Look, I'm not saying that I'm going to recap The Real World every week. I'm not not saying that I'm going to recap it either. Right now, all I'm saying is that I can't very well be expected to hold my tongue when I see something like this...
...now, can I?
I have to admit that this week's episode charmed me slightly less than last week's. The house is full of people so thrilled to become what they are that it might as well be eight Juliana Hatfields picked to live in a house...enthusiastically! I swear, they're so fucking tolerant they're incorrigible! And that goes for, like, everybody that enters this universe. When Chet announced that his mother, the woman he presumably inherited his Mormonism from, was set to visit, I figured we'd at least see some shuddering at the house's pervasive queerness. In walked Chet's familial Aryan militia...
...and they were all so nice! The only thing his snowy white mama...
...bristled at was the revelation that her son had rocked eyeliner the night before. She pleaded with him not to in the future, which regardless of the makeup-makes-you-gay-please-don't-be-gay undertones, is just plain good advice.
Seriously, guys. Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever wear eyeliner, please.
When notified that JD is gay, Sally's prejudice manifested in positives: it all made sense, since JD is so nice and nurturing. I'd be tempted to expand her mind by showing how not nice or nurturing a gay guy can be, but whatever. She believed in JD's good nature enough to plead with him to take care of her son. Chet explained, "We just like people who are good." I'm not sure what this means for the Chet clan as judges of character (more on JD's character in a second, you better believe!), but their hearts are in the right place. And here, the liberal media has been telling me for months that Mormons don't even have hearts!
All of this is to say that the show seems intent on creating this Utopian vision of not just the way things should be but the way they can be. The house is a bubble of goodness where all bigotry is overcome (and if not, at least called out and discussed when even the slightest suggestion arises). It is a Benevosphere.
Even Ryan's enduring small-mindedness is routinely played for laughs. Take the example of the drag queen pulling the bait-and-switch during his first visit to a gay club -- they were set up for a kiss on the cheek and he got more than he bargained for...
With different music and editing, his disgusted reaction could have been a depressing sign of lingering animosity and can-I-catch-gay-from-toilet-seats ignorance. Instead, it was edited as a gag.
Oh, Ryan. When will you learn that kissing boys is fun? Silly pussy-eater, lips are lips!
I loved that upon learning that they'd be visiting Chelsea that night before the aforementioned incident, Ryan was freaked out about visiting the "gay district." To explain his apprehension, he merely whispered a phrase to Chet in the same tone my imaginary Jewish grandmother might say "cancer": "assless chaps." And you know, where fashion is concerned, assless chaps are cancer. As with Chet's mom's wary regard of eyeliner, the loose ends of Ryan's prejudice serve a function. Seriously, guys. Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever wear assless chaps, please.
As much as the show feels like edited advocacy, I do hope that Katelynn gets some fleshing-out. If she remains Altered Miss Activist, she's going to become as tiresome as an unwanted penis.
That's enough to make anyone wistful. I mean, seriously, "Everyone wants to save the porpoises, no one gives a shit about the tuna"? I know that she and the ever-adorable Sarah...
...were sort of playing up their compassion for the camera, but it just seemed shrill. Ryan was OTM when he said that the lame bus had pulled into town.
Honestly, would you want to ride in this car? With Katelynn as your trans-"mentor," as though tolerance were a trade?
Oh, and the Baya subplot about her wishy-washy interest in dancing would have been excruciating (a shaggy-dog hip-hopera) had it not provided these:
They gave her pointlessness a point.
And finally, there is JD, who only justified my immediate disdain for him this week. First of all, ugh:
I love how he has his lube out and his Magnum condoms, because you know he's proud, and yet he refuses to answer Chet's questions. "I don't talk about..." Help a bi-curious brother out, dick. A-shower-not-a-tutor = (literal) cock tease.
Ugh, and then there was his passive-aggressive pissy shit about the "pranks" Chet and Ryan pulled. I understand how their tomfoolery would get old very quickly, but mincing around and bitching to everyone except for the responsible parties is just as immature as throwing a condom-clad banana in the fish tank. At least Chet and Ryan aren't sanctimonious when they're acting like high-school students.
What a wet blanket! He acts like someone stuck a finger in his peanut butter. Believe me, even as a euphemism, that's becoming less and less appealing.
Oh, or how about when Chet's family asked about his job as a marine-mammal trainer and he explained that people think it's fun, but it's actually 80 percent hard work and 20 percent fun. It's a fucking job. Of course it's hard work. Most people are lucky to have something that's one percent fun. All things considered, getting to spend your days bonding with wales and dolphins is a lot sweeter than just about anything else I can think of that people do for money. JD's smug entitlement chafes like a wetsuit.
The worst thing is that JD made me side with Chet, which I never planned on doing, but the latter was so right when he noted that everyone's claims of non-judgment ring increasingly false. Take the episode's climax when an inebriated JD stumbled in, slurring about people who don't speak English. Dude, you're the one whose tongue has a case of whiskey-dick. The communication issue is yours! When Chet pointed out the hypocrisy of someone who's so sensitive about what he's going on (sensitive to the point of having a first-episode queer pow-wow despite the straights' open feelings of rejection) ragging on someone else's otherness...
...JD became threatening and felt that his parents' immigrant status justified his intolerance. But he fucking hates his family! And then to conclude that argument with, "Go read your Bible. Good night?" When, from what we saw, Chet's religion was completely irrelevant to his argument? Totally disgusting on JD's part.
Ugh, I know he's young, but for now JD is the worst.
Walking with a switch and not talking with street slang? Utter fail.