I’ve got to say, this third episode of Real World has a lot going for it. While there’s nothing close to social commentary or anything approaching altruism in any fashion, it did feature the loss of one roommate, the introduction of a new one, the cast going out and getting jobs and one of the cutest Real World romances in quite a while, juxtaposed against one that seems to be making at least one of the parties uncomfortable with the developments.
Let’s jump on in. While it’s not necessarily the main storyline, one of the key elements of the episode revolved around the gang getting jobs. Unlike previous casts, this crop wasn’t given super rad jobs, but were instead set up with a series of potential places they could interview at. There was an all night diner, a yogurt shack and a pizza place that also served drinks. Averey, Johnny, Jordan and Marlon all decided to work at the pizza place while Averey and Jessica wound up at the yogurt place.
“But, wait!” your thinking, “What about Joi?” Well, Joi is a big ol’ quitting quitter who quits. I’m sure it was more complicated than presented on the episode, but she seems to leave because she thinks getting a counter job would be a big step backwards for her being a college graduate. She calls her dad and pretty quickly leaves the house. Even though Jess and Ava make sad faces about her leaving, no one really seems all that broken up about it. In the single instance of me agreeing with Jordan he says he can’t imagine giving up this kind of opportunity because you’re never going to get another chance to experience something like that. Even with the pouty lips and sad faces, Ava moves into Joi’s old spot with a real quickness, not wanting to be in the room with lovebirds Averey and Johnny anymore and not wanting to risk the potential new roommate being crazy. I wonder how early Joi actually left because it seemed awfully suspicious that she barely appeared last episode. Seems to me like she wasn’t participating with the cast very much or the editors wanted to frontload the second episode with the more prominent storylines of the Johnny/Averey relationship and the Jessica/Jordan animosity.
Speaking of the animosity towards Jordan, everyone seems to be feeling it. There’s a few things between him and Jess (who really does seem to get a kick out of arguing with him), but the real cracks start showing in his relationship with Marlon and Johnny. While out at the clubs one night both guys tell him he’s being a douchebag, but Johnny goes off on him in particular. After Johnny says his piece he tries to remove himself from the situation to calm down, but Jordan won’t let him. He keeps coming over and getting in his face. As Johnny has said several times, he’s not used to not hitting a dude like that. Jordan does get a little respect from his roommates at the end of the episode when he shows off his mad wakeboarding skills, but they still agree that he’s an ass…that can wakeboard well.
Jordan’s usual sparring partner Jessica — who I thought might be bailing because she’s sick of Jordan’s nonsense until I realized that she antagonizes him as much as he annoys her — actually got herself in one of the nicer relationships I’ve seen on the show in a while. She met a gigantic handsom fella named Tyler at a club and he wound up being a pretty nice guy. What’s refreshing about this relationship is that they’re taking things slow and didn’t jump bones right away. I don’t want to judge anyone’s sexual escapades, but it’s nice to see people taking things a little slower, something that’s become almost non-existent on reality television. I loved seeing her get all giddy as she called him up and he asked her on a date. I remember doing something very similar when asking girls to date dances in high school.
If that relationship’s not to your liking, the episode also had healthy doses of Averey and Johnny hooking up. She apparently won’t let him sleep for want of more sex. As if it wasn’t clear from the jump, it doesn’t seem like Johnny really knew what he was getting himself into when it came to Averey. This is actually said a few times throughout the episode — by Averey herself — but is exemplified early on when Averey and a not-yet-gone Joi talk to him about going to a sex shop. Another choice Averey line came in the form of, “I don’t think he’s ever been bondaged. I’m gonna get you to do it and you’re gonna love it.” Yowza. Later on, after their first day of work, the pizza shop gang hangs out there and gets pretty smashed. After getting into it a bit with Jordan, Johnny goes to the bathroom and Averey follows him in. Everyone knows what they’re doing and one of their fellow workers knocks on the door to break it up.
There’s a moment after the broken up hook up session where the manager tells Johnny that he’s not the type to do something at work and I thought that was really telling. Is he really getting in deeper than he’s comfortable with with Averey? If so, it’s understandable why. He doesn’t want to look like a wuss on national TV or admit that he’s not up to the task of being her sex toy or even interested in the position. Speaking of the manager, I get the feeling that she could be a real Yoda-like figure. She’s a spot-on judge of character, earlier noting that Jordan is the kind of guy who can’t be wrong. He of course thinks that his roommates are talking smack about him, but I think she can just smell it on him.
The episode ends with a person I assume the manager will be able to see through in a heartbeat, new roommate Nia. This is a woman who tells the camera in her audition tape that she loves lying. If you don’t believe her, she pointlessly puts on a fake Southern accent when she calls the house to let them know she’s coming. She also says she’s part Cherokee, again for no reason. I can’t help but think this broad is the most obvious ratings grab in Real World history. Heck, we’ve already seen her hit Jordan in the “this season on” preview, how long can she last? I hope the answer is, “not very long,” because after New Orleans 2’s Ryan, I’m done with vain sociopaths on Real World.
While on the subject of previews and commercials this season, we’re only 3 episodes in and they’ve killed a lot of the dramatic tension. I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but knowing that Nia is coming is actually ruining a bit of this episode because she’s going to be such an asshole. Plus, you’ve got this bubbling conflict between Johnny and Jordan, but you know it’s going to end with Johnny and Averey boning in the bathroom, so there’s zero tension. I know these are little, silly things, but they bug me. Not enough to keep me from watching (yet), but they do get on my nerves.