Does anyone feel a little relieved? I know I do. You see, after a week of promos leading up to last night’s episode of The Real World: Philadelphia, a knot had grown in my stomach. For seven days we were told that the ongoing flirtations of Shavonda and Landon would take center stage on this week’s show, and to be honest, I dreaded it. There hasn’t been a couple – or pseudo couple – this uninteresting since Hawaii when Matt developed that bizarre crush on Ruthie’s identical twin. The promise of watching an entire show devoted to Landon and Shavonda was about as appealing as eavesdropping on someone discussing napkins. Thankfully, the episode is over now; so we can simply move forward with our lives and forget about this decidedly bland installment. Well, we can forget about it after this post at least.The episode started with Shavonda reading passages aloud from an erotic book (some more of that subtle Bunim/Murray magic at work). She giggled like a seventh grader at the mere mention of sex, and Landon, aware that he was supposed to be in some sort of a flirting mode, obliged with some fake laughter of his own. A gentle guitar riff on the soundtrack alerted us that this was indeed a tender moment, despite Shavonda’s abrasive immaturity and Landon’s complete lack of interest.
Later, Shavonda relived the scene as she lay on the floor with MJ and detailed the whole magical moment. I don’t really know why they were lying on the floor, and to be honest, I was grossed out by MJ’s hairy armpit lingering at the top of the screen. Nevertheless, despite her obvious fixation on Landon, Shavonda reassured us that he would never ever be getting any sort of bootay from her. Mmmkay. In other news, Shavonda has placed the Brooklyn Bridge up for sale.
Apparently unaware of the booty embargo being placed on him, Landon attempted a subtle display of affection towards Shavonda: he pressed his naked member against the translucent shower glass for her to see. Most girls like roses, but I guess blurry penis works too. Shavonda zoomed off to another room while fellow onlooker Melanie commented, “I didn’t know what I was looking at!” Either Landon has a very small endowment or Melanie missed a very important class in fifth grade. To be honest, I was surprised that Mel didn’t add “If I had a penis, I would never ever EVER put it against a shower door.”
Later that night, Mel shuffled off mysteriously to drink alone while the crew headed for, you guessed it, a gay bar. In an interview, MJ expressed embarrassed surprise at this social destination, saying “Believe it or not, we’re heading to another gay bar.” Believe it or not? MJ, have you SEEN your season? For his part, Landon was just excited to be around booze and lots of it. Even though he appears to have been drinking since age three, Landon had never had a martini before; so he figured this would be a solid place to start. “How much is in a martini?” he asked. Uh, imagine a glass full of straight alcohol. Now drink it. THAT much.
Apparently Landon never noticed that people sip martinis because within a flash, he was wasted on the dance floor. Shavonda would have none of it, but instead of being patiently sober, she was annoyingly shrill. Great. Could this black hole of suck get any larger? As we headed for our first commercial break, Shavonda fretted that she was liking Landon less. Oooh, what a cliffhanger! Will Shavonda ever not like him a little less? Furthermore, will Shavonda ever just shut up?
When we returned (on the seats of our pants no doubt!), Sarah explained that when Landon gets drunk, his alter ego “Leo” comes out. WTF? Is this the cast of schizophrenic drunkards and nymphos? First we had Sarah’s dumb alter ego, Ivanna, and now we have Leo. Anyone else ready to pop out of this clown car of a cast?
Anyway, as the group meandered back to the mansion, Shavonda commented in an interview that Landon ” or Leo mayhaps? ” had crossed the line from being drunk to scary. This was evidenced by Landon asking if a church they were walking by was the same one from an earlier trip. Scary! Next he’ll be asking about schools or worse yet, municipal buildings. I’m surprised they didn’t do an intervention right then and there.
The next morning, Sarah sauntered up to all the guys and quietly asked them “How are you? How are you feeling?” I supposed she was testing the waters before asking “Wanna have sex?” While Sarah cooed over the boys, Mel announced that she had found “serenity” in a local bar that she was going to keep as a secret for herself. Whatever, outcast. I suppose the new watering hole did clear out some of that stress Mel was feeling after last week’s traffic fiascos because she was able to return to proper form by shooting her passive aggressive cannon at Sarah. During a discussion of Sarah’s bulimia, Mel was ever so kind to state “I could never ever, ever, EVER do that to myself.” Awkward. “I hate pukingâ€¦ I love food,” she added. Super awkward. Hey Mel, why don’t you just point a finger and laugh?
This incident of course resulted in the obligatory Mel-bashing scene which in true form ended with Sarah noting “I mean, I love the girl.” Yes, Sarah loves her in that sort of “I hate you so much” way. Well, luckily for her, a Santa Cruz Karma bomb hit Mel nice and hard. After a night of boozing at her favorite spot, The Drinker’s Tavern (as opposed to the Non Drinker’s Tavern), Mel returned home slurry and all Leo-ish. She called her obviously disinterested boyfriend and assured him that “I’m wasted to a point where I can fall asleep and not barf.” She then proceeded to barf ” in front of Sarah. Fantastic.
Somewhere around here Mel babbled to the camera with a startlingly new hairstyle that seemed to completely distract me from whatever was going on. All I do remember is that Mel and Sarah went off to volunteer at a pet adoption event, but when that became too labor intensive (looking at cute animals is like sooo rigorous), the two jetted back to the apartment to share a hot tub. There Sarah probed Melanie about her past, but when Mel got to the part about her mom locking her in the closet, Sarah looked positively overwhelmed. “This isn’t about sex at all!” her face seemed to say. Somehow, the girls left the tub and the episode with “respect” for each other, which is just another lovely notch on the road to full-scale catfight.
Meanwhile, back at the other storyline, Shavonda moped around the mansion, complaining about Landon’s drinking. Earning her keep as a Bunim/Murray drama queen, Shavonda was sure to gab about it to everyone, even her ex-boyfriend Shaun. I might have to hit him next time, she said with a grim tone as the show cut to commercial. For anyone who seriously pondered whether or not Shavonda would hit Landon, congratulations. You’re an idiot.
The show finally headed to the finish line as Shavonda and Landon had a candid conversation about alcohol. Landon admitted that he never had a buzz ” he just went from being sober to blasted in an instant. I wonder how that happens? Maybe martini chugging contests aren’t the best idea after all. Later, the two decided to lie down together on the confessional floor where they had an incoherent discussion about whether or not they liked each other. I was nearly in tears ” not because the moment was so special, but I just really really wanted to get back to playing Grand Theft Auto. Please Bunim/Murray. No more Shavandon (or Landvonda either).