First of all, I think I love the new season of The Real World. It's such a strange feeling, this shiny newness.
Second of all, I know I love this guy:
From what we saw on last night's premiere, The Real World Brooklyn could easily be dubbed Team Tolerance or the Compassion Convoy or the Acceptance Assembly. The only moments not spent discussing the roommates L.G.B.T. status were focused on the eight strangers (Eight! There are eight of them! Can you believe that there are eight?!?) acting like characters in Brooklyn: The Animated Series. (Stickball? Who. Plays. Stickball?!?!) But it's all good because such discourse was mostly fascinating. A lot of it centered on the house's gentle transsexual...
...who is not pictured above. At least, I think there's just one. The woman-born-woman (as far as we know) pictured above, Devyn, made me wonder if she showed up on the wrong floor of the Viacom building. Seriously girl, this is MTV not VH1. Fix your wig. New York's acrylic hair is more convincing...sometimes. But still: sometimes should be enough to rethink everything.
Anyway, as I was saying, the real transsexual, Katelynn...
...could use some acrylic hair of her own, actually. Distribute that shit. Smile on your sister-born-brother, Devyn.
Anyway, Katelynn's gender identity and genital region was the talk of the house, with self-important homosexual stick-in-the-mud JD protecting her, acting like the dolphins that he trains would in the presence of a pregnant woman.
And I'm not going to point out his hotness so that everyone can be like, "He looks like you," and imply narcissism and whatever. (Note: I shave my head because I like how it looks on guys, not the other way around. It's an important distinction, I think. Not to be humorless about something so superficial or anything.) Anyway, despite having what could be a giant butt...
...(fucking MTV bug blocking my view, grumble grumble), JD's hotness is obliterated by his condescending attitude...
Besides actually coming out and saying, "I hate him," is there any clearer way to say, "I hate him" beyond, "I love him to death?"
JD's snottiness is irritating but not entirely unfounded. While talking to his self-proclaimed "metrosexual" and Mormon roommate Chet (I honestly thought that "metrosexual" was a label only applicable by others not yourself, and I certainly never understood it as a badge of pride) and my new TV crush Ryan regarding the speculation over Katelynn's gender, JD spits, "I don't think. There's a difference between thinking and knowing!" When Chet repeatedly claims he had no idea that Katelynn once had boy parts, JD says, "Oh, that's right. You're from Utah."
Granted, Chet is. He also thinks it's his responsibility to show the world that "Mormons are fun."
And, sorry, if your culture has no place for gay sex and, in fact, wants to rid the world of it, you know nothing of what fun is. Take it from an expert.
Anyway, Chet and Ryan's interest in all things not straight is, in a word, queer. Chet openly acknowledges that he comes off as gay to some people and he doesn't seem worked up about it at all, as so many other "straight" guys tend to be when accused of fagginess. He's also the type to call other dudes "hot." While writing a song in a beached prop boat with Ryan that he romantically suggests they sail away on, "hot" is exactly the word he uses to describe his professional trainer roommate Scott, a beefcake with abs that would resist the most ardent of tenderizing...
Still, when then accused of being gay by Ryan, Chet denies it, explaining that he's "metro," which is "not a sin." That sounds like the product of internal bargaining to me, the words of someone who is gay but whose religion forces him to draw the line at the penis stuff. He gets all of the gayness and none of the damnation. Nominally, that is. This is the social equivalent of, "Just stick the head in."
Yeah, Chet's pretty much a mess.
Make that a pink-collared mess...
...of his own design...
That sewing machine is totally like, "How you dewin'...?"
And then there's Ryan, who's gleefully obsessed with the potential of Katelynn's package and Katelynn in general.
He makes some odious statements (he calls Katelynn "it," for example), but in the same breath, some really promising ones. Among them: "I'm not trying to sound ignorant, but I am ignorant," and "I don't get [people who are transgender]. I would like to know more." Despite some fratty guffawing at the expense of Katelynn and slight contempt for J.D., these are not the words of a hateful person. Despite the looks of it, Ryan is not the dramatic transphobe.
Dun dun duuuuun!
If there's a shred of truth to what he says, he's going to have a major redemption arc and by the end he will have learned so much and now he loves people who used to have penises and blah blah blah. So, basically, I'm just getting to the inevitable early and liking him because I do believe that I'm in this shit for the long haul.
There's something about this cast's enthusiasm that I find invigorating. They just might teach me how to be young again! But really, this cast seems to have the drive and collective modicum of talent that defined the casting of the early years of this show, back when I was about eight years younger than the average age of strangers (now, I'm eight years older). I don't know if this is a sea change or what, since I haven't paid attention to this show in quite some time (I wouldn't know a dude from the cast of The Real World Hollywood if he were pissing next to me in the Abbey). Furthermore, MTV has always been gay-friendly, but this season seems particularly timely. If that timeliness is contrived, well, whatever. It's TV. Plus, I need to see if JD's self-segregation with Katelynn proves to be a successful strategy to coping with the straight testosterone. Will Ryan prove to be as soulful as I think he is (I didn't even get into his status as an Iraq War veteran and the fact that he's dealing with the trauma of it by writing a book, which: swoon)? Will a cloud roll in to block Sarah's perpetual Care Bare Stare? Will Baya do anything besides wiggle seductively? I genuinely can't wait to find out. Help?