Try this one on for size: last night’s Real World had the gall to eschew drinking, flirting, sex, and vomit in lieu of a meditation on personal responsibility. WTF???? Since when do Bunim/Murray stars care about that? I mean, this is the same franchise that brought forth Coral Smith, whose self-proclaimed work ethic was to simply not show up at her job when she grew tired of it. Well, I guess I can’t compare the Philly folk to that paragon of Bunim/Murray depravity, especially since these guys actually seem somewhat willing to work. I use “somewhat” very loosely…You see, Landon has a self-proclaimed work ethic from years of roofing abuse from his father. Everything he has, he’s worked for, he explained. MJ, perplexed at this notion, sat slack jaw at the revelation. “You worked for it?” he asked. It was then that MJ learned that not everyone was raised on a plantation in the South.
As Landon and MJ shared yet another homoerotic hot tub moment, Willie and his posse returned to the mansion drunk. They quickly pointed out the filth that seemed to encompass the household, and Willie announced loudly that if it weren’t for him, the house would be a complete sty. Specifically, Willie named Landon as the greatest purveyor of bacteria and squalor, an accusation he quietly denied… as he left his wet towel on the floor.
The next day, Willie took it upon himself to clean the house for four hours. And by Willie, I mean Sarah. Granted, I don’t know how Sarah cleaning proves that without Willie, the house would be in shambles, but maybe he gives her the all important moral support to run that vacuum. Anyway, Sarah selflessly attacked all the mold, garbage, and dusty she could find with so much gusto, you would have thought there was a penis on a stick in front of her. When she was done, Sarah nearly collapsed in Karamo’s arms as she revealed that she’d been working for four hours. Karamo’s response? “Oh really?” Personally, I would have gone for more of a “Thank you so much” angle.
Meanwhile, the non-cleaning crew of MJ and Landon downed some drinks at a local watering hole. In a confessional, Landon declared himself to be an official wingman, a designation that was reinforced by his T-Shirt that said, “Wingman.” Has it gotten this bad with Landon? Does he really need it printed on his shirt so he doesn’t forget? I’m sure Shavonda had a beef with that: “What does this mean, “wingman”? You’re gonna take home all the ugly girls so MJ can get his piece of ass? That’s so disrespectful. I’m sick. I’m literally sick. You know what? Don’t even talk to me!”
Well, Curly and Moe returned from their night of boozing, and apparently Landon was quite hungry for some Campbell’s Soup. Unfortunately, it turned out he needed a wingman to warn him that hot soup might be, you know, hot because the oafy guy quickly burned himself. This of course mandated a series of “Owwwwww!” noises which might have been appropriate had he been 4 years old. Instead, at well past 3:30 AM, Landon’s bawling was less than amusing for the sleeping roommates. Sarah, exhausted from cleaning up the stench in the mansion, ambled onto the second floor balcony and asked Landon to be quiet, and in true Real World “It’s not about you, it’s about ME” mentality, Landon retorted that the night before Willie had kept him up. Wasn’t Landon soaking in the hot tub the night before? Well, at this point Willie had arisen from his beauty sleep and chimed into the round table discussion by asking why Landon hadn’t simply said anything to him like “Hey, can you please keep it down?”
Landon once again earned his Bunim/Murray stripes by responding “It’s not me!” That’s right people. Once again logic and manners have taken a backseat to Real Worlders’ intense determination to preserve their oh so important character. So based on this little exchange, we’ve learned that Landon bashing Willie to Sarah IS him, but Landon talking to Willie about the same issue is NOT him. Fantastic. Landon, please go away for the rest of the season now.
But lo! LandonLogicâ„¢ was not done for the night. When Sarah pleaded for Landon to shut up because she had just spent $30 and four hours cleaning the whole damn house, his response was the rage-inducing “That’s your choice!” And I suppose, Landon, your stinky underwear all over the mansion is her choice too? Landon polished off this exchange with a smug “F–k off!” which proved that he in fact had been spending too much time with Shavonda. Realizing she was facing the birth of a Bunim/Murray monster, Sarah simply devolved into a bundle of tears, crying “You’re such an ass!” Now I may joke that Sarah is a raging slut, but she also seems to be a generally good person, and the gentleman in me says that any time you make a girl who’s not your girlfriend cry, you immediately rectify the situation. Landon’s method of dealing with it? Spilling water all over his shirt. I don’t know how he functions either.
The next day, Sarah retold the entire fetid affair to Melanie, who apparently was off drinking at her secret bar. Landon has to confront people better, Sarah said. “Exactly,” responded Mel. Aaaaaand she’s done. Good work this episode, Mel!
Meanwhile, back at the job with the Philadelphia Soul (you know, the job that has absolutely NOTHING to do with arena football), the group continued on with their â€” yawn â€” playground project. Everyone pondered over the myriad of playground possibilities with Willie explaining to the camera “Do you want a slide? Do you want a gazebo? Do you want it in the back with your head in a pillow–” Whoops, I slipped into that song Freak-a-leek. Anyway, a suit gave the roommates the task of drawing up a proposal of sorts that would be due the next week. We then cut to everyone… rollerskating? Yes, we sat through a random rollerskating montage that lasted about sixty seconds and featured the group weaving amongst underpriviledged kids (the type that MJ HATES). Eventually this nonsequitor ended with the bizarre image of some little boy wiping out and lying motionless on the ground. Anyhooo…
We then fast forwarded to a few nights later as Melanie – she’s back! – remembered that oh yeah, that extensive report is due tomorrow. As she described it, the group had to assemble a “compile-ation” (not a “compilation”) for the brass at the Philly Soul; so she and Shavonda woke up the guys who were apparently asleep at 7pm. MJ complained, “I slept hhhhard. Literally. Hhhhard.” I suppose he thought the roommates would be in awe of this stunning account of slumber, but the massive bed-head gets old quickly.
In a mildly vague sequence of events, Landon and MJ announced they would be heading to the Soul offices to pump out the proposal. Shavonda managed to attach herself onto the proposal clique after a perfunctory wrestling session with Landon, and Melanie tagged along as well, most likely for the opportunity to proof read and say “I would never, NEVER use that adjective.” Less clear was whether or not Sarah, Willie, or Karamo were invited to this group session. Judging by their reactions, I would imagine the answer to that question is no.
Sarah voiced her frustration with the situation by articulately reenacting how it all went down: “Landon was like ‘We’re not gonna get this done luh-luh-luh-luh,’ you know how he is. And MJ was like ‘Yeah’ and Shavonda was like ‘I’ll come.’” Sarah then bowed and accepted a rose from the audience. Nevertheless, Sarah, Karamo, and Willie officially found the defendants guilty of excluding them, and rather than simply walk over to the office and join them, they stayed at the mansion and bitched about it.
The next morning, pockets of Real Worlders headed over to the Soul offices for a 9 AM meeting. Willie and Karamo showed up five minutes late. Way to go guys. In one swoop you managed to reaffirm the stereotype of “black people’s time”, “Puerto Rican people’s time” and now “gay people’s time.” Rumor has it they were looking for an Asian lesbian in a wheelchair to round out the effect.
After a brief reprimand on the importance of punctuality, the executive running the meeting went down the line and asked everyone what they contributed to the report. Sarah awkwardly BS’d her way through a shaky response by saying “I didn’t really focus on much.” Um, you didn’t focus on anything at all. Karamo and Willie followed suit, much to the annoyance of the exec. Of course Landon should have stepped up and said “We assured them that we had everything under control and their non-participation on this project was not for any lack of interest.” But what’s the fun in that? I mean, that’s not an effective way to get back at the people who called you irresponsible!
Later, as the episode drew to a close, Landon felt the need to smooth things over with Sarah. He bawled in the confessional that he felt attacked, which is sort of odd because last time I checked, he was the one telling Sarah to go f–k off. Luckily Mama Shavonda was there to ease Landon’s pain, giving him enough confidence to get all touchy-feely with Sarah. The two had a heart to heart, and dammit, things are gonna be great! ‘Cause we can build this thing together, standing strong forever, nothing’s gonna stop us now!