Where we discuss MTV's Beloved "Real-Life" Soap Opera

Mrs Filthy's Real World Report


October 6, 1998

This week: Real World Downsizing?

If you think about it, mes petites, this season of "The Real World" features the sickliest cast in recent memory. Irene suffered a relapse of Lyme disease and then went nutso. Janet keeled over in Nepal, after smoking cigs at high altitude. In this episode, we witness Janet and Dave each facing death in their own special ways. What, are there cutbacks? Can MTV only afford to house 4 or 5 youths? Or, is this a conspiracy to spice the program up with a sprinkling of "ER" and a pinch of "ABC Afterschool Special"? Whatever the reason for the potential carnage this season, there has only been one fatality this season, and the corpse doesn't even belong to a cast member.

Lindsay has a pal named "Wild Bill", who is wild because he does wild things. One of the wild things we see him doing is fishing with large glazed donuts. He also sings on answering machines, and he even hangs out with Lindsay. He's really wild! Lindsay considers him to be "a second brother", and she feels a special bond with him because his dad died of cancer, too. It's like they have their own little "Dead Dad Club", but they're the only members.

Well, folks, that club's membership is about to be cut in half. Lindsay learns from her brother that "Wild Bill" committed suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning. Her reaction to this news led me to wonder about Lindsay's sense of humor; she screams at her mother and her brother, "You're kidding me!" Who would kid about something like that? The other roommates stand around and stare, unsure of what to make of all this yelling.

Lindsay is distraught and refuses comfort from all her housemates, even her bosom buddy, Janet. Janet predicts that Lindsay will suffer physical ailments if she keeps her emotions pent up- heart attacks, acne, what have you. She does complain of a stiff neck at one point, so perhaps Janet is not too far off. One major sign that Lindsay is very troubled is her decision not to go skydiving with Janet. This is just as well, because she was gabbing nonstop during the training session and probably wouldn't know when to pull the rip cord, anyway.

Janet does still make the jump, and has a moment of panic when she finds that her radio is nonfunctional. We even get some scary music to emphasize how close Janet was to biting the dust. Everything turns out all right, though, and Janet lives to tell the tale. By the end of the story, Lindsay has recovered her spirits enough to start touching and pinching people and overusing the word "totally" again.

Kira and Dave are still an item, can you believe it? They still bicker and whine over the phone with all the self-importance that young love can muster. The current debate is over the length of Dave's visit to Kira. Kira wants Dave to spend lots and lots of time with her before he leaves for intensive language school in Morocco. Dave can't seem to keep the dates straight, but he can still utter greeting-card gems like, "When she hurts, I hurt, too." Still, he's not going to give up this educational opportunity for anybody, not even his scary girlfriend. An apt bit of foreshadowing occurs when Dave proclaims, "I have so much inside me right now. I feel like I'm going to explode." Explode right out of his shirt, he means.

Dave's friend, Anthony, visits. Unlike "Wild Bill", who is already dead, Anthony is battling cancer and is not dead yet. He's pretty blase about his chances of dying, but that doesn't mean he's blase about fashion. All the housemates seem to like him ok, even if he can only be understood with subtitles. (Honestly, dears, I thought I had strayed into an art-house theater by mistake!) Anthony is one of the first to notice when Dave becomes ill, and the fact that this normally complacent chap is worried alerts the rest of the house. Dave and his unclothed torso writhe in bed, and he has sharp pains shooting from his chest to his arms. Lindsay calls the ambulance, then laments, "Am I being tested? How many people have I lost in my life?" She's a veritable Job. Dave is whisked away by paramedics.

It turns out that Dave was suffering from an inflammation of chest muscles that affects breathing- scary, but not serious. So, Dave puts his shirt back on for a little while, and decides to make Kira happy by flying out to see her a couple of days early. He must've been listening closely when the sage Stephen said, "Just trust love."

As a special bonus, Mrs Filthy will now predict the deaths of all 6 remaining cast members!

Dave will die of exposure when he ventures out in a brutal Boston blizzard without his shirt.

Janet will die of lung cancer at the summit of Mt Everest.

Lindsay will be in a bank when a robber holds all the patrons hostage. She will die of multiple gunshot wounds when she disobeys the criminal's command to remain still.

Stephen will cry himself to death.

Nathan , in a fit of drunken rage, will say something incredibly bigoted and mean-spirited and have the crap terminally kicked out of him by a very large, sensitive man.

Rebecca will be providing nurturing assistance to a small kitten. Unfortunately, the "kitten" is a cleverly disguised explosive device, which obliterates 5 square miles of office space and shopping centers.


Number of times Dave appears shirtless: Four scenes feature a topless Dave. Perhaps the producers are using up the rest of Dave's topless footage before the season ends.

The most annoying character? Kira, Dave's own Mrs. Robinson, shows that age doesn't necessarily bring wisdom. She should know better than to be so needy over the phone.

Next time: The producers must not have anything exciting lined up, because there aren't any previews, just a "Suicide, don't do it!" spot from an intricately coiffed Lindsay. Since when does public service come before ratings?

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