After last week’s dreadful tour of Spain, I was most thrilled to see that The Real World: Key West rebounded mightily this week with an episode full of petty bickering, teary-eyed confessions, idiotic comments, and of course, an Olympic athlete. Even Jose, yes, Jose, played a role in the story. It was really all we could ask for. The only thing missing was Paula getting wasted, biting someone’s arm, and shouting “KISS MY ASS!!!” But that’s okay because Tyler and Janelle more than made up for Ms. Walnuts with their hilarious, infuriating, and puzzling ridiculousness. I swear, it took me over an hour to get through this episode. There were so many great, delusional quotes — I had to write them all down. Plus, how could you not love the pure rush of watching John and Jose completely call Tyler out for all his bullshit? It was the perfect antidote to the Barcelona Blues.This week’s episode kicked off with grim reminders of that pesky lil’ storm called Hurricane Wilma. We saw the Key West community quietly rebuilding, clearing out rubble, and moving on with life. And that was the end of that. Consider every aspect of Key West from this point on rebuilt and glorious.
We then saw the roommates ambling over to the ol’ tanning salon where prodigal owner Ricky had returned to clean some windows. This was nice and all, but wasn’t the place closed? Did I miss something? Clearly some integral piece of information was chopped off by my Tivo last week. Well, the business was certainly alive, and the only thing that could make this moment more joyous was the presence of Zach’s parents who just happened to be hanging around. And yes, they were totally what you’d expect. Mom was wearing tie-dye, sporting giant hair; Dad was wearing an old t-shirt, sporting a reformed hipppie beard. They were awesome, and I totally understood where Zach’s thoughtful yet banal ramblings came from.
I wasn’t the only one who liked Mr. and Mrs. Zach. Tyler chatted them up about who knows what (perhaps his burgeoning skill as a painter?). I was shocked that he hadn’t called Zach’s mom a low-life bitch yet. Did he leave his bitchiness in Spain or something? Oh, and for all you wondering — the Zach family parade didn’t end with just Mom and Dad. Sister Zoey was hanging around too. Huzzah! Group picture!
Amidst his babbling, Tyler mentioned to the Zachs that on Friday night, they’d be holding a cocktail event at the salon with Olympian Amanda Beard. Wait, THE Amanda Beard??? Looks like someone finally outclassed TVgasm’s meet-and-greet with 2004 Rhythmic Gymnastics gold medalist Alina Kabaeva. Damn, and we were going to hold that at a florist too.
Anyway, we knew Tyler was going to go nuts over Amanda Beard’s appearance because as he mentioned last week, he just LOVES the Olympics — and the Olympic Spirit! That’s why he’s always awarding himself medals in his mind. But if the lure of A-Beard wasn’t enough, Tyler also proudly noted that the gang was “debuting Speedo’s new Accelerate line and their new online store.” What a wonderful occasion. And well shilled!
Now, if you think all this Beard and Speedo nonsense is, well, nonsense, then think again. This cocktail party represented the last glimmer of hope for the tanning salon. After the two hurricanes (not to mention an ill-fated entrepreneurial concept), the business was on its last legs. The roommates needed a surge of customers to attend the event. Luckily, if there’s one thing we know about Amanda Beard, it’s that she draws in the masses.
Suddenly, the music became all grim as we saw Paula and Svetlana driving off to the house. Something bad was about to happen, and I couldn’t wait. Sure enough, after the girls had arrived home, Tyler called up from the salon and snipped, “You guys were supposed to bring me home with you.” Since when did this ever stop him? Wasn’t Tyler the one who hopped in a cab one night and rode home while all the roommates hung around downtown, waiting for him to show up? Nevertheless, I could understand his pain. Nothing smarts more when people forget to pick you up. Especially when it’s raining and you’re holding a wilted flower and sad violins are playing. But enough about my childhood. Rimshot!
With new ammunition to bitch and moan about something, Tyler complained, “I was left at work by Paula and Svetlana.” Yes, his pressing schedule of painting and being proud of himself had been RUINED! To be fair, he did mention that he needed to get home so he could hop on the internet and do some junk for Speedo, but I think that was just his way of saying he wanted to masturbate.
Anyway, Paula and Svetty jumped back in the car and drove off to the salon, and en route, Paula commented, “This Amanda Beard thing might not be too successful.” Find more observations like these in Paula’s new book, The Sky Is Blue, or How I Learned to State the Obvious and Love It. You can find it under the imprint, KISS MY ASS!
Well, just when things couldn’t get any worse for Tyler’s vehicular prospects, Paula and Svetty hit massive traffic in the heart of Key West. The bitchiness would know no bounds! Sure enough, when the girls finally arrived, he snipped, “It’s annoying if you’re waiting around, and then you guys are late.” He then handed Paula a letter that read, “You should have stayed on Main Street, you low-life BITCH!” It was very odd.
Okay, okay. Tyler didn’t hand Paula a letter, but he did eagerly take the keys away from her and sashay to car. Back in the salon, Paula informed Zach that no one had even told her that Tyler was supposed to go home with him. Honestly, whoever was coordinating all this could KISS HER ASS! KISS HER GODDAMN, SUV-DRIVING ASS!!!”
Outside, someone tried to explain the misunderstanding to Tyler, but he entered full prissy diva mode, saying, “I don’t want to hear it. It’s just always an excuse!” He then took the driver’s seat and was so pissed about being late that he said he was going to leave without Zach. Never mind that Zach was kissing his parents goodbye. Apparently it’s a crime against humanity to leave without Tyler, but if Tyler wants to leave without Zach, that’s his prerogative, dammit!
Luckily, Zach managed to lumber out into the parking lot just when Tyler was about to peel out. As he stepped into the car, Ty-Ty explained, “I am so stressed out about bringing down Amanda Beard.” Well, she is a HUGE star. It’s understandable. And by the way, when Tyler said “bringing down Amanda Beard,” he meant that literally. He has a whole Burn Book tome devoted to her. He’s gonna bring her DOWN!
Tyler then ranted, “This is why I’m annoyed. I woke up early to take care of that stuff. Those dumbasses left without me. It’s frustrating when people are just so inconsiderate.” Okay, he’s right. It is frustrating. Luckily, Tyler never does anything inconsiderate. Ever. And I’m sure he won’t do anything inconsiderate later this episode either!
To his credit, Tyler did honk at some old ladies riding their bikes in the middle of his lane. Props to that. I hate dumb cyclists. And I really don’t think I’d have the tolerance for old lady cyclists in Florida. Who did they think they were, BLANCHE ARMSTRONG??
Well, just when there couldn’t be any more shenanigans with this damn car, Jose revealed to us what was possibly the most complicated ride-sharing schedule in Real World history. Honestly, it made The Brothers Karamazov look like See Spot Run. Okay, maybe not that complex. Nevertheless, Jose explained that Tyler would be going out to dinner downtown, and then Zach would be bringing the car back downtown (I guess the implication was that someone would drop Tyler off downtown and then bring the car back to the house in the interim?). Anyway, Zach would have dinner with his parents, and then Tyler was gonna grab the car, pick up Jose at the gym and then the two would return home. Get it? Don’t worry, it’ll make sense soon.
We then cut to 8:30 PM that night as Jose pumped iron in his decrepit, dingy gym. How that place survived Wilma was beyond me. Forty-five minutes later, we found John ushering the roommates out of the house and into the SUV. Turns out they were all going out to dinner with Zach’s parents. The only people who wouldn’t be joining were Tyler and Jose (as you might remember, Tyler was going to get the keys, pick up Jose, and the two would return home). Oh, and by the way, everyone was supposed to be at dinner at like 9 PM.
Did I mention that I was already loving this? For some reason, watching logistical nightmares is the best thing ever for me.
We then headed back over to the gym where at 9:20 PM poor Jose was done with his workout and standing alone, waiting for Tyler to pick him up. He had that sad, confused look on his face — kind of like when you’re a kid and you miss the bus going home from school; so your mom has to pick you up instead.
Over in downtown, all the roomies finally arrived at the restaurant where they met up with Zach’s family and Tyler. Oh, and guess what? Tyler announced he was going to join for dinner now too. But… what about Jose? John asked Tyler if he was still gonna fetch their wayward roommate, and instead of springing to action, Tyler suggested that they call the gym and let Jose know what the new plan was. After all, it had now been a half an hour since Tyler was supposed to pick him up. The statute of limitations on Tyler’s responsibility had clearly expired. Sorry, Jose. Enjoy your walk home!
Well, John started to get pretty annoyed with Tyler, causing Tyler to snip, “Don’t speak to me like that!” How could John forget that Tyler was the only person who was allowed to be snippy and rude? What a jerk. Nevertheless, everyone could see through Tyler’s hemming and hawing, and rather than argue about it, John simply got up in a huff and volunteered to pick up Jose. “I don’t want to inconvenience you, bro,” he said as he walked out. Score a point for John. Very nice passive-aggression!
“I should tell Martin about this…”
At this point, I did feel badly for John. He was doing the more mature thing — taking on Tyler’s responsibility (shocking since Tyler had been so outspoken about people being inconsiderate). Unfortunately, Johnny Bananas was now missing out on a free meal that surely was much nicer than the usual fare he was stuck with. Plus, it just sucked because his plans were now shot. John then noted that if he were left at the gym and some inconsiderate person (hint: TYLER) didn’t want to get him, he’d expect Zach or Jose to do the same thing. The bad news was that even though this was a noble gesture on John’s part, by the time he arrived at the gym, Jose was nowhere to be found. Somebody call CSI: Miami!
Oh wait. Jose wasn’t missing. He had simply left. The poor guy was walking home in the middle of the dark. Luckily, John, who was now livid at Tyler, found him by the side of the road was able to drive him the rest of the distance home. When Jose found out that Tyler didn’t want to pick him up, he was shocked. “Tyler played me! I’m supposed to be his boy!” Jose said. We then cut back to Tyler at the restaurant, enjoying the meal that was surely meant for John. “Oh my god! I’ve never had a dessert like this!” Tyler exclaimed as he dug into a rich pastry. Oh how I wanted to smack him upside the head. You know, if it had been Svetlana who was in Tyler’s shoes, he would never have let her hear the end of it. I mean, he would have harangued her. Besides, Tyler spent all this time complaining about all the work he had to do for Amanda Beard, and yet, he happily managed to find time to shirk responsibility and indulge in a free meal. He really disgusts me.
After the commercial break, we found Johnny Bananas venting to Zach, who in turn was apologizing for no real reason. John explained that he’d invested all this time into creating a friendship that now was just worthless. It was a pretty harsh statement. Tyler is a self-involved douchebag, but was it really necessary to throw out a whole relationship based on this event? Okay, yeah. It was. I LOVE strife!
Taking a more level-headed approach to the mixup was Jose (of course), who sat Tyler down and asked for an explanation. Ty-Ty said that the roommates showed up forty minutes late to the restaurant and then for some strange reason they were putting it all on him to find Jose. What was that about? Just because Tyler said he was going to pick up Jose didn’t mean that he was actually supposed to! For goodness sake, people, he had AMANDA BEARD to worry about (after a free dinner).
Anyway, Jose ultimately said that he was surprised that Tyler didn’t show the initiative to come find him wandering the streets like a vagabond. “I feel really, really guilty because Jose isn’t mad at me. He’s disappointed,” Tyler told us. He then left a note on Jose’s bed that said “You should have stayed at the gym, you low-life BITCH!!!”
The show then randomly shifted gears to focus on Svetlana who was — you guessed it — on the phone, babbling to Martin about whatever. She mentioned that Janelle wouldn’t talk to her anymore thanks to that whole “low-life” situation with Svetty’s mom. Keep in mind that Janelle was totally complicity in the Burn Book, but again, we must always remember that thou shalt not talk shit about the two people who talk the most shit.
Sadly, Svetlana felt that she had to apologize to Janelle. She told Martin, “I learned a lot from her. She’s like so mature, Martin, you like can’t argue with her… When she talks, she, like, listens really well.” Huh? Where did this come fromt? To be fair, listening skills are integral to a prosperous career in Personal Relations.
Anyway, Svetlana pulled Janelle aside to have The Talk. After some general groveling and apologies on Svetty’s part, Janelle replied, “The good thing is that you feel like you are able to approach me. That’s important to me because I can’t extend myself any further than the next person.” Hmmm… I didn’t quite hear an apology in there. You know, something like “I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions.” Janelle’s haughtiness laughably continued as she to us, “She can acknowledge that everything that I’ve done thus far to her has been for a certain reason. Her realizing that and sitting down, it’s good to know that we can grow as friends from this experience.” WELL. I think Svetlana should not only apologize to Janelle but thank her too. It’s about time she realized that Janelle’s condescending, evil behavior was for her own betterment!
In the coup de grace, Janelle then told Svetlana, and I kid you not, “When it comes to friendships… like I’m so genuine with all my friendships. Like, I’m so real.” Anyone else rolling on the floor with laughter?
We then cut to random butterflies flittering around the island, and then it was back to the house where Tyler was busy chopping vegetables. Like any good fag hag would, Janelle reported her entire conversation with Svetty to Tyler, but here’s a shocker: she didn’t laugh it off or roll her eyes. She actually said it was a good convo. Oh, this would surely peeve Tyler! Janelle then told us she was hoping that her conversation would maybe cause Tyler to rethink his relationship with Svetlana. Dare I say it, but that almost sounded nice. It was like Janelle was being a real friend! Mending fences: she really is a Personal Relations wunderkind.
A few moments later, we then saw one of the more awkward kitchen scenes of the season: Tyler, John, and Svetlana all milling around silently, quiet rage seething amongst them. The tension was finally broken when Tyler announced that he was leaving, causing John to point at Tyler’s mess and snap, “So you’re just going to leave? You’re going to leave this like this?” I so wished John was wearing a big night gown and curlers in his hair.
Well! No one addresses Tyler that way! He snipped back, “Do you not see that I’m baking for an event that you’re not helping for?” An event with AMANDA BEARD no less! John shot back that Tyler never lets anyone help anyway; that way, when it’s all over, Tyler can always take sole credit. Ouch! Burn-Book-rrific!
Tyler refuted the comments and tried to defend himself, but John was simply inconsolable (plus, he was holding a giant knife). “I don’t want to hear your voice right now,” John seethed. After several weeks of Tyler’s bullshit, it was truly wonderful to finally hear someone stand up to him and put him in his place. Oh, and it got better!
“You are the most inconsiderate piece of shit I’ve ever met in my life; so don’t tell me about being rude,” John ranted. Cut to me clapping eagerly on my couch. Realizing that John was right, Tyler had to rely on his favorite tactic: belittling John’s complaints with patronizing confusion:
“John, what are you angry about?” Tyler asked. “I need you to streamline what you’re angry about.” Alas, John was not about to streamline shit. He simply told Tyler again that he just did not want to talk, causing Tyler to laughably condescend, “I want you to leave your bad attitude at home, and if you choose to come to the event, like come and have fun with us. We’d like you to come.” Yeah John. Don’t bring your stinkin’ thinkin’. You’ll ruin the Amanda Beard experience!
Well, at this point, John was so riled up that anything Tyler said was just going to cause him to flip out. Sure enough, John yelled, “Since when do you own fucking Mystic Tan? Since when can you tell me where I can go, where I can’t go?” It was a bit ridiculous, but I loved it nonetheless.
Tyler merely huffed in response, “I have bigger issues to deal with.” LIKE AMANDA BEARD!!!! Does not one person appreciate how important she is???
Amusingly, Tyler then said, “I have an Olympian coming, and I’m not here to deal with this childish B.S.” By the way, that’s totally going to be my new way of getting out of arguments. If people start up with me, I’m just going to put my hands up and say, “I’m sorry. I have an Olympian coming. I’m not going to deal with your childish B.S.. Olympian, people!”
After the commercial break, Tyler, Zach, Janelle, and Svetlana headed to the tanning salon, and guess who was already there? The one and only Amanda Beard! (Insert fanfare here). If you had answered “the masses”, you would be incorrect because no one — absolutely no one — was waiting around to meet the Olympian. Turns out Tyler had committed a scheduling snafu, which meant people wouldn’t be arriving until 5:30ish — a.k.a. a few hours from then. Of course, those people would only be coming if they happened to hear the announcement at the local high school and community college — because that was the only marketing power Tyler put into this. That’s right. He didn’t invite anyone. He merely had the local college and high school make an announcement. C’mon, Tyler! Amanda Beard deserves better than that! I guess he just imagined the hoards of paparazzi following her around would automatically attract the crowds.
She not only recycles men, but snack trays too!
Well, the event was a major disaster, and even Janelle, the resident Personal Relations director, was upset. Truth is that while I give her shit for the whole “Personal Relations” thing, I’m sure she probably could have drummed up at least some minor interest. However, Tyler opted not to have a true marketing campaign — even if it was basic and amateurish — and as a result, only eight people came by to meet Amanda. So much for saving the salon!
Afterwards, Tyler and some of the roommates hung out, and Jose randomly said, “Tyler, can I tell you something right now? You have been very diva these past couple days.” Well, this was absolutely SHOCKING to Tyler, who flared his eyes in surprise. Him?? A diva??? Clearly not, as evidenced by his un-diva-like eye flare! Nevertheless, Jose explained to Tyler why John had been so mad, but ultimately, we learned that really it was John’s fault that Tyler was such a diva because apparently John reminds Tyler of his family, and when John acts in a certain way, it takes Tyler back to certain times in his family’s history. So really, it was John who should apologize to Tyler.
“It reminds me of every time someone else lashed out at me and my life,” Tyler explained. Hey Tyler, ever hear of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Maybe people will stop lashing out at you if you stop acting like a prissy bitch. Just a suggestion.
The next day, despite the utter failure of the Amanda Beard event, Ricky called the kids at the salon and announced some great news: the good people from the Ford Motor Company (smile at the camera like the Orbit gum woman) had given them a brand new Mercury to replace the one ruined in the hurricane. I suppose this was a wonderful thing, but honestly, I kind of loved all the conflict that arose from having just one car. C’mon, producers. Push that thing over a dock. We want more fighting!
Later that night, John and Tyler finally had their big talk. I was hoping that Tyler would apologize to John for being inconsiderate the other night with the car, but instead, he just said, “I’m very tender about the way people speak to me.” Kind of odd considering how rudely, condescendingly, brashly, and obnoxiously Tyler seems to treat everyone around him. Nevertheless, Tyler said all this stuff about being accepted and how John reminded him of his brother and how now he wanted to start up a relationship with his brother for the first time. Big time blah blah blah. All I knew was that I didn’t hear any shred of contrition. Granted, we were seeing an edited conversation, but it didn’t seem at all like Tyler was addressing anything that may have made John upset. He was merely addressing what was making himself upset.
Sadly, John fell for Tyler’s crap and said, “the reason I got so mad is because I care about you so much.” Booo! Cop out! He then told us, “I don’t think Tyler needs any more negativity in his life.” No, Tyler doesn’t need anymore negativity, but he’ll gladly spread it everywhere else (except to Amanda Beard, of course).
Ultimately, the two guys wound up on good terms again, which I suppose was nice for them, but I still felt like Tyler truly hadn’t learned anything from the situation. He merely used the discussion as a fancy way to say, “It’s not my fault. It’s yours.” What did you think? Did Tyler learn his lesson?