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Every once in a while, the good people at MTV decide to yank The Real World from the schedule for a week so they can dupe us into doing something silly – like watching Gideon Yago interview John Kerry or watching P. Diddy fire a bunch of kids from Da Band. Usually, I get pretty annoyed that my weekly dose of pettiness and sexual tension can only spring forth from Coral, Mike and the rest of the career reality stars on The Inferno. But this past week’s lack of a new Real World thankfully has afforded me the time to sneak in a delayed commentary about our San Diego wunderkind’s trip to Greece. Opa!The San Diego season of Real World has been a solid entry into the long running series. Granted, anything will seem engaging after the yawn-inducing Paris season, but I won’t go into that, lest its blackhole of suckiness ensares this post too. The point is that in what has been already a fairly entertaining season, we were served up an exemplary installment that had the septet heading off to Greece. The ongoing love affair of Bunim-Murray Productions and STA Travel led to what should have been a desperately needed break from the breakneck pace of SD life. After months of living in a sweet pad on the beach and sailing all day, the roomies went to Greece where they stayed in a sweet pad on the beach and went sailing. Should be fun, right? Not for Frankie. The attention-seeking sourpuss was scowling from the moment she stepped off the plane. What’s the dealio, Frankie? Maybe she was just discouraged by the state of Olympic preparations. Or maybe a giant boat was sitting next to her on the plane. Actually, Frankie probably realized that if she didn’t get in touch with her inner-bitch, the cameras might stray onto decent people like Jamie and Jacquese – assuming that they were to do something other than spy on people making out.
Aside from Frankie’s dour disposition, the trip seemed to be going along quite nicely – and apparently uneventfully considering that the first few days were jumbled into a montage of Jamie snapping photos of the Acropolis and Brad smiling and stuff. Frankie chirped in a few times about how she couldn’t stand her roommates and how the vacation would be so much better with her boyfriend Dave because Greece is so romantic yada yada yada. Truth is she just wants to complain about the conformity of her roommates… and then dote on that trucker hat she bought Dave a few episodes ago. I shouldn’t be so mean. After all, as a member of the punk culture, Frankie in no way tries to assume a preselected value set and fashion sensibility.
The Frankie grumblings were quickly forgotten though when suddenly we found Cameran in an Irish pub (way to soak up the local culture!) getting whipped cream licked off her belly. As usual, she was SOOO embarrassed and omg, how could people do that to her! Like OMG! Mom is going to be so embarrassed!!! Well, this led to a little Brad flirting, and better yet, some steamy hot tub action. As usual, we got some kissy kissy, followed by Cameran inflicting some blue balls on poor Brad by stopping the hookup randomly. This resulted in a wannabe poetic shot of Cameran gazing out of the hot tub with Brad puzzled in the background. Oh Bunim-Murray, how you encapsulate the human condition!
Just when we thought this episode was going to be about the ongoing flirtations of Brad and Cameran, Robin decided to pop in and remind us about the time when we thought she was the biggest drama queen in the house. Turns out that sometime between the Cool Whip and the hot tub, Cameran misplaced the room key. Not acceptable. At least to Robin. Suddenly, the breasty roommate let loose a stream of expletives she surely learned during her two day stint in the clink. Apparently Robin needs her beauty sleep and dammit if Cameran’s going to stop her. In a subtle touch of guilt tripping, Robin gently reminded Cameran that she “fuckin’ went to jail for you, bitch”. I wonder if the editing room floor has footage of Robin then saying “I’m gonna cut you, bitch. I’m gonna cut you!”
Actually, there was a little logic to this whole random outburst. Robin, in her drunken state, could no longer deal with the fact that no matter what Cameran does, she always gets a free pass when it comes to irresponsibility. However, our Coyote Ugly friend gets hellfire and brimstone whenever she makes the smallest of mistakes. It’s a pretty valid concern to voice, but Robin doesn’t quite understand the value of time and place. Also, cursing doesn’t help.
While Cameran awkwardly cried against a wall as if she were going up against a firing squad, Frankie took this opportunity to fan the flames. First she supported Robin, agreeing that Cameran always gets preferential treatment. Then she went to the wall and managed to simultaneously berate Cameran while bashing Robin behind her back. Thankfully Brad, already frustrated by his failed hot tub antics, did what we’ve been wanting someone to do to Frankie all season: call her out. Frankie denied provoking the incident, saying she just wanted to help. “I’m sorry, I didn’t see a mediator” replied Brad in one of his few brilliant lines of the season. After some more verbal harrassment from Brad, Frankie stormed away. Meanwhile, Robin, all crying and hands flopping, tackled Cameran with repentant hugs and insisted on sleeping with her the rest of the night. Jail does strange things to a woman.
Wow, what a random but great reality tv fight. Surely, that would be the climax of the episode. But no. The next morning, Brad gabbed to Randy about the fight, and the two gossipped in general about Frankie’s poor vacation attitude. In another delightful twist, sneaky Frankie heard the entire conversation as she eavesdropped outside. With her rage barely contained, she opted to sit out of a little moped activity later that day. So the three boyz lit up the streets of Greece on their little bikes. Jacquese seemed to be eating it up. He had a big smile on his face, but I wonder if that was just due to him finally seeing the light of day after emerging from wherever it is that he hides all day. The smile was short lived as his moped suddenly flopped over and he went flying across the road into a bush. And then a commercial break. Wait, did I just see that? Did Jacquese just completely wipe out? Will he be okay? Will the curse of Trishelle adorn our giggly buddy?
Turns out it was a patented Bunim-Murray fakeout as we returned from commercial break to find Ja laughing and getting back on his bike. Meanwhile, Frankie was stll simmering about Randy and Brad. She called her dad, who sagely said that the best way to deal with issues is to just lay them out in the open. So while the roommates all went out and got drunk, Frankie decided to stage an ambush. The happy crew returned to the hotel room to find Frankie in her hand-on-hip bitch stance waiting for them. She accused Brad and Randy of talking behind her back – because she never does that – and then some more general yelling went down. What’s this? A second bizarre fight sans logic? Wonderful!
Suddenly, Big Rand, who had been a semi-advocate for Frankie, became the prime target for Frankie’s rage. When he told her that she should talk to him about her issues, she accused him of always being drunk. I guess Frankie forgot about the time when she got wasted and tried to hook up with Randy. Oh, and the time she got drunk and tried to hook up with Brad, and then threw up in her sleep. Oh, and the time when she got drunk and hooked up with Adam. Oh, and the time – eh, you get it. Well, Randy was not happy about that. He unleashed, with the help of Brad, a torrent of anti-Frankie sentiment that sent her off to another room. I guess that whole “We should talk about issues” thing doesn’t apply when people have something to say to her. Poor Randy though. The sobriety accusation really hit a nerve. And suddenly, the show shifted once again as it repositioned itself on Randy. He warned that if Frankie keeps calling him an alcoholic, he’s gonna cry. Yes, he actually said that. This was followed by some supportive hugs and Jacquese trying to talk some sense into Frankie. But it appears as though Frankie has closed her Hello Kitty diary on this one.
Suddenly, our vicarious trip to Greece was over, and as the kids left their hotel, I couldn’t help feeling like I had just seen a purely quintessential and fulfilling episode. We had it all: a hookup, two fights, some sneaky eavesdropping, a vehicle accident, and some clumsy discussion of alcoholism. I guess I should have known these roommates could pull it off. After all, if they had finished their trip without any sort of petty drama, that truly would have been a Greek tragedy.
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