Yawn. Excuse me while I wake up from the two day slumber imposed on me by the latest episode of Real World: Philly. Bored readers may have noticed a bit of a time lapse between this post and the episode. Why’s that? Well, I’ve been busy. But even more so, I’ve had a hard time coming up with anything to say about these people. I guess it’s not their fault. They can’t control whether or not they lead bland, uninspired lives cluttered with petty drama. Sigh. Double sigh.This week’s snoozefest centered around Willie and his need for some straight up man loving. He ushered us into this installment with a desperate plea for booty. “I’m DYING for love,” he complained. Somewhere, a disco ball went on. Unfortunately for the Willster, he’s got this pesky tendency to be “faithful”, whatever that means. Ranking as the second most offensive pestilence in the Real World house (behind scabies), fidelity has not treated Willie well. You see, his exuberantly bland boyfriend, Dan, is a personal flight attendant, which means he’s globetrotting to Rome and Paris and Milan while Willie’s getting slurpies at the 7 Eleven. And no, “slurpies at the 7 Eleven” is not a euphemism for “back alley sex” (although I’m more than happy to coin a phrase for the English lexicon).
Poor Willie. Instead of cranking up the Madonna and making sweet, fabulous love to his boyfriend, he’s left alone in a house full of crazy women and jockish men whose homosexuality is only at the burgeoning, Greco-Roman Wrestling stage (Karamo excluded). Oh, and just to illustrate this point, Bunim/Murray ended this little sequence with three cutaway shots: a flagpole, a tall clocktower, and a banner for the ballet. It was the producers’ way of saying “He’s horny… and gay!” I’m surprised we didn’t see a bunch of penises dancing on a rainbow.
The next morning, Willie arranged quite the lovely breakfast plate for himself as he voiced his sexual frustration to Sarah â€”Â a.k.a. the bored girl reading US Weekly (I’m glad to see that the viewers aren’t the only ones who don’t really care about any of this). After Willie had clocked in a sufficient amount of babbling time, he later went out to Pure, which is apparently the only gay club in Philly. Nay, it’s the only club PERIOD. Does anyone else realize how many evenings â€” gay or straight â€”Â wind up at this place? Somewhere in this episode there was talk of a place called “Shampoo”, but surely my ears were deceiving me since no roomie except Melanie would ever venture beyond the safe confines of Pure, lest a wayward barstool find itself lodged in Landon’s head again. Hmmm… Shampoo… Pure… and there’s that famous gay club in NYC called Splash. Does anyone else get the feeling these owners are simply pulling their business names from Pantine commercials?
Anyway, welcome back from my tangent. At Pure, Willie, in need of some lovin’ for his very own Willie, started making out with MJ. Wait, what? Did I just see that? Oh, never mind. No. That blonde curly mess of hair was simply Neil. Meet Neil, boys and girls. Neil was the latest in a long string of reality guests to grace a Real World cast, and this week he played the role of seductive other-man turned jilted lover (turned perm spokesman). Willie praised the guy’s masculine presence, although truth be told, it’s not very hard to seem masculine next to Willie. All Neil had to do was wear a non-sleeveless shirt to make Willie practically exclaim “He’s like a young Clint Eastwood!”
Well, the two went on a romantic date and then decided to hit up the local bar scene, which in this case meant visiting Pure once again. Wait, didn’t we just see this scene like twelve time already this episode? Maybe the producers have given up and are just recycling footage.
Later, Sarah, who just last week chastened Mel for being the most judgmental person EVER, passed, er, judgment on Neil. She confessed to Willie that she simply does not like the new ragamuffin, calling him boring and bland. Wait, was she talking about Neil or Dan? Or Both? Excuse me while I nod off.
Actually, Sarah lurves Dan. “Dan’s fabulous!” she exclaimed in an interview, adding “And I mean that on all levels, sweetheart!” Luckily for her, the busy flight attendant put his wanderlust on hold and made a trip down to Philly just to visit his Chilly Willie. And what, pray tell, did they do? Why, they went to PURE. DAMMIT. Cut to their next meeting with the Philadelphia Soul: “We have a great idea. Let’s build the playground in Pure! Actually, let’s have the football games there too. Better yet, let’s go on another STA Travel vacation… to Pure!”
Unfortunately, as the math geniuses out there may have already figured out, Willie had two boys, which was one too many for a monogamous relationship. Feeling the brunt of this was needy Neil who claimed he had no idea Willie was still in a relationship. I guess that whole cryptic “I’m seeing someone” line wasn’t quite clear enough. And so the short-lived, vaguely tepid romance between Neil and Willie came to an end as the two bickered politely on the phone and bid adieu.
Elsewhere in the episode, the roomies tried to figure out the mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a do-rag known as Karamo. Employing a small army of euphemisms, people tried to say everything but “He’s an angry, black male.” Landon went for a vague description, remarking: “Karamo’s just weird. Just weird.” Sarah was slightly more empowering: “Karamo is unique.” and MJ was succinct when he simply said: “Purple.” Then again, MJ had apparently been saying “purple” for three days straight.
Sarah, serving as house ambassador to Black People, approached Karamo and tried to get inside his head: “Wanna have sex? I’m DESPERATE!” Actually, she simply had a heart to heart, kind of, with the reclusive roommate. Karamo insisted that he likes to be vicious but his good side always perseveres. Oh please. That’s the biggest bullshit I’ve ever heard. Here’s the thing. People who like to brag that they’re “vicious” or they enjoy playing mental games generally do neither. It’s what we call the “poseur” factor. Just as Sarah bragging about her sexuality (time she’s successfully gotten laid this season: 0) smells of a desperate attempt to fit some manufactured image, Karamo insisting that he’s tough and scary (but darnit, his virtues always kick in!) seems like a lame ploy to create a persona. Who would have thunk it? Someone on the Real World trying to force an premeditated image on the world? Why I NEVER!
Later, at Karamo Gossipfest 2005, the girls all tried to understand his methods and motives. “I know him better than anyone in the house!” boasted Sarah proudly as she wagged her finger and even shook her fist. It was kind of like an animated attempt to say “I’m a law student!” but it came off looking more like Alice from the Brady Bunch. Nevertheless, Sarah â€”Â playing a neat game of Operator â€”Â told the gals that Karamo likes and even wants to scare people. Motormouth Shavonda and the rest of the ladies therefore concluded that Karamo’s outcast status was self-imposed. Mel then sprung to life, asking “So I’m not longer the pariah?” But alas Sarah smacked her and yelled “You stay in your corner, bitch!”
Actually, what Mel really did was talk to Karamo, and in another passive aggressive move, she informed him that everyone was saying that he was trying to scare people. No, of course not! insisted Karamo, adding “Why? Do I? Do I? Please say yes!” Later, while he drove his lumpy boyfriend around the city, Karamo complained that he’s been trying to get people to know him but they always take everything to wrong way. He then added “You know, when I said that I wanted to slit Landon’s throat, I meant that in a friendly way. It would be an activity for both of us! Man, they just don’t get me.”
Eventually though, “vicious” Karamo decided to viciously approach Landon and ask him viciously “Why does everybody hate me?” Wearing an entire bottle of gel in his hair, Landon embraced the dialogue with open arms and let loose some generic psycho-babble probably gleaned from Oprah or a cereal box. Still, despite this generally frank discussion, Karamo never really addressed his own issues as he assigned the causes of his behavior to external forces (I didn’t have Ed, now I do) and environmental cues (I just get so stressed out!). But at the end of the day, he opted to make good with his roommates by spearheading a rousing game of dodgeball. Yes, there’s no better way to assuage fears of physical assault than with a game of, er, physical assault.
And so the episode ended with everyone smiling and joyous and one big happy family. Yes, nothing says resolution like temporarily shoving all your problems to the side while you flee from bouncing balls. Hmm… that sounded odder than it should have.