Mrs Filthy's Real World Review


November 6, 2001

Mommie Dearest

Chez Real World, with all its original art and designer furnishings, is an absolute pigsty. The coffee table is probably grungier than the gutters outside; I fully expected to see a wino passed out underneath the garbage on the floor. You see, mes amis, it's young Rachel's turn to clean, and this particular Kewpie doll is a big-time procrastinator.

Of course, Coral "The Enforcer" speaks out about Rachel's laziness, and while Rachel balks at the scolding ("I don't like to be told what to do!"), she ends up cleaning up the filth and detritus of seven young lives in the big city, anyway. No rebel she! It's a pattern Rachel probably knows well, since she's been smothered by her mother her whole life. Here's an example: The first words out of Mom's mouth during one phone chat are not "Hi. How are you?" but "Are you getting the RIGHT things to eat?" Mom then proceeds to describe the USDA nutritional pyramid in detail.

So, if a deficit of leafy greens is going to rile up Rachel's mom, you can just imagine the other types of trouble this little naif can get into. When the gang decides to visit a strip club, Rachel agrees to tag along, reasoning that at least 18 year olds are legal in there. But, in the back of her fluffy blonde head, she hears that little disapproving maternal voice. Actually, she hears it in stereo, since Coral and Nicole gleefully join in the Chorus of Guilt.

Once Rachel is in the scarlet den of sin, however, she doesn't have much fun. Mike encourages her to drink more and to writhe and drool along with everyone else. He even pronounces, "You're 18; you're old enough now!" Oui, my darlings, I'm certainly going to listen to sexual advice from that panty-dropper Mike!

Mike doesn't drop the issue the next day, either. All season, he's really been uncomfortable with Rachel's virginity, and now he has a convenient scapegoat: Rachel's mom. "Do you realize your mother babies you?" Rachel does realize this subtle point, certainly, but she also isn't ready to confront her Mater Dear, either. She's confused and lost, like a sad little puppy in the rain.

A puppy that likes lap dancing, that is! The next time the kids go out dancing, Rachel ties a few on and treats everyone to her amateurish hip gyrations. "Do you want to see bad? I'll show you bad!" she threatens, right before falling on her butt in the subway in an attempt at pole dancing. Well, dearies, that was bad, but probably not in the sense she meant! All this drunken frolicking can only mean psychological payback for Rachel; she mopes for hours about her lack of identity. She's 18, going on 13.

Her salvation appears to be the local concert scene. Rachel declares that, from now on, she will set her own standards and make her own friends and go to lots of shows. Of course, as soon as she sets foot outside the house, her mom calls to check up on her. Kevin answers the phone and receives an earful of maternal worry: is she alone on the mean streets? Is she- gasp- hanging out with the band?

She's not only hanging out with the band, Mom, she's riding in limos with them and kissing them! Of course, the kisses are dry little trifles, but still, it's the thought that counts. When Rachel's mom calls up later, she almost forbids Rachel from going to shows at all. This time, Rachel cuts her off rather abruptly, then spends the remaining minutes of the episode in a surly pout. See how's she's her own woman now! Now, if that only meant she'd clean up her mess!

Earlier in the episode, the Road Rules girls show up at the house, just for kicks. And kicks are what they get; well, at least Jisela does, anyway. As soon as the Winnebago Women enter the foyer, Nicole remarks on the increased sexual energy in the atmosphere. Malik is positively smitten with Jisela, "a happy, positive, beautiful woman," and lets her wriggle all over him. Take that, Sourpuss Nicole!

And sooner than you can say "Merengue," Jisela is giving Malik dancing lessons. They're sharing an umbrella in the spring rain and soon enough, they're sharing a bed. Evidently, they try to keep their activities under wraps, but no one is fooled. "Malik is feeling me, like I'm feeling him," remarks Jisela, although we learn that mere feeling is not all that went on. The result? A Malik that looks "all weathered and torn" according to Coral.

Of course, Jisela can't hang around forever, but the two lovebirds agree that they "have mad love for each other." Malik begins to seriously consider a romantic relationship. Well, according to the previews for next week, perhaps he shouldn't get his hopes up. Jisela seems to have mad love for other people, too.

Who's Shirtless: Well, all those topless dancers are just by definition. Also, Malik briefly bares some skin for his fling with Jisela.

Who Cries: What's the best thing to do to show the world you've grown up? Cry like a baby a la Rachel!

Most Annoying: Rachel grabs the prize for her growing pains- painful for us, anyway!

Best Quote: "I don't think those people who live with you should be letting you go out by yourself, either!" scolds Rachel's mom. Sacre bleu! Does she think that Rachel lives with a bevy of nannies?

Next Week: Hanky panky for one and all? Or heartbreak for Malik?

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This Week, Mrs. Filthy's Reading:

The Biographer's Tale by A.S. Byatt