After several weeks of surprisingly entertaining episodes, The Real World: Key West finally served up a dud Tuesday night with thirty minutes of pure snoozefest. Sure, stuff happened — Zach made a new friend, Svetlana bickered with her boyfriend — but this episode felt like basic filler material in anticipation of the next big Paula freak out. This show did feature one noteworthy moment — the ever traditional rape-confession. I had to say, it really came out of nowhere for me. I wasn’t expecting it at all. The only person to throw a bigger rape-confession curveball was Ellen on Road Rules: The Quest when she explained the reason why she walked around in hot pants in Morocco was because she was raped. Seems logical to me!Tuesday’s show started with ominous rain falling on the patio. Gosh, lots of rain this season. I guess that has to do with Key West being in the path of, you know, the three hundred hurricanes that blew through this year. Anyway, we then cut to inside the mansion where we saw the bizarre, almost supernatural sight of a pool cue holding another pool cue. Amazing! Oh wait. It was just Paula playing pool.
Well, as the kids sat around and poked at balls, Svetlana complained about her worthless boyfriend Martin and how dumb he was with his friends. Did we care? Not really. But this was what was on TV, so I guess we had to watch. Or at least I had to (sigh. The obligations of a TV blogger). Jose, in his sanctioned three words of the episode, made an astounding observation: “I think that Svetlana is needy, and she loves the attention.” Somebody call Dr. Phil. We’ve got a new behavior analyst in town!
John, meanwhile, was sensing that all was not well in the sacred union of Svetlana and Martin. “I take my cues from the girl. If everything she says about the relationship is negative, that’s usually a pretty good sign that she might be looking for something else.” But what if everything she says is negative AND idiotic? Then what does that mean? Probably that she’s the typical co-dependent sucker on The Real World. Seriously, how is it that these girls always sneak into the Real World casts?
Anyway, Svetlana then began yapping about how Martin didn’t even cry once before she left for Key West. Not once! Maybe he just doesn’t like you, Svetty? Or should I say “Fitz,” since that apparently is her dominant and illogical nickname. Amidst all this Martin talk, the phone suddenly rang and guess what? It was Martin!
“Speak of the devil. Yeah, we love him,” Jose joked, cracking up in the process. Well, I’m glad he’s amused.
While Jose continued to cackle over his little funny, Svetlana headed into the phone room and good God! What sort of chair do they have in there? It was like a discarded prop from Saw II! Come to think of it, the entire phone room was totally ghetto. It was basically a shabby little cubicle with some cloth draped in the back. Steep downgrade from last season’s phone space which featured couches, a fish tank, and a security monitor (a.k.a Lacey’s home entertainment center).
It’s an Adirondack Chair gone goth.
Well, there was more Svetlana/Martin talk, but I really couldn’t stomach it any longer; so let’s just move forward. In the week’s lighthearted subplot, Zach — his Jew-fro looming larger than ever — fell for a pretty bar wench named Crystal. I shouldn’t say he “fell” because he later denied any romantic impulses. So instead the producers simply slapped Crystal with the patronizing label, “Zach’s new friend.” Congratulations, Crystal. That was MTV’s way of saying “SLUT!!”
Actually, here’s a shocker. Crystal appeared to be far from a slut. Instead, she was fairly reserved, borderline uncomfortable. I don’t know if we have the cameras or Zach’s forward questions to thank for that. Either way, Crystal wasn’t your run-of-the-mill drunkard hoping for a little notoriety in The Real World house. But she wasn’t entirely interesting either. In fact, she was sort of like the personality equivalent of cardboard. And yet for whatever reason, Zach was totally entranced by Crystal and promised to call her the next day. Fascinating!
Back at the house, Svetlana announced that she likes nuts. I’m sorry, I meant Nuts, the 1980s movie with Barbara Streisand. We learned this after Tyler spearheaded a roundtable discussion on the cinematic works of Babs, which somehow led to Svetlana saying, “John wants to f*ck me. It’s obvious.” I hate to break it to you, Svetty, but John entered the house with a blowup doll. He wants to f*ck anything.
Later, Svetlana and Paula had a heart to heart out by the pool where they talked about boys, fathers, and boys some more. Okay, basically, they just talked about Martin. “I’m just used to guys bashing my boyfriend because they just want to sleep with me,” Svetlana said. Hey, Fitz, maybe everyone bashes your boyfriend because he SUCKS.
Svetlana then continued with another sordid anecdote from her past: “A guy smacked me across the face, and he [Martin] never did anything about it.” She then added, “Technically, it was so much that a guy smacked me. More like a loaf of bread fell on my face at the supermarket. But it’s like the same thing!” Okay, okay, she didn’t say that, but after her ridiculous exaggeration last week that she’d once started a business when in fact all she’d done was answer phones, anything goes with Svetty.
Our beleaguered Russky then described the role of a boyfriend: “A dude is just there to like keep me happy, screw me, and take me out and celebrate anniversaries.” Oh, and to listen to all your nonstop yapping, which I guess would fall under the vague umbrella requirement “keep me happy.” Svetlana then noted that if her dad knew that someone had slapped her, the guy would be decapitated. And I’m pretty sure she was speaking literally. I mean, I don’t want to make assumptions or anything but (cough, Russian Mafia, cough cough).
By the way, what’s the deal with a random dude slapping Svetlana anyway? Sure, we’ve all fantasized about it, but that doesn’t mean we’d actually do it! What’s this world coming to. I can at least take solace in knowing that back in Boston, Svetty’s dad has now watched the episode and taken care of the offending guy, Mystic River style (ooh, if her dad screamed up to the heavens like Sean Penn, that would be awesome too).
“Wow. Do I really have to sit and listen to all this dreck?”
Back in the other boring storyline, Zach made good on his promise and invited Crystal over to go fishing. Yay! Platonic activities with Crystal! Or as I like to call her, Crystal Meh. Well, this was all fun and wonderful for everyone — everyone except Svetlana who suddenly realized she may no longer be the center of attention, especially once she learned that Crystal would be bringing friends. The Crystal Meh epidemic is spreading!!!
Tyler immediately accused Svetlana of being jealous of the new girls, but Svetty spurned the accusation. “I’m not jealous,” she said, “I just don’t like strangers in my house.” Guess what? The whole point of this show is that you live with SEVEN STRANGERS. Listen to the opening credits. It’s right there.
Well, Crystal and her posse soon showed up, but unlike most other recent seasons (ahem, Austin), these girls had no interest in getting wasted or hooking up. They just wanted to sit on the hammock and have bland small talk. Really bland small talk. But you know what? In a sad kind of way, even though the scene lacked any sort of excitement, it did have a very, er, real world quality about it. After so many booze-fueled seasons, we kind of forget that these kids actually can talk to each other from time to time.
Happily killing the vibes was John who told the girls, “So you guys brought bikinis, I’m hoping. Or bathing suits.” That would be a resounding NO (again, another shocking development. Since when do girls go to the Real World house and not prepare for a potential hot tub?). Anyway, Crystal and her crew soon departed, and I’d like to note that there was no fishing on this visit. Fish tease.
With Crystal gone, Zach gave a full post-pseduo-fishing-trip analysis to the ever nosy Tyler. He basically said he thought she was chill and blah blah blah I’m bored.
Later, we returned to the ever-annoying saga of Svetlana and Martin as the two yelled at each other on the phone. For those of you watching The Real World for the first time, this is the way these sort of episodes begin. In act one, the hometown honey calls up, and there’s a minor disagreement or conflict, but nothing really happens. Then in act two, the lovers fight and yell and say things like “Well, then maybe we shouldn’t be together!” And in act three, everything comes full circle as both parties realize that maybe they were being a bit ridiculous and they love each other after all and just have to slow down a little. Well, we were only at Act Two, and as such, we were in the midst of the argument stage. Svetlana told Martin that she wouldn’t hang out with his friends because they talk shit about her. This then caused a long tirade of cursing and rhetorical questions from Martin, which wasn’t totally surprising, given that he does come from Boston, a.k.a. the hometown of Austin’s Danny.
After the call, Svetlana babbled about her boyfriend to Tyler who suggested that maybe she try to be single for once. What are you talking about, Tyler? There’s no room for that sort of logic in Svetlana’s head! Last week, Tyler was annoying in his brash and condescending way he treated Svetlana. This week, Tyler was awesome for his brash and condescending way he treated Svetlana. “Your co-dependent relationship is even irritating me, and I really don’t even care about your relationship,” he told her, echoing all the viewers at home in the process. Svetlana offered up some lame excuses for why she had stuck around with Martin, but then Tyler leveled her again: “If he’s as immature as you are, then this is going nowhere fast.” Thank god for Tyler.
That night, the gang headed out to a small bar called (uh oh) The Lazy Gecko. A shiver went down my spine as I feared this joint might be a cousin to that Austin favorite, The Dizzy Rooster (the bars even had the same type of sign). Luckily, everything seemed to be safe as there appeared to be no signs of Leo or broken eye sockets in the immediate vicinity. Anyway, Svetlana promptly hopped on the bartop and began shaking her booty, revealing some super sexy backsweat in the process. This eventually led to general flirtations with John, causing Zach to comment, “Those two. I think something will happen.” Another brilliant observation from the Real World braintrust.
Back at the house, the horny Svetlana wanted John to join her in the hot tub, but shockingly, he resisted. Instead, he opted to hang back and chug water. And by “chug water,” I mean spill half the bottle on his shirt by accident. When Svetty asked why a strapping young lad such as him would refuse to accompany a breasty young lass such as her, John explained that he didn’t want to get involved with her because she’d grow too attached. Yes, turns out that on top of all her other issues, Svetlana is a tad clingy… as in, she fell in love with Martin after only two weeks of dating. I can’t even imagine the attachment issues she suffered when her school district switched bus drivers on her.
And then suddenly, out of nowhere, the Rape Confession. If you were like me, your mind had just begun to trial off when suddenly you heard the word “rape.” Wha-wha-whaaa? One flick of the 10-second rewind button, and I heard it again. Here’s the deal. John told Svetty that she had to fall in love with people for who they are, not who she wants to change them into. She responded incongruously that she doesn’t want to talk about her past (which obviously meant that she DID want to talk about her past, especially since no one was even suggesting that they talk about her past at all). Anyway, John, like us, said that no, he didn’t want to hear about her past at all, which of course prompted her to talk about, you guessed it, her past.
“Say you were still with your girlfriend. This is a complete, hypothetical situation,” Svetlana said. Totally hypothetical. Gotcha. She continued, “Say she dated a guy before you, and he raped her.” And with that, the “OMG! Rape Confession!” piano began playing, but it may have well been a needle scratching on a record player. I didn’t know why we needed such serious music. Weren’t the producers listening? This was a hypothetical situation. Duh!
Anyway, Svetlana asked John if the hypothetical rapist tried to be cool with him, what would he do? He said that he’d have nothing to do with the guy and would just walk away. You know, like most mature, law-abiding citizens. Well, Svetlana was not happy with that answer (even though it was just a hypothetical situation, right?).
“What do you expect? Should I kill the guy, or what?” John asked, clearly never having run in Russian Mafia circles. He then said that just because Martin didn’t do anything to the guy that raped Svetty doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care. It was surprisingly thoughtful and well-articulated advice, especially coming from the man whose typical words of wisdom sounded something like “Paula, why don’t you just eat already?”
Well, Svetlana heard John out, and while she may not be ready to change her ways, at least she seemed to understand what he was saying. “And I thought Paula was the biggest headcase in this house!” John joked later. Oh, wait until he finds out about Jose! That guy is craaaaazy!!!
The next morning, Svetlana spoke to Martin on the phone, and as predicted, the two lovebirds were back in “caring mode.” She said that she wouldn’t know what was going to happen with their relationship until she saw him again. And to that he said “Word,” but in a really, really high pitched voice. It didn’t make much sense, but as you can imagine, for me it was hilarious.
In the end, Svetlana rationalized everything by saying that when you have something like she and Martin have (e.g. something TERRIBLE), you have to get through the bumps and bruises. Yes, Svetlana. That’s what we like to call “co-dependency.” Congratulations. You are now a true member of the Real World family.
With that, the show ended. Sadly, we were not greeted by John at the Overdrive weather map (predicting a cold front of clips and behind the scenes action!). Jose greeted us instead, informing us about the online service in his typically sweet but bland way. Oh well. Maybe Meteorologist John will be back soon enough. What did you think about the episode?