I mentioned this on twitter, but I think it deserves repeating here on the blog. I don’t watch Real World to see young kids getting into crazy shenanigans anymore. Sure, this show used to me my window into the world of still-young older people and how they interacted with one another and spent there time, but that’s not the case anymore. Now that window’s on younger people doing their thing, but I don’t get a kick out of the show because it’s some rehash of my past glory days or anything along those lines, at this point, I like watching these people like a character study. Even though they’re constantly monitored and even though they’re edited, you can still get a glimpse of why they do what they do. I’m far less interested in Jordan being an argumentative dickhead than I am as to WHY he’s that way, which seems to boil down to his dad (best guess: his pops was always right and Jordan wants to be like him/he loves arguing with other people because he couldn’t argue with his dad). That’s basically where I’m coming from both because I think I’m naturally curious about people and I want to be a writer, so all of this is like inputting raw data for future characters.
Anyway, now that my mini dissertation is over, there was a new episode of The Real World Portland and it wasn’t nearly as much of a doozy as I expected. As you probably know, there’s a new castmember named Nia, but she still hasn’t show up yet. My money’s on Jordan flying off the handle and getting sent home, but it also seems just as likely that someone — Anastasia or Jessica — is going to just get fed up with that dude’s nonsense and bail. So, with each commercial break I was trying to figure out who was going to leave and why and it wound up all being for naught because it didn’t happen this episode.
What did happen this episode? Well, we got to see more of Johnny and Averey’s relationship development. Basically he’s into her and her dog Daisy, but she is super afraid of being hurt by dudes. She must have had some major relationship trauma in the past, though I’m sure we’ll find out more about that as the season progresses. Their kiss from the previous episode is the talk of the house along with Jordan’s weird freakout on Anastasia that lead to him spilling her drink near her feet. The next day he wants to know why he started getting yelled at — like a little kid, constantly asking questions and demanding order from a chaotic universe, screaming at the void for answers! — and Anastasia wants nothing to do with him and just walks away.
Jordan finds a much more willing sparring partner in Jessica this episode. Instead of just backing down, Jess will go so far as to look up facts on the internet just to prove Jordan wrong. What does he do in response? Find THREE sources that contradict her one! Yeah! That’s highly entertaining programming. Good work casting people. We were all hoping that the major drama this season would stem from the costs and benefits of smoking a hookah.
While still on the topic of Jordan, he admits to Jessica that his dad beat him. He says it was a way to teach them right from wrong or somesuch nonsense, but Jessica straight up tells him its abuse. Meanwhile, Jordan tells the camera that his dad told him that it never came from a place of hate, but instead love. Right, because we’re hit the things we love, that’s how life works.
Let’s see, what else? Everyone basically agrees that Jordan needs to be right all the time. They ride around on their bikes and run through a giant fountain. Averey calls her grandma who tells her not to hook up with Johnny because she just met him. Averey informs us that she’s a very sexual creature (wonder where THAT’s going). Jessica has an ex that she broke up with whose emails make her cry, Jordan thinks this is nonsense, but it’s less an ideological opinion and more of the Joker saying that the way Batman throws a Batarang is just silly. Jessica writes some poetry to deal with the feelings about her ex, which she shows to Averey and then everyone in the house swarms around and makes fun which leads me to believe that most/none of them are creative people which sets this cast about as far away from the original New York season as possible.
Oh and did I mention that Marlon admits to hooking up with a guy? He drops this bomb amidst a conversation about anal sex and then MTV promptly cuts to a commerical so you’re not sure if he’s being serious or just messing around. Turns out he was serious. After high school he wasn’t a star football player that people fawned over anymore and he wound up in Austin’s gay scene which was apparently very accepting of him. He eventually hooked up with a white cheerleader dude who called him up for what sounded like a booty call and it went down. He also explained — to Jess who asked him about the details at a later time — that he hasn’t had a girlfriend since the seventh grade. Of course there’s comments ranging from “He can’t be GAY, I saw him macking on girls the other night” to “Maybe he is gay because he hasn’t had a serious girlfriend.” My initial reaction was, “Hey, kids, it doesn’t matter, he likes who he likes,” but then again these are kids at various stages of openness and worldliness, so they’re probably not the best at expressing themselves.
Aside from that, Marlon and Jordan wind up at a gay and lesbian bar because a gaggle (flock? murder?) of lesbians are hanging out outside their loft and tell them they’re heading to said bar. Both seem pretty cool with the whole thing, with Jordan even doing shots with a very large, manish drag queen and exclaiming, “I’m turning gay!” to his pal with a huge smile on his face. It would be easy to read into this like a maniac (and I did, of course), but I’ll just ask the question: would the son of a hardass father who beats him for various reasons ever feel comfortable coming out if he happened to be gay?
There’s some more stuff between Johnny and Averey too. Marlon and Jordan brought some lesbians (or 90s skate punks from the way they were dressed) to the house who woke Johnny up. Instead of partying with them, he crawled into bed with Averey who happened to be naked. The next morning she’s surprised because he didn’t try anything. On another night, they’re out at a club and the two talk about their status and whether they want to be friends with benefits or move on into a relationship. As those kinds of talks usually proceed, they have sex that night. The next morning, Johnny’s all amped and getting breakfast with the guys while Averey goes into the confessional and opens her soul to the camera, desperately hoping that Johnny’s a nice guy, not the type to “Hit it and quit it” as our grandparents used to say. Here’s hoping.
Hey, you know what’s crazy? I’m fairly certain Joi wasn’t in this episode AT ALL. The only reason I even remembered she existed was because one of the Real World accounts I follow on Twitter retweeted her. That’s BONKERS you guys. What’s also bonkers, and a little disappointing, is that neither Marlon nor Johnny are willing to check Jordan on his bullshit. They both kind of nicely point out that he takes things to a weird level and tell the ladies that he’s nearly impossible to talk to because he always needs to be right, but neither of them are like, “Hey man, shut up and grow up.” He’d either responde well to that because it’s what he’s used to or it will be the kind of thing that makes him flip. I’m guessing that the guys just haven’t been personally offended up to this point, but we know from the “this season on” clip that, at some point, Jordan will get into a pretty big shouting match with Marlon which may or may not lead to his dismissal from the house (here’s hoping, though from what I’ve seen Nia doesn’t exactly open a dialog about humanity herself).