I always get a little pissed when MTV features a band that I really like during their commercial breaks. I have liked Rodrigo y Gabriella for a couple of years now, and now everyone is going to think that I learned about them from watching The Hills as opposed to Pig Radio.
Not that I, um, watch The Hills. Nope, not me. Not this girl. I have standards. Um…
Okay, I’m lying. I totally watch it and I have no idea why. It’s so contrived and set-up and every “spontaneous conversation” insults my intelligence. Those kids read the teleprompter like the cast of Dragnet. But Justin-Bobby? Whitney’s nonchalant “WTF”? The return of Lo? Spencer’s “I surprised you with a beautiful mural”? Heeeee.
I used to defend my guilty pleasures with a passion. Like, The Real World used to be a show about different people interacting and learning from each other and growing. I loved it from Season 1 to Season 10. Then they went to Chicago, and even with 9/11 it was still the dumbest, lamest, most boring season I’ve ever seen. Then they went to Vegas and, well, we all know what happened next.
Season 3 was my favorite because the cast was so diverse, not just in terms of race, religion and political beliefs, but their career choices and the way they approached conflicts, conversations, and trying new things. Do they have that season out on DVD? I would totally buy Season 3 on DVD.
Making the kids work together was one of the changes that killed that show. Because what made the show great was the fact that you learned about each individual person, so by the time two roommates got in a fight, you could understand where they were each coming from and what they were misunderstanding about each other. In Season 3, you’d watch Pam at Med school, Mohammed with his band, Judd drawing comics, Pedro teaching people about AIDS, Rachael at a Young Republicans convention, Jo climbing mountains, Puck riding his bike around, and Cory… doing whatever Cory did. It was fun to plop a bunch of people in the same city and watch them run off in different directions, and even more fun to watch those careers affect their lives and interactions at home.
Another thing that killed the show was the night-vision cameras, see-through shower doors and microphones in the headboards. TMI, Real World, TMI. I think the episode that started this was in Season 5 (Miami), when Mike, Melissa and that waitress all ended up in the shower. That was probably the best episode ever, but it had nothing to do with watching people make out or “controversial” threesomes or whatever.
That episode was awesome because Dan, Flora and Sarah (who were all hilarious people in general) were standing outside the shower door the whole time, trying (like the audience) to figure out what was going on in the shower. Sarah was gasping and laughing her ass off. Dan kept making awesome, “omigodomigod” faces. Flora tried to climb through the little shower window and ended up breaking it. It was hilarious and awesome because that’s the real world. In the real world, when your roommate gets drunk and does something insane like that, you’re (hopefully) not in the shower with them. You’re standing outside, laughing at them and throwing out theories and dishing about it the next morning. That’s what makes it funny. There’s nothing funny, sexy or remotely entertaining about watching a blob of sheets moving around while two jerks dry hump underneath it.
Another episode that killed The Real World was in Season 3, when Rachael and Jo bought a bottle of wine and got wasted. They kind of danced around the living room, shrieking and pouncing on their roommates, while everyone else sat around and made fun of them. And that was such a fun episode. You know why? Because it was rare. In real life, hopefully, getting that drunk happens once in a blue moon, and you get all goofy and giggly and everyone teases you because you’re normally responsible and intelligent but for once, you’re “letting loose”. That’s what makes it funny, and that’s what makes it fun to watch.
Everybody liked the drunk episode. That’s what got ratings. That’s why producers started supplying cast members with alcohol. And now, that’s all the kids are putting out there. The Real World has basically become a show about what happens when people stop wearing clothes and start binge drinking. That’s it. It’s disappointing and boring and gross and sad.
However, I actually have high hopes for the latest Real World. First of all, there’s a kid named Cohutta who is from, like, Appalachia or something. He has the most kick-ass accent I’ve ever heard, and he’s totally one-of-a-kind. It’s fun to watch everything he does because his outlook is totally unique. He’s the kind of person that they used to pick all of the time, as opposed to gorgeous nondescript alcoholics.
Then, there is this girl named Parisa. She hates the girly-girls and they hate her. She’s smart and she behaves like a normal person. She has a unique perspective in the house because she’s the only Muslim, a child of immigrants, and basically is not retarded. And every time I roll my eyes at the other roommates, the camera cuts to her rolling her eyes, too. She’s like the embodiment of the home viewing audience and all great roommates of the past, all rolled into one.
On the other hand, there is Kerry-Ann or whatever the eff her name is, who represents the worst aspects of the new Real World (“Why do they hate you?” “Because I’m cute?”). Watching her interact with Parisa is super fun, in an uber-meta “I have no life” kind of way.
So… that’s my defense for watching the latest Real World. But I have no excuse for watching The Hills. You know this. I know this. This does not benefit my life in any way. I’m disappointed in myself and I’m sure this entry has disappointed all of you.
So, um, in other news, there are a bunch of cool events in the next two weeks, but I’ll blog about it tomorrowish. My friends should not be name-dropped in a blog about The Hills; I respect them too much.
Currently Reading: Nothing, obviously