I know I’m a week late on my review of the first episode of Real World‘s return to Las Vegas, but the missus and I are pretty invested in Top Chef right now, so for at least the next two weeks, they’re going to be less on-time than usual. Right off the bat, I’m going to say that I am leery of this season. It feels like the Real World folks were trying to cast for more of a Jersey Shore feel. You’ve got the dude who’s just there to hook up (Leroy), the dude who swears he’s not going to hook up with a roommate but is drawn to a roommate (Dustin), god help me if Heather turns out to be the next Sammi. Then you’ve got Naomi who had just a hint of Snooki in this episode. It’s worrisome. I didn’t like when Road Rules started voting people off like Survivor and I’m not sure if I like the RW producers trying to do the Shore thing.
Okay, it’s not quite that bad, but this first episode did have more roommates bringing girls back to the house than I ever remember in a Real World season. But I’m getting ahead of myself aren’t I? I should probably introduce you to this round of strangers living at the Hard Rock in Vegas. I already mentioned Leroy, he’s a garbageman who isn’t too picky when it comes to women. Naomi’s from the Bronx and seems mostly chill. Heather’s a petite blond from Jersey who’s super cute. Dustin’s the all American boy, who comes off as a nice guy, but did a naked webcast with a bunch of dudes and is worried about his roommates–especially Heather–finding out. Nany’s got a boyfriend back home, but Adam’s really into her. I get a creepy stalker vibe from Adam and not just because he flips out later in the season and starts punching walls (I have a feeling he’s not going to last the full season). Oh, he also got into drugs, was somehow involved in a shooting and went to juvie for three years, but we don’t know the deets yet. And finally, we’ve got Michale the religious kid who just lost his virginity before coming out to Vegas, struggles with his morality and envies the other guys living by “Dirty Boy” rules. He said his grandma would whup his ass if he winds up in a strip club.
The biggest story for me in this episode is the strangeness between Adam and Nany. She’s the first person he meets on their way to the hotel (everyone else got to the hotel on their own, which was different) and he instantly falls for her. He even tells her how much he digs her and at one point late at night asks her to marry him. Nany’s very up front about having a boyfriend back home of six years, but still tells the girls and Adam that she’s most attracted to him. This seems like very strange behavior for a woman (everyone is over 21 this time around) who has been in a relationship for so long. Maybe they don’t really have a good thing going, but she immediately buys Adam telling her that he’s not a player and has no game, a speech he repeats for another girl he goes on a date with towards the end of the episode (the producers do an amazing job of bouncing back and forth between the convos). Oh, he also brought a girl back on a different night and says he loves how jealous Nany gets when she sees him with a girl. I get a bad vibe from this dude. A super bad vibe.
The other big story involves Dustin and Heather. They seem attracted to each other instantaneously, but that’s no big surprise, he’s a big handsome dude and she’s a pretty little blond. Seems like your basic, all American pairing to me. Dustin worries about hooking up with her because he thinks that means he won’t be able to bring other girls back to the house. By the way, the very first night the gang goes out to the club, Leroy and Adam bring back a gaggle of broads. You can’t tell who actually hooks up and who doesn’t (no incriminating night vision footage in this ep), but they all seems to be getting down. The last time RW was in Vegas, there was an all-roommate threeway, but it just seems strange bringing in outsiders so soon.
The famewhores really came out in this episode as even goofy and awkward Michael brought a pair of girls back to the house only to read them a prayer, bowl with them and then get turned down for a goodnight kiss by the less attractive of the two. Clearly these chicks weren’t into this dude and only came back to get a look at the most recent Real World house. Later, Dustin and Michael have a conversation about Mike not wanting to hook up with just random girls. It’s clearly a moral issue for him, but Dustin wants to see him explore life and make some mistakes. This will be an interesting storyline. Remember Julie from New Orleans (who turned out to be kind of crazy on the Challenges)? She got kicked out of her Mormon school to be on the show. That was super interesting. This?
We’ll see, it’s pretty early. My worry with a good chunk of this cast is that they’re there to party and not as interested in getting to know their fellow castmates. Now, I’m not trying to sound like an old man, but them seemingly not getting to know each other the first night–playing Never Have I Ever was an interesting step, but it didn’t last long–and bringing strangers back to the house, PLUS Adam’s super creepy vibe make me uneasy about the season. Maybe that stuff has been edited out and I know sex sells, but I really don’t need another Jersey Shore in my life.