November 27, 2001
The Big Job
With all these weekend jaunts and love affairs, it's easy to forget that the kids actually have a job. Mes amis, I'm sure the kids have forgotten. But, there's one last big assignment at Arista yet to fulfill, one last orgy of butt-kissing before the Real Worlders are free to pursue careers in mid-level management and shoe sales.
Adam and Devon introduce the kids to Jeff, the alternative rock guy at Arista. Jeff tells the cast members about Adema, which sounds like a brain disease, but is actually a bland band from Bakersfield. For their final mission, the Real Worlders must go to the biggest radio station in the city, K-ROCK, and convince them to play a record by Adema for their vast, undiscriminating audience.
Of course, the buzzing, churning guitars and inane lyrics are right up Mike's alley. When Jeff plays a cut from Adema's album, Mike is bobbing his head along with the Turtleneck Twins (Devon the shrimpy one especially seems to be into this drivel, or rather he seems to be into being into this drivel) and praising the guitar licks. Nicole admits that the song is "the opposite of everything I like," but that's not important. As Jeff says, scarily, "It's not our responsibility to love the record; it's our responsibility to make everyone else love the record." Que belle! The joys of corporate rock!
So far, the kids are optimistic. Mike appreciates the fact that someone on this big blue globe has faith in him, while Kevin feels like he was made for this job. "I know what sells," he remarks confidently. Even Coral seems less pessimistic than usual.
That is a mistake in judgement, my dears. Once the youngsters are face to face with K-ROCK's programming department, they can barely bring themselves to say "boo," let alone wax poetic about the significance of Adema (A Persian demigod? A hay fever remedy?). The programmers fire dozens of questions off. The only one talking is Kevin, and he's busy talking himself into a corner. Where are his beloved salesmanship skills now, eh?
Surprisingly, this gross display of incompetence earns the Real Worlders a second chance, but they have some work to do. First of all, they have to show that Adema has a fan base. Then, they have to show that Adema really, really wants to sell out. Then, they have to show that they like Adema, I mean really really like them. The girls all practice bobbing their heads Devon-style, to show their enthusiasm. The kids have learned the primary lesson of the workaday world, my pets: if there's nothing to care about, pretend like you care.
Out of sheer desperation, the kids whoop it up and slap high fives and perform other steps in the dance of artificial enthusiasm. For their second pitch of Adema (a facial moisturizer? A Japanese compact car?), they bring information from the Internet, for goodness sakes! They bring newspaper articles and video cassettes of the band. They dance in their chairs, they love this music so much. "I think they're going to start a mosh pit," one of the K-ROCK wiseacres says.
Do the radio guys buy it? I would be surprised if they did, but anyway, they award an A for effort, and Adema gets its radio spot. The only thing left for the kids now is a lopsided cake, some framed doodads and some sappy words from both the shrimpy boss and the bald boss. At least the other Arista employees get some time away from their desks when the Real Worlders get their surprise party.
Speaking of professional dead ends, Lori finally gets to record a song for shaggy-haired limey Nicky, but it's a pretty painful endeavor. Lori brings Nicole, Mike and Coral along for "moral support," or maybe it's just to practice having an entourage? Anyway, the recording session proves to be frustrating, because Lori is just too darn articulate! Coral gives her a pep talk, and soon, Lori's slurring her words like a pro. Everyone seems happy with Lori's end product, but now what?
Who's Shirtless: Malik is caught on camera changing clothes how scandalous! Also, the drummer from From Zero is shirtless, but who wants to see a skinny, pasty ol' drummer?
Who Cries: Lori is almost driven to distraction during her recording session, but not quite to tears.
Most Annoying: Kevin is just so smarmy, a true salesman in the worst sense of the word.
Best Quote: Ah, the things people must do for stardom; the radio station rep says, "It would be nice if we could rub up against the artist a little." Ick!
Next Week: The train's pulling into the station, and
it's almost time to say au revoir.
Now, dearies, I have to ask you all a serious question, because
the season is just about over. For the past two years I have
conducted a tres scientifique survey about all things Real World.
If you'd like to review last year's results,
click here. Anyway, do you think I should go for #3? Or not?
Send me your thoughts,
s'il vous plait!