised kissy-face with some girl named Andie.
Who's Shirtless: Since the folks are in town, Danny can only get away with one brief shirtless scene.
Most Annoying: Hooray! By responding to well-deserved criticism with paranoia and excuses, Jamie finally breaks the Melissa/David rut this category has been in since the beginning of the season.
Best Quote: In a rare instance of self-knowledge, Jamie admits, "I'm in the dark about a lot of things."
Next Week: Julie gets socked in the face! Jamie calls
Kelley a "psycho-woman!" At last, could it be the
excitement we've been waiting for?