It’s been a full seven days of bliss for television viewers since punk grrl Frankie stepped on a plane to Kansas, leaving the bouncy roommates of The Real World: San Diego one person short in the household. With six weeks left of taping and a seemingly utopian environment setting in, Bunim/Murray realized they had to stir the pot. And so began The Real World’s version of American Idol. Three lucky contestants were chosen to run the gauntlet of difficult questions that only a group of great thinkers like Brad, Randy, Cameran, and Robin could conceive. “So, uh, how you doing?”Before we got to the fun part, we made an annoying pitstop in the latest quagmire of bland drama between Brad and his hometown honey, Andrea. Apparently their relationship is still strained and still built on nagging. Memo to Bunim/Murray: we’ve seen this before so many times, and it’s never ever been interesting. It wasn’t interesting with Dan in Miami. It wasn’t interesting with Nathan in Seattle. It wasn’t interesting with Danny in New Orleans. It wasn’t interesting with Kyle and Tanya in Chicago. It wasn’t interesting with Irulan and Arissa in Las Vegas. It wasn’t interesting with Ace in Paris. And finally, it’s certainly not interesting in San Diego with Brad (and previously Frankie too). This storyline does not improve with age or location. It is universally sucky. No one cares about this disembodied person complaining on the phone. Go away!
The next morning a random courier delivered news that the house was getting a new roommate. The girls could not contain their excitement as they burst into squeals whenever Ja tried to read the news. I’ve never seen someone so excited to hear a definite article. The cast tried to guess if it would be a boy or a girl to waltz in. Brad postulated that it might be an ape that would run around and tear shit up. I sort of don’t think he was joking. “We already have one, Brad. Look in the mirror,” zinged Cameran. Give it up for the Southern Belle! Sadly, while everyone laughed, Brad actually looked in the mirror and reported that he saw no simian creatures.
Without a moment to spare, our first bachelor arrived at the mansion. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Bobby. Dressed in a blue sleeveless T and sporting a styled fro, Bobby looked like he was about to reshoot Lenny Kravitz’s video for “Again.” Too bad that song is about four years old and Lenny’s straightened his locks since then. Bobby burst into the Real World house full of energy and lame jokes. He suavely broke the ice with a nifty “It smells like fish in here” line, that was followed up with a meek and pathetic “You know, because we’re so close to the ocean…” I kinda was hoping for a little “Is this thing on? Tough crowd…”
This guy had actor written all over him. In fact, “Real World” is most likely on his headshot now. As Bobby settled in with his potential new castmates, Brad noted that he had a “unique style”, which was probably a euphemism for gay. No disrespect, but the TVgasm offices are in the heart of West Hollywood, and as far as we can tell, the love affair between WeHo and sleeveless T’s is as strong as ever. Anyway, Bobby commented that he’s originally from Riverside, CA, aka the birthplace of Julie Cooper on The OC. Yes, I know I just referred to a fictional person as if she were real, but the point is that Riverside should not have been Bobby’s selling point.
Next up was Brad, the chilled out guy from Wisconsin who sort of reminded us all of Kyle from Chicago. He seemed cool enough, and all the roommates liked him, but San Diego Brad had a major beef. You see, if he’s Brad and the new guy is Brad then… well, that’s confusing! Two Brads! I mean, this is crazy talk!
The problem for bushy eyebrow Brad was clearly very personal. His brain works hard enough already when people call his name. Imagine how taxed it will be if someone refers to a different Brad, and he has to parse the context and direction of the comment? No way, dude. Robin was unswayed by Brad’s semantic issues, and she and her breasts proceeded to give new Brad a guided tour of the house and her bedroom. This guy seemed like a lock for sure.
Then Charlie showed up. He sort of looked like a male Scarlett Johansson wearing Randy’s hairstyle and suffering from an unfortunate boil incident. The Yugoslavian native divulged that he was a musician (hopefully better than Lorie from RW: Back to New York) who loved country music. Jamie was intrigued, and for a moment I thought she’d ask her patented question: “If you could be short shorts, what sort of short shorts would you be?”
Later, the three chumps returned to the house to hang out. Bobby sufficiently freaked everyone out and confirmed all suspicions that he was using the Real World house as his audition for Broadway. Brad, who seemed to be doing so well, tried a little too hard to be liked, especially when he incurred a mild black dialect when talking to Jacquese. That left only Charlie who strummed his guitar while Bobby sang along (thank you MTV for playing a generic rock song over this). At nearly four in the morning, the applicants finally went back to their lodging, which in this case was a glamorous motel most likely featuring a dead prostitute in room 6.
The next morning, Cameran axed Bobby and Brad, the latter of which probably had an Abercrombie shoot to go to anyway. Charlie, who at 18 looks a hell of a lot older than the kids on Road Rules, packed his bags and joined the Real World house. Jamie squealed a hello that shattered the wine glasses in my apartment, er, the TVgasm offices, and Robin led Charlie into what may become his new personal hell: the haunted bed of Frankie.
Interspersed with all this were occasional Brad/Andrea phone calls which eagerly took the role of suckfest in Frankie’s absence. But like I said before, no one cares, so I’m not going to comment on it.
Charlie looks like he’ll fit in fairly well. He and Randy can do their hair together, and maybe he’ll strum the guitar for Jacquese who looks like he’s got a bad case of the blues next week. Only three episodes left, according to the MTV promos. That’s not a lot of time to learn about our boy Charlie, but I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time in the future since he’s probably already signed up for the next Real World/Road Rules Challenge. I can already see Coral and Mike salivating in the wings, ready to sink their teeth into this fresh specimen. One of us… One of us… One of us…