Mrs. Filthy's Real World Review

November 19, 2002

Don't Stand So Close to Me

Steve has a problem, mes amis. He loves to have sex with Trishelle, but he feels that his convenient little bed-buddy is impeding further conquests. "I'm not going to be Trishelle's 'guy' in Vegas," he declares, just after he pries her lamprey-like mouth off his chest. Trishelle, meanwhile, drapes herself all over Steve, looking just like a gelatin Barbie doll.

Not that she wouldn't jump at the chance to cling gooily to the next guy who comes along, my dearies. Frank, the always-interested bystander, claims that something is "evolving" between Trishelle and Steve, but neither of the lovebirds is eager to peer into that particular Petri dish. "I'm not using you," Steve leers. "We're using each other."

Trishelle might agree, at least a little, but that doesn't make it any easier when Steve ditches her to enjoy "conversation" among a bevy of bosomy beauties. When she intrudes upon this little salon (during a deep discussion of economic policy and the latest Updike novel, no doubt), Steve cringes. All in one breath, he cries, "Don't touch me! Have fun!" They argue about who is more stupid, more inebriated. Then they both storm off in opposite directions. My, passion can be so predictable.

"I'm in hell," Steve then whines to Frank up in the Real World pad. And I believe he's right, because we then see Frank pull something suspiciously like a donut out of the sink and eat it. That's certainly my version of the Infernal Pit. Shocked, my dears, I was shocked. What will he do next? Suck on the dishwashing sponge?

When Trishelle finally stumbles in that evening, Steve attempts to break their relationship, such as it is, off. He begins in the standard way, and Trishelle, for once, has enough sense just to sit and smile. She doesn't want to look desperate, darlings, even as she keeps a formidable grip upon his pinky. Heavens, how symbolic! The longer Steve stays in Trishelle's room, however, the more his tone changes. One moment, he's imperiously cutting Trishelle off; the next, he's calling her "a little cutie."

You can guess, my pets, what comes next. Somehow, he, still blabbing, magically slips beneath the covers of Trishelle's bed. Steve and Trishelle seem almost resigned to their conjoined fate. They certainly aren't trying very hard to avoid it. Does it matter if they actually like each other or enjoy each other's non-intercourse-related company?

So, they make an agreement to keep their relationship exclusive, more out of a lack of imagination than anything else. Of course, there just may be another person entering their relationship, whether they like it or not. In all this time, neither hot-to-trot Real Worlder has thought to use any sort of protection. Trishelle's period is late, and she's starting to worry. Could there be an eighth resident moving into the Palms penthouse?

The other plotline this week revolves around Alton and his fear of gay men. When Steve's "best gay friend" John pays a visit, Steve is confident that John is just the ticket to cure Alton's homophobia. My dears, Steve just loves fixing other people's problems! Alton doesn't make the task easy, however. His biggest fear this week is that John will "rush" him while he's flossing.

Alton's trepidation around pink triangles and rainbow flags is a big topic of conversation among the other housemates. They're all eager to give him the "Real World" treatment and help him see the light. Brynn, whose dad is gay, confesses that anti-gay statements turn her into a "big bitch, then and there." So, naturally, she seeks Alton out and they have a little talk.

Alton claims that he has a hard time revealing his feelings, but judging from this episode, he's as soft and helpless as a kitten in a tree. Why, one would have a harder time forcing Alton to keep his feelings to himself! Alton tells Brynn about his own narrow escape from molestation when he was six. He tells John about the friend he lost to AIDS. Anyone who will listen hears Alton talk about how difficult it is to open up.

To make matters worse, a total stranger grabs Alton's package while Alton is working at a promotional event. There's no prelude such as, "What delicious hors d'oeurves! And may I put my hand in your pants?" One minute, everyone's laughing, and the next, Alton is fuming and ready to pummel the intrusive nut-squeezer.

But Alton, sensitive young man that he is, decides to tell the guy who grabbed his crotch why he shouldn't do such a thing. Because, of course, the crotch-grabber probably thought he was doing something completely appropriate. Isn't that how they say "hello" in Samoa? Alton sets him straight, all without punching or kicking. Then, he spends some time talking to Steve's gay friend. Voila! Alton is cured from homophobia!

Who Cries? Trishelle and Steven don't exactly cry, but they each throw a fine hissy fit in the nightclub.

Most Annoying: Steve manages to make that old chestnut, the "let's be friends" speech, both patronizing and pontificating. And then he can't even stick to his own program!

Salutation Tip of the Week: A handshake is generally considered a more appropriate greeting than the grabbing of testicles.

Best Quote: Steve pleads with Trishelle, "I'm gonna need you to be really ugly for the next four months."

Next Week: The confessional becomes sullied! Sacre bleu!

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This Week, Mrs. Filthy's Reading:

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold