First aired: June 15, 1999
The topic: The luckiest people on the face of the earth
In the first hour of the new season, the Real World Hawaii cast members have really upped the ante. Once the characters have embraced skinny-dipping as a hobby, a simple boob flashing just will not suffice. Lyme disease? Old hat, my dears. Substance abuse is the order of the day! Season VIX is going to have to involve a dominatrix and some bad-ass car chases to pique anybody's interest.
The first Real Worlders we meet are Ruthie and Teck. Ruthie is a former local girl who made good at Rutgers. She will be separated from her girlfriend Jess, who will be completing basic training in the Army. We learn that Ruthie is either a free spirit, or someone who loves t-shirts, because she admits early on that she has taken her G-string off in order to obtain this treasured piece of clothing. Teck seems to lead a number of lives, most of which encourage his harrowingly extroverted nature. He's a waiter, a rapper, and a student at Morris Brown College. He likes attention, whether it comes from dancing in the street, or from saying things like, "I know you like guys. I can see it in your eyes."
These two immediately head for "the crib" and make themselves comfortable in the swimming pool. Very comfortable. More comfortable perhaps than either you or I would wish. In a none-too-subtle example of foreshadowing, the first question Ruthie asks is, "Is there any alcohol in the fridge?"
Meanwhile, Matt and Amaya have met at the airport and are hurtling towards the house. Matt has dreamed of living with six women and has high hopes of hooking up with a Hula Honey. He even comes prepared in a fashionable Hawaiian shirt. Really, dearies, it's a wonder that Amaya doesn't just leap on him right then and there. But, she doesn't. Instead, she and "The Twins" (as she has named her breasts) reveal how they have aspired to make movies since the age of three. Matt and Amaya obviously are familiar with how the program works, because they worry about other people getting all of the cool beds before they get there.
These worries about getting the best bedrooms just fly out the window when Matt and Amaya find their naked housemates cavorting in the pool. It's useless to pretend that they don't find this shocking, since their eyes are about the size of coconuts. Matt claims that he will not ever skinny-dip with his roomies. Whew. Amaya doesn't say it's out of the question, but for now she's content to complain about the water temperature.
Kaia, MTV's first middle-aged Real Worlder, is next to arrive. She admits that she tends to "act out" and that she's looking forward to being naked. Don't say that you weren't warned. Justin, a boy wonder law student, isn't there for two minutes before Teck ("they call him the streak") bellows, "Are you gay?" Justin doesn't have a problem answering in the affirmative, but even he admits that it was a hell of a welcome.
The last housemate to arrive is Colin, the former reject. Amaya recognizes him right away, but his appearance confuses her. Once Colin reveals that he was on the Casting Special, it puts a damper on the festivities. He feels like an outsider, like he doesn't belong with all of these legitimate finalists.
The business of house-gawking is over pretty quickly, for a change. We get quick glimpses of the cave room, the ukeleles on the wall, the volcano in the swimming pool, and then the kids set about choosing their rooms. Kaia and Ruthie prefer to sleep in the cave room, and Matt wants to share a room with Ruthie so that he can make more cow eyes at her. Kaia and Teck decide that they can endure each other's company and pick out their room.
That leaves the bunk beds for Justin and Colin. Justin was distracted by the computer and didn't act quickly enough. Colin the Reject must've been feeling too inferior to horn his way into one of the more deluxe rooms. You have to move fast on the Real World, if you want a decent room.
There aren't that many topless therapists around, but Kaia is willing to add to the meager population. She notices Justin's discomfort and homesickness and tells him, "I'm a good listener... Would it offend you if I took off my shirt?" She counsels Amaya about her body image, using her own exhibitionism as a positive role model. "I really really like looking at myself," she tells us. Teck doesn't mind; indeed, he seems to expect this. "One of the perks of having a female roommate is that they walk around with their breasts hanging out all the time." This is news to me, but not to anyone who is familiar with the "Bikini Car Wash" body of work.
It all seems pretty harmless so far. The kids celebrate their first nite with a pool party and cocktails. I didn't see any umbrellas or fruit on skewers in any of the glasses; you'd think MTV would provide those things. I would demand those things, if I were a Real Worlder.
You must excuse me, my little pineapples, I didn't mean to get distracted by cocktail umbrellas. Anyway, everything gets much more serieux the next morning. Ruthie remembers how her foster family didn't think she was worth anything, how she managed to get herself to college. The roomies learn that she's quite the heavy drinker. Amaya reveals that she has "blazing insecurity" about her body, specifically The Twins.
When the housemates go out to a dance club for a festive evening, Ruthie drinks more than her limit. In slow motion, the camera traces the arc of her fall to the sticky, cold floor. We see her carried outside and hear her incoherent gibberish. The only thing I could make out was, "I need another drink." Truthfully, folks, this is closer to an unattractively inebriated person than I need to be.
Amaya and The Twins go into "Mom Mode", and they and Matt take Ruthie home. They try to get her to bed, but her condition worsens. Justin, who stayed home that evening, helps, but to no avail. Ruthie becomes less and less responsive, so they call an ambulence. Amaya is distraught and frustrated that the other roommates are still at the club, partying heartily.
Kaia, Colin, and Teck return from the club to learn that everyone else is at the hospital, waiting for Ruthie to get her stomach pumped for alcohol poisoning. "Being an alcoholic is bad for you," pontificates Kaia. She would've said something more original, but her top was constricting her blood flow.
When Ruthie gets home from the hospital, she's not quite sure what happened to her. At first, she claims that someone slipped her a mickey, but eventually she agrees that she needs to practice moderation in her drinking habits. So large a problem solved in the first hour of the season? Sweeties, if you believe that, you'll believe anything.
Who's Au Natural and Why?
Ruthie, because she's home again
Most Annoying Character?
This week, folks, I'm going to have to berate Kaia for her willingness
to counsel anyone and everyone in her path. If being topless made a person
an authority, we would've all elected Candy Bottoms for President years
©1999 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights reserved.