December 4, 2001
What you just heard, mes amis, was an enormous sigh of relief. It's over. Finally over! You know, I hate to admit it, but this New York cast makes the New Orleans cast look dynamic! Is it any wonder that the network is already pushing the Chicago Seven on us? "Forget this season ever happened," the wee phantom voices of Bunim and Murray whisper in our ears. "Focus on the communal shower in the Chicago house!"
Interestingly enough, according to the official Real World website, every single Chicago cast member is an energetic go-getter with a sweet nature. Is this a petit dig at our New York sofa slugs? Anyway, energetic go-getters with sweet natures do not good drama make, but let's just hope (for heaven's sake!) that it's all just empty ad copy. We'll only know for sure next January.
But first, we have to get through the traditional fare-thee-well episode, in which old news is re-hashed, tears are shed and bags are packed. Packing suitcases- now that's good television! The only suspense in this episode came from wondering if the producers would stretch the show out to an hour to include yet more bag-packing and weeping.
Mike seems to alternate between his aw-shucks Grain Belt self and his wrestler alter ego, the Miz. When Kevin gives Mike a parting gift of a Rock action figure, Mike immediately snaps into Miz-mode and begins to intimidate the little piece of plastic with all his might. And yet, mere moments later, he and Coral are having a quiet dinner together, remembering the good ol' days. Remember when Mike put his foot in his mouth? Remember when Coral yelled at Mike? Wasn't it all so wonderful and redeeming?
But trouble is brewing on the homefront, mes pamplemousses. Rachel has her prepubescent friends over, and they're playing around with the Miz's favorite fashion accessory. Evidently, the Miz's belt is a sacred relic, and anyone who touches it faces a comeuppance of epic proportions. Well, actually Mike only picks Rachel up and tosses her in a cold shower. The Miz is apparently satisfied with such paltry revenge.
As soon as Rachel's friend is back, however, he puts his greasy mitts all over The Belt once again. And this time, he's within the reach of the Miz's Atomic Wedgie. Not smart, mes amis. He ends up stuffed in a scummy old trash can, all while Rachel is mooning over leaving her housemates. "I'm so completely filled with so many different emotions about leaving," she sniffs. Me too, dearie: indifference, ennui, anomie.
That's about the extent of the action this week. The kids cook a final dinner together, and no one gets stabbed with the potato peeler. There's one last kegger, too, but we don't get to hear the kids' special kegger theme song. More's the pity. Kevin waxes poetic about his brotherhood with Malik and Mike yet again. Rachel cries some more. Nicole feels weird about returning to her very own roaches, instead of borrowing someone else's.
This year, the kids say their good-byes right out on the mean streets of the big city, instead of in the insulated blandness of an airport. Rachel is first to go, and she swears she's all grown up now. She certainly still cries like a little girl, though. She also says that she'll actually miss getting picked on. I guess you can't please some people!
Nicole leaves, and her farewells to Malik and Kevin actually seem pretty cheerful and free of bitterness. And I can't tell you, sweeties, how very disappointing that is. Lori is next, and departs still holding a torch for Kevin. She calls their relationship "complicated but totally, totally worth it." She liked him, he didn't return the favor. What's so complicated? Kevin calls Malik his "twin brother." I assume he means fraternal, right?
By the time Coral and Malik get into their taxi, Mike is unsure of what to do with himself. You know he wants to cry, but that wouldn't go over very well in Parma, OH. Instead, he goes on one last rampage as the Miz, with only himself to appreciate his performance. I was a little afraid that the episode was an hour long, and we had thirty more minutes of Mike flexing his muscles and climbing on furniture. Thank heavens the episode, and the season, ended when it did.
Oh, and by the way, due to popular demand, I will indeed be conducting the 3rd Annual Real World Survey. Check this space next Tuesday, the 11th of December. No rest for the wicked, my darlings!
Who's Shirtless: All the guys, for good or ill, take the last opportunity for their chests to be on television. The girls pass.
Who Cries: So, the guys are bare-chested, and all the girls are bawling their eyes out. How's that for stereotyping?
Most Annoying: Not surprisingly, the title got passed around quite a bit this season; the only person not to receive it was Malik. The season title, my dears, goes to Nicole!
Best Quote: It's impossible to find a bon mot with all the mush being flung about.
Next Week: Cast your votes in the 3rd Annual Real World
Survey, s'il vous plait!