It’s the Real World Brooklyn, yo! This year’s theme is After School Special. But do have quite a bit of ignorance, annoying people and a transgender roommate to spice things up. Don’t bother trying to get in a cab, they really don’t go there, but keep reading for the update on the latest true story of eight (yeah, you read it right) strangers…
I liked Bride Wars too! Waaaahhhhhhhhhh!
Ryan is the first roomie we meet. He shows us around his podunk town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His audition tape looks very produced. Well done, soldier. That’s right, Ryan’s a soldier, a veteran of Iraq. And a singer/songwriter. He performs a little song in what might be the desert of Iraq about how the place sucks, then he smashes his guitar, but it doesn’t really break. He also says that he can figure anyone out in the first five minutes of knowing them.
So can I! You do a good Beavis face, your cap is on sideways, and you can’t rhyme anything with Iraq. You’re a dick.
Next we journey to Missoula, Montana to meet Katelynn. Katelynn is from West Palm Beach, Florida but has recently relocated to be with her boyfriend Mike, who whether he knows it or not, is the man she’s going to marry. She tells us in her audition tape that she’s the girl next door…except that she’s transgender. Way to put it out there, girl. She just returned from Thailand where she had her official surgery. She bugs her boyfriend who she moved cross-country for about crying over her and if he’s going to miss her. “Of course,” he answers after a noticeable pause that I’m sure was probably unintentional. As was the move to Boys Don’t Cry country, I’m sure.
In Thailand, they’re still performing “The Rachel Cut” procedure.
Well hello, Brooklyn! What a cute montage featuring all the local culture. And then we meet Chet from Salt Lake City, Utah. And his…sewing machine? He models a suit and “pops the collar”. Which is pink, by the way. Hot pink. Chet’s impression of Brooklyn is that it’s the part of New York you never want to go to, and he just doesn’t want to get shot out here.
Then you might wanna change the fauxhawk. That’s frowned upon in Brooklyn everywhere.
Next up is Devyn prancing the streets of Brooklyn. She’s a beauty queen. Life’s a pageant. Until she poses on the street in a bikini and tells us that just because she has boobs doesn’t mean she’s not smart. She’s highly educated. As are all chicks who pose with video cameras in bikinis on city streets. Chet and Devyn meet up on the pier in Brooklyn, and Chet tells her she’s a “breath of fresh air”, probably meaning that she’s the first black person he’s ever seen up close.
OMG are you Jennifer Hudson! I drove an hour out of Utah to see your movie, girl!
Devyn and Chet totally hit it off. Chet has the ill-fated dream of wanting to someday host TRL. Devyn too is in New York to pursue acting. She tells him he seems like he’s a player, which he denies with the excuse that he’s Mormon. He’s a highly religious person, he tells us, but he’s here on the Real World to show that Mormons can be fun. Ugh, everyone’s got an agenda.
Next we meet Baya, posing on a park bench on the beach. Coney Island? She tells us she’s moving to NYC to be a dancer, and backs it up with an audition tape of her moves, and wow. Perhaps Baya should try Scores. Ryan walks up, and she calls him over. Baya is not shy, I like it. “I never met a Baya before,” he tells her smoothly. They hop into their Prius and coast off.
Well, she knows how to show off her good side.
Ryan and Baya have fun in the car, and he finds out that like Chet, Baya is from Salt Lake City as well. Ryan immediately wants to know if she’s Mormon. She giggles and flips her hair and tells him that’s what everyone wants to know but she isn’t. Ryan can tell immediately – because remember, he can figure out anyone in five minutes – that Baya totally gets him. They make goofy flirty faces at each other, and we’re moving on.
Why read books when you can read girls, you know what I’m sayin’ toots?
Then we meet Sarah from San Francisco, who’s misunderstood by the world because she has tattoos. Seriously, she can’t even go shopping because security follows her around, fearful that she will steal something. We also meet JD, who meets up with Sarah, and tells us that he’s independent, paying for his own education at a private university, and that he had a rough childhood. He’s here in the Real World house for the family that he never had and I literally have to stop typing to process this thoughtful and totally sympathetic reason for being on the Real World.
Your mom was mean to you because she hated v-necks. It’s called rearing.
These two get the boat ride to the Real World house, and we learn that JD is a dolphin trainer. “Shut up!” squeals Sarah. We get peaceful dolphin music and shots of JD frolicking with them.
OMG! Dolphins are totally afraid of me and follow me everywhere.
Sarah is into art therapy and then wants to talk about her boyfriend, which she does by asking JD if he has a girlfriend. Or a boyfriend, she quickly adds when he hesitates. JD tells her he’s single but totally ignores the part about whether he likes boys or girls, and then we get to the point, which is that Sarah’s boyfriend is “the one”. Then she spills to JD that “the one” is actually the first guy she’s ever dated – before that, it was all girls. She’s a little worried about staying faithful in the house, cause “what if there’s a really hot guy”, which is her way of getting down to the does-JD-like-boys-or-girls question, and he lets her know that yes, he is indeed gay. Sarah whoops with relief and glee that her love for “the one” will not be tested, at least with JD. Dodged a bullet there, honey.
At the airport, we meet Scott from New Hampshire. He works at a gym. He wants to pursue modeling and acting. Well, I’m blown away. Katelynn walks up and tells Scott that either she’s his roommate or the cutest stranger ever. She’s cute, but not his type. And shy, he thinks, cause she ducks her head down when she tells him her name. They have a boring conversation about martial arts in the car, but Katelynn tells us they bond instantly.
That bitch ain’t got nothin’ on me!
Over at the house, Devyn and Chet are the first to arrive. They walk in the house and oh my gosh! It’s the ultimate bachelor pad, says Chet. “The ultimate bachelorette pad,” corrects Miss Thing. They pick beds, and I really start to like these two for not bothering to be fake polite and wait for the rest of the roommates to show up. Then Chet tells Devyn he wants to get personal. Devyn puffs up, ready with her pageant answers, Chet only wants to know what she thought of him when she first saw him.
She tells him that her first thought was that he was wearing purple, and maybe he was gay. He says he’s not surprised, but he’s cool about it. He’s not gay. He just likes purple. Next in the house are Baya and Ryan. Devyn and Baya hug and Devyn tells Baya how adorable she is. For reals, totally pocket sized. Ryan walks in and we learn that he’s also “never met a Chet before” . Big day for Ryan. Lots of new names. Anyway, because Chet’s wearing purple and Ryan’s a soldier from Gettysburg, he immediately assumes Chet’s gay.
Well, it’s the purple shirt. And the fauxhawk. And the dimples. And the sleeveless hoodie. And the general gayness.
They talk about where they’re from, and Baya is positively enthused to learn that Devyn is from Kansas City. It’s all very exciting. They discover that Chet and Baya are both from Salt Lake City. “You’re taking over!” exclaims Devyn. And then they hear more new people…it’s Scotty and Katelynn! Intros are exchanged. Devyn immediately zeroes in on Scott. She thinks he’s a hotty. Ryan thinks Scotty looks like him. “Not ripped or anything, he’s a lot smaller than me,” he adds, then laughs and I totally do too.
They tour the house and are very impressed. Katelynn notices that the showers are very open. Thank goodness she’s already had the surgery, cause already things are getting tense – Ryan tells us that there’s something “definitely different” about Katelynn. One of the roomies tells Scotty he’s been typecast as the musclehead, and they head down to the gym to check it out. The Crunch sponsored gym, which, while located on the exact opposite end of Sunset from where I live, is a gym that I would love to work out in. Crunch is such a super gym that they surely appreciate a little additional marketing in the recap. Crunch. Chickbomb. Crunch. Chickbomb Crunch.
Call me. Until then, I don’t plan on working out. Ever.
While everyone else plays in the gym, the final two roommates walk in. It’s JD and Sarah, and everyone is immediately concerned and confused. Isn’t it supposed to be seven roommates? “Are we voting someone off?” wonders Baya nervously. The two newbies tour the house and Sarah pops into the confessional to totally cheeseball out and tell us that the “story of my life now has all these new characters, and it’s going to be the best story ever written!”. Okay then, can we just jump to your happily ever after and find some more roommates like Ryan, who’s starting to show some promising homophobic tendencies with his observation that in addition to Chet being all purple and gay, JD too looks like he “takes good care of himself” and seems “kind of metrosexual”?
Scotty and Baya bunk together, which Scotty’s thrilled about probably not at all because Baya’s tiny and adorable but because she’s a girl and girls are cleaner. Devyn and Katelynn have “clicked immediately” and will be sharing a bedroom as well. JD and Sarah are together, and she is desperately grateful that they share a love of cleanliness. My concern for material deepens. No ones asking about the appropriateness of late night drunken take-homes, all they care about is mutual appreciation of Lysol.
That’s supposed to say “stop banging skanks in the hot tub or I’ll cut your throat while you sleep.”
Ryan and Chet are the last two to room up, and Ryan tells us that he thinks Chet’s a cool guy and they’ll make good roommates. Ryan shows off a picture of his girlfriend Michelle, with the precious little tale of how he calls her Belle, cause he loves the Beatles. Chet shares that he is a virgin Mormon. He has the same temptations as everyone else, he tells us, but he’s saving himself for marriage.
Scotty starts showing off his abs, recently featured in Men’s Health. Baya is impressed, and oddly excited to show the picture off to her Dad? Weird. In November, Scotty won the best abs on the east coast contest. Now it’s time for Devyn, a fellow pageant winner herself, to be in her own words, “captivated”. She loves the abs and could see herself totally falling for him. She makes adoring, puppy dog eyes at Scotty.
The next convo is between Sarah, JD, Ryan and Chet. Sarah tells the boys that she used to like girls, and Ryan wants to know how she “converted”. He tells us he’s just trying to get to know his roommates, and hello, it’s taking longer than five minutes. Word around the house is that Katelynn’s bisexual, Chet shares, and Ryan fills in the blanks that actually, “she’s a he”. Transgender, he explains to poor misunderstood Sarah with all her tattoos, who is absolutely shocked at the news.
But she looks like Link from Legend of Zelda and talks like Clay Aiken! How is that possible?
Just then Katelynn walks in, and conversation stops in a totally immature way. “Everyone’s being too nice,” says troublemaker Ryan, and he just wants to know. He’s curious little monkey. But when Katelynn, who says she doesn’t mind sharing her various sexual experiences, starts talking about that very topic, Ryan is visibly disturbed.
Katelynn gets on the phone with her Mom and first tells her how much she loves all her roommates, and how relieved she is that there aren’t any “dumb blondes”. Besides Ryan, and ignoring the part about him not really being blonde. She tells Mom that she’s the only “GLBT” person there – that’s Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender – in a voice that sounds like she’s a little surprised and disappointed that she’s the only one. But, she continues cheerfully, there’s Sarah who used to be a big lesbian until she fell in love with a man. A former lesbian’s better than nothing.
Katelynn’s Mom asks if she’s feeling better about being in the Real World house, and she says she is…but that she hasn’t come out to the roommates yet. Aha! Then who started the rumor in Chet’s room the night before? Was it Chet? Honestly, in my opinion, Chet is the Mormon Chuck Bass of the Real World house.
Next morning, Ryan’s eating some cereal on the front porch and acting all desolate. Formerly lesbian Sarah comes outside to check on how he’s doing. She asks him if he had a good time last night. Then she wants to know how his family feels about him coming out there to Brooklyn. They don’t care cause he’s pretty much always done whatever he wants, he tells Sarah. Then he tells her about how he used to be in the army. Sarah is fascinated and vows to wrench every last thought out of Ryan to “get him to open up”. She starts with the generic stuff, like about how hard it must have been, I mean, duh. War in Iraq’s no party. Then she rolls right onto if he ever had to shoot his gun, and how that was for him. Subtle.
She gets him talking about how unaffected he is upon his return home, which because he says it so many times must be true, but Sarah presses on. “No nightmares?” she drills him. Well, maybe now he’ll have some. He talks about some of his friends having some PTSD, which Sarah in her infinite counseling wisdom calls “PTS”, and a friend who shot himself last month. Don’t worry about Ryan though, he has the “miracle cure”. He writes. A lot. Well, I don’t buy the miracle cure thing, but it seems to work kind of okay for him, so I say keep on.
The army news gets to Baya via Chet. He shows her his Army picture. “You look pretty decorated,” Chuck tells Nate while Baya stands around looking all impressed. Ryan was an infantryman, meaning he was pretty badass, and he was inspired to join up because of 9/11. Everyone is impressed. And by everyone, I mean me too of course.
Chet tells Ryan how great he thinks he is for serving, and tells us how proud he is to have Ryan for a roommate. I think that’s pretty cool because I’d have been the same way. Later on, Chet tells Ryan that he plays guitar too and hey, we should play some music together! Ryan takes Chet to his secret makeout spot where he “plays music”. It’s a decorative rowboat on some rocks on their pier. It’s quite “bro-mantic”.
Ryan plays a song about Iraq. It’s very, very depressing. Chet is effusive in his praise. “You might want to pursue a career in songwriting,” Chet suggests smoothly. “Great, now I know what I want to do in Brooklyn!” Ryan joyfully agrees. “I think we’re having a moment,” says Chet, still putting on the moves. “Let’s have another one! A funny one,” coos Ryan.
Chuck Bass suggests they write a song about “the eighth” in the house, who turns out to be Scotty. “Let’s work out, let’s eat, let’s work out, let’s eat,” Ryan croons. It turns into a boy band-esque tune about Scotty eating roast beef and ends with a verse about how Chet is metrosexual and that’s not a sin. “I could sail away with you any day,” Chet tells Ryan dreamily as Ryan giggles like a little schoolgirl.
Back in the house, Ryan is checking out Katelynn prancing around in her pink panties. Chet totally calls him on it, and Katelynn, who was a little put out to find out that she was the only transgender in the house, is of course put out by this too. Well, first of all, prancing around your new roommates that you only met a day ago in pink panties pretty much invites scrutiny. What do you want? But Katelynn does not feel that their behavior is “accepting of alternative or different lifestyles”. Chet and Ryan giggle like morons, because they just don’t know any better.
Later on, JD asks Katelynn on a dinner date. Like Sarah with Ryan, JD is on a mission to get Katelynn to “open up”. Katelynn’s thrilled, because she may or may not know that JD’s gay, and she skips back into her room wondering what she’s going to wear. Meanwhile, the mean boys are in the kitchen talking about JD. Ryan’s “gaydar” was like “waaaaa”. Chet doesn’t think he has any gaydar. Ryan says he already “knows Kat’s a man” – really, how does he know that? Didn’t she say she wasn’t “out” to her roommates yet? I’m sorry, sometimes I get confused. Anyway, Ryan knowingly adds that “something’s always been up with JD”. Always, in the whole two days he’s known him.
That night, Ryan decides to be bothered by JD taking Katelynn out to dinner. He starts a war on the steps outside the house, telling JD it isn’t fair for him to take Katelynn out to dinner and get all the scoop on the transgender thing. “I have experience with it,” JD tells a very pouty Ryan. “Are you gay?” Ryan blurts out, playing the role of Small Towner just beautifully.
JD tells Ryan that he is, and he wants to do outreach to Katelynn. Ryan can’t get off this JD is gay thing. Oh my, and then he calls Katelynn “it”. JD corrects him, amidst Ryan’s protests that JD better tell Katelynn that he has no problem with her. Make sure she knows, Ryan pesters him. Ryan has noooooo problem with “it”.
We’re so getting married if I play my cards right.
Chet simply tells JD to pass along the message that she should just be honest with them. Make sure she knows I’m ignorant, Ryan carries on. Chet thinks she’s a girl. Ryan thinks she’s a dude. But make sure she knows he has no problems with it.
Katelynn and JD head out to dinner, while Chet lays it down from the shower for Scotty, who primps in the mirror. “He’s gonna tell her, I’m gay, you’re a boy, cat’s out of the bag,” Chet tells him. Scotty refuses to believe that Katelynn can be a boy. Chet swears that “someone who just told me he was gay” – wow, what a cover up – told him the truth about Katelynn, and now Scotty just looks confused.
In the cab on the way to dinner, JD comes right out and shares his abusive childhood with Katelynn. That’s all it takes for her to come out as a transgender who just recently completed her surgery in Thailand. They bond, they share, they sob, it’s touching.
Did I mention my abs? They’ve won awards.
JD has her back, he tells us. They go out to dinner and he tells her what an amazing opportunity she has for personal growth. She takes that as a cue to spill about how promiscuous she used to be sexually and how she’s still insecure. They talk about five-ways, and somehow JD decides that Katelynn should become an advocate. For transgenders, not for five-ways. That would be a whole other show. He spouts a bunch of new age-y stuff about everybody being in your life for a reason. Back at the house, everyone hangs around, laughing and acting cool for the Real World cameras, and we head out of Brooklyn for the night.
So far, they seem like nice folks but you know I’m looking for more drama. Check back for progress next week and click here to read about my visit to the Real World Brooklyn house.