Real World Watcher: San Diego Episode 4 “Hair Razing Arguments and Sticky Situations”

Thanks to the then-impending New York Comic Con, I wound up skipping last week’s episode of Real World San Diego. I caught the second half of it tonight, which means I missed Nate’s reaction to Frank hooking up with a dude, but did see the aftermath of however Nate reacted. That means I saw Frank get wasted, come back to the house and yell at Nate while he was hanging out with a girl. He was crazy belligerent and breaking things and the whole thing was elevated to a different level of crazy because the girl was there. Frank went so far as to head to a hotel that night after getting a talking-to from the roomies, but tried to make amends by apologizing to everyone and taking them out to a nice dinner.

Like I said, I didn’t see how Nate reacted, but I can understand him being uncomfortable with a sexual situation outside of what he’s into. I think there’s a difference between understanding and tolerating different versions of sex and sexuality, but actually seeing or experiencing it when it’s not something you’re prepared for could be upsetting. Different people have different thresholds when it comes to sexuality even if they’ve very open. Whatever happened, Frank definitely over-reacted and I was hoping that he would definitely go to therapy and curtail the drinking like he said. To see if he did or not, hit the jump!Three things became abundantly clear in tonight’s episode. First, Frank’s outbursts are not always directly linked to drinking. Two, Alexandra is painfully insecure when it comes to her relationship with her boyfriend. And, three, Nate has gone through some serious shit. The episode kicks off with Frank actually going to see his therapist. The dude seems pretty good and tells Frank that he basically goes through life with his dukes up all the time even when there’s no reason to. He’s overly defensive. This becomes abundantly clear later in the episode when he inexplicably asks Priscilla to cut his hair. She late notes that she’s 19 and has never cut hair before. Why he let her do this is beyond me (and the roomies). As you’d expect, she does a crappy job and winds up cutting some divots in his head. Frank claims that he’s not angry because of the holes in his head (they’re not really that bad, I’ve seen friends give each other cuts with far worse results) but because she just laughs at him when he tells her about them. He plays it off as a joke at first, but is soon enough straight-up yelling at her. This doesn’t really go anywhere and certainly doesn’t help the case being built against Frank as worst roommate of the group, but also shows he’s trying to change at the end when he’s talking to the shrink again. After a deep sea fishing scene where the ladies outdid the men quite well and Nate felt the need to eat several raw/living fish, Nate made good on a promise he said to Frank at the end of the previous episode. He accompanied Frank and Sam on a trip to a gay bar to (I might be paraphrasing here, but it’s close) “Stare the beast in the face.” This moment of openmindedness is followed by Nate telling nearly every single person that comes up to him that he’s not gay. He then gets wasted, finds two straight chicks in the bar and takes them back to the house. He doesn’t wind up sleeping with them because they start drawing on his face as he’s seriously plastered and then Sam has them leave. So, that happened. We also got to see our first live view of Byron, Alexandra’s boyfriend who came in for a visit. He didn’t really say or do much and it was hard to get a grasp on him as a person because Alexandra was so shockingly insecure around him that she seemed like a different person. The two of them went out to walk around and he apparently didn’t take her hand. Later, after eating popscicles, he wants to hold hands and she doesn’t. Not such a big deal, right? Not to Alex. She harps on him then and does so again later when the gang get in separate cars to head over to Priscilla’s family’s Fourth of July party. Seriously, popsicles. Later she gets on him about opening a bottle of wine they were supposed to share and going out on the porch to enjoy the beautiful view instead of waiting for her inside. She takes this as a sign that he’s bored or something. Dude just wanted to drink outside with her! Ugh. I get the feeling that she’s generalizing the sad feelings she has from being away from him to the relationship itself. It’s not an easy balance to strike and–I know from experience–can really mess with your head. While at the Fourth of July party, things seem to be going really well. Nate’s drinking a lot and then as the fireworks start, the roomies look over and notice he’s crying. Being MTV, they tease him saying that he’s been through a lot and sometimes his fun-loving side cracks and you can see what’s going on underneath. When they come back, he explains that he’s known five people who committed suicide. It sounds like four of them were in his great-grandfather’s immediate family as well as a friend of his. Nate later meets up with some guys who have a watch company and plan a suicide prevention charity thing. I didn’t quite understand all the details, but he’s also setting up a blog to help people with suicidal thoughts.

This episode was interesting. On the surface, not a lot stuck out. I’m writing this about a half hour after it finished and really had to depend on my notes to remember that last 10 or so minutes of the episode. At the end of the day I’m not convinced that Frank really wants to change. I hope he does, but I think those barriers he’s got built up can be really, really difficult to break down, especially when you’re adding alcohol on top of that and just putting yourself in silly situations like the hair cut. I also hope that Alexandra and Nate are willing to work on their issues as well. I mean, that’s what life is all about, right? Growing and changing? That’s how I see things. Sometimes your parents teach you that and sometimes you get it from moving into a house with six strangers to be on television.

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