November 3, 1998
This week: Good-bye, Already!
It's time to say "Au revoir", my friends, and boy, are these kids mixed up. Janet pummels Stephen, and he likes it! Nathan is practically home, but that's not good enough for Stephanie, who becomes increasingly weepy and impatient. Dave's coworkers at the fish market throw him in a smelly dumpster, and he's thrilled to pieces. Lindsay shows Janet some photos of all the dead people in her life. Stephen gets a girlfriend. The producers experiment with disorienting black and white flashbacks. Whew! My head is all a-flutter from all these switcheroos!
This final episode spends a fair amount of time showing how much Stephen, "The Real World's" most troubled ward, has grown over the course of the season, from a sexually ambiguous hothead to a chick-diggin' pacifist. Not only does Stephen woo a comely young lass named Druba, he even puts his hands on her butt, with nary a trace of cootie-phobia. To him, Druba is "nice therapy for a man whose bones are aching." So, Druba is sorta like Ben Gay? Certainly, Stephen appears to want to rub her all over him.
In addition, Stephen's anger management classes, a.k.a. "the eighth roommate", seem to be successful ; this young man is now able to avoid pool hall brawls with panache. In an act of therapy-inspired contrition, he attempts to apologize to Erica, who witnessed the notorious bitch-slap. He asks her to lunch; she offers the obvious blow-off, "Oh, I always eat lunch at my desk." The best part of this excuse, dearies, is that Stephen recognizes the statement as a feeble lie, and Erica knows that Stephen knows. Ooh, the cruelty is delicious.
Unfortunately, the therapy does not stop Stephen from pontificating to his roommates. "Anger is like a 500 pound gorilla," he posits. If he saw Irene now, he wouldn't belt her; he would utter in his most patronizing tones, "I'm sorry that you feel that way, but I wish you well in life." He's draining the fun from everything, my little cabbages! Perhaps Irene would've belted him, if she had to endure such tripe.
The kids all get broken up over their last episode of "Dead Air", but they keep their spirits up enough to fabricate some cockamamie story about moving to Puerto Rico. Then, they feel flattered when a listener (dim enough to buy the aforementioned tissue of lies) says that he'll miss them sorely. Hopefully, this lonely, lonely man has now found a friend in Paul Harvey.
Finally, after minutes of suspense, it really is time to leave. Everyone talks about how this experience has really changed them, how wonderful it was, how they'll never forget all the things they went through over the last few months. Meow, meow, meow, as we say in the beauty shop. Rebecca is the first to tear up, then Stephen, then Dave, then Nathan. Their tears threaten to flood the airport. However, best pals Lindsay and Janet are too busy frolicking like puppies to cry. But in this Stephen-centric universe, everyone has advice for their own Angry Young Man. "Don't get crazy. Don't get nuts," Dave tells Stephen. Janet tells Stephen that he is bee-yoo-tiful and that she wishes he recognized that fact. And on that note, everyone goes home to a relatively camera-less existence.
Number of times Dave appears shirtless: This was his last chance, and Dave blew it. When will he get another chance to share his nipples with America?
The most annoying character? From his touchy phase to his touchy-feely phase, Stephen wins the prize for Most Annoying Character For the Entire Season. Good work, Stephen! Nathan, don't feel left out. Know that you are thoroughly disliked.
Next time: Unless you want to endure the flotsam and jetsam of
the "Real World Bloopers" show, there will be no next time until
next year, sweets.
©1999 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights reserved.