September 17, 2002
Well, dearies, I have to hand it to "The Real World;" they've done away with all those unnecessary preliminaries. The cast has barely memorized each other's names, and they're already hooking up every which way. The main criterion for being on the show this year seems to be a willingness, nay, a neediness, to couple with a roomie. Well, this season may be low on suspense, but sacre bleu! I have a feeling there will be some psychotic moments.
At a motel just outside Las Vegas, Louisiana gal Trishelle waits silently on the curb. A limo glides to a stop, and she climbs in. Inside is Kyle-lookalike Steven, who presumably has joined the Real World cast primarily to ogle (and count) "hot women." As they marvel at the fake volcanoes, pirate ships and Egyptian pyramids on the Strip, Steven spins another unbelievable tale- he's in the process of getting a divorce! Sometimes, mes amis, truth is stranger than fiction.
Meanwhile, another vehicle, all in black, is heading towards The Palms Hotel and Casino. This one contains Arissa and Frank. Frank seems to delight in telling Arissa about how small his Pennsylvania town is. He actually takes the time to name all six stoplights in his county. Arissa counters by saying she's from Boston, which is"no big thing" either. She also asks Frank if he's Mormon. He's not, but it's a good call. He's got the coiffure of a Mormon, that's for sure.
Much oohing and aahing follows. So many lights! So many colors! So many retirees plucking nickels from a beat-up change bucket! Steven is more impressed by other sights, however. Once Bronx native Irulan arrives, he declares that the number of hot women in the house is two! The number is then loudly and enthusiastically upped as each new female enters the house.
Frank and Arissa finally figure out the elevator and join the group. A smiling young man named Alton is downstairs, having trouble breathing. He thinks it's because of his excitement, but I've been to Vegas, sweeties, and it's probably just all that stale cigarette smoke clogging his lungs. The last member to arrive is Brynn, who claims to be a troublemaker and heartbreaker. Her breathing trouble begins when she realizes that she's not the cutest girl in the room.
Once the group is assembled, the owner of the Palms provides them with cocktails, dinner and spa time. Mr. George Maloof provides us, the viewing audience, with a season-long commercial for his establishment. But first, the kids have to choose rooms; this year, they pick numbers from a hat. Alton trades his number when it becomes clear that Irulan would like to share a room with Arissa. You can practically see the lightbulbs snapping on over everybody's foreheads. Will Alton and Irulan be the first hook-up of the season?
Not if Brynn has anything to say about it, darlings. She's sure that she's going to snag some guy faster than you can sing the chorus to "Maneater." But then, she sees Trishelle's bounteous bosoms and reconsiders. Over dinner, certain cast members (Alton, Frank) practically marry themselves to their female cohorts. Alton declares that Irulan is "my type, to a T." And Frank admits that he really, really likes Trishelle, another small town kid with crazy hair.
And Trishelle seems to think Frank is ok, or at least, he's better than Steven. Steven is "only cute," while Frank has all the charisma and charm that electrical engineers are world famous for. She claims that she doesn't want to hook up with a roommate, but goshdarnit, if it happens, it's beyond her control. How's that for abdicating responsibility?
Brynn takes another tack. Instead of being squeamish about falling in love with a housemate, she's almost greedy for it. When Steven tells her that he might sleep with her, but doesn't feel any particular chemistry, she almost tears her hair out in rage and frustration. That's coming from a young man who visually gropes anyone with two X chromosomes! "I think I could turn that guy's head around in a million directions!" she proclaims. Then, Steven shows off his wedding album, and Brynn's temperature cools noticeably. My dears, there's nothing unsexier than someone else's wedding photos. All that white tulle and crepe paper just looks pedestrian.
Meanwhile, the other couplehoods seem to be progressing. Alton gives Irulan a pedicure. Trishelle and Frank "nap" together. The Real Worlders believe "nap" means fooling around. Frank's definition of "nap" seems to be prattling on about other girls at his college and circuits. Trishelle thinks it's funny now, but wait, my friends. Just wait.
Is it any wonder that Trishelle finds herself swallowing Steven's tonsils on the dance floor? Anything to escape that conversation about capacitors and resistors! Trishelle and Steven are anything but shy, freely flaunting their gropings in front of Frank's disappointed mug. In fact, they practically use him as a cushion, something no spurned lover can endure. "She's trash! And Steven's trash!" Frank exclaims.
Does trash care that it's trash? Not really, mes pamplemousses. Steven tries to defend himself; he's drunk, he didn't mean any disrespect. Trishelle airily claims that she's entitled to kiss whoever's lips get in the way. But, as soon as Trishelle and Steven get within five feet of each other, it's old coffee grounds and banana peels all over again. Frank is disappointed, but resigned. Even in his small Pennsylvania town, rejection is not a stranger, I suppose.
Maybe Frank should go downstairs and play blackjack with Irulan and Arissa. They've hooked up with some dowdy rich guy who lets them play with his money. He might have a better chance there, no?
Who's Topless? I find it suspect that all the girls are naked in the spa's hot tub, while the guys wear swim trunks or boxers.
Who Cries? Frank threatens to weep when he learns of Steven's and Trishelle's dalliance, but he doesn't. Thank goodness he doesn't do the other thing he threatened- pee all over himself!
Fashion Tip of the Week: "Dinner attire" does NOT include handcuffs!
Most Annoying: Steven speaks like a hormone-addled 14 year old. And he was married?
Best Quote: "Las Vegas is Sin City, so I know they have sin there," Trishelle announces cheerily.
Coming Soon: If this season is anything like Las Vegas, there will be wild consumption of illicit substances and activities followed by a bloated feeling of regret.
A short and simple key to this year's cast:
Alton (22) San Diego, CA This energetic Navy brat's eclectic interests include the outdoors and the violin and women!
Arissa (22) Boston, MA This half-black, half Italian cutie was raised in the projects by her mom, and has gained enough of an attitude to be called a "firecracker." She also probably has enough of an attitude to hit whoever calls her a "firecracker"
Brynn (21) Portland OR This "party animal with a razor-sharp wit" is convinced that guys love her almost as much as she loves herself.
Frank (22) Lewisburg PAEven though his mom made snacks for him at home, Frank is discovering that he likes college better. He and Steven are the cast members burdened with the goofiest names this year.
Irulan (21) Bronx, NYThis design student's dad died when she was six, she's suffered from eating disorders, she has a jealous boyfriend. What else can go wrong?
Steven (23) San Marcos, TX This business student has been on his own since he was 16, and he's lived a lifetime since then. Marriage, teabagging, divorce been there, done that.
Trishelle (22) Cutoff, LA Her mom died when she was 14, and since then, she's turned her back on the church. She's ready for other ways of coping preferably naked means of coping.
Want to tell Mrs. Filthy something?