May 8th, 2002

JOY

Terrorism...*that's* The Real World.

As you may or may not know, I am a full-on Real World addict. I can not get enough of it. If any of you are Beat the Geeks scouts out there, when you are ready to show the world to what extent someone can geek out on the Real World, I’m your babe.

True to form, I was watching the Real World Chicago last night. The cast is probably the most pathetic grouping of pre-adults they've assembled yet. From Aneesa's I-think-naked-is-beautiful-and-I'm-just-Aneesa-being-Aneesa-being-naked-so-deal, to Tonya's self-centered-co-dependent hypochondria, to Keri fumbling over her own hyper-girliness as she tries and tries to play tough chick, to both Kyle and Theo doing whatever they can to make sure the negative stereotypes of both young white and young black men are fresh on the minds of MTV youth. The only ones that are tolerable are Chris, since he seems to realize what a bunch of assholes he has to live with for 6 months, and Cara, who is really only not as annoying because we rarely see her. And when we do, she always has the same expression on, which fascinates me. Whether it's "I'm listening" or "I’m in pain" or "I understand your pain" or "I'm pretending to care about what you're saying," it's the same furrowed brow, half-frown, tell-me-more eyes. Sergi Eisenstein did an experiment in the early days of film in which he took a reaction shot of a guy looking lovingly at a baby, then put the same shot of him reacting to a dead body and it worked for both. Cara lives this experiment.

Anyway...last night's episode. The show was cut and pasted together from footage they got between September 10 and September 14, 2001. I'm confident the folks at MTV were just pissing themselves with joy that the attacks coincided with a Real World shooting. Had they missed this...man...you don’t know.

Night. September 10. We see Aneesa and Tonya bickering about the phone. Tonya spends about 17 hours a day on the phone with her boyfriend, and Aneesa wants the phone since it's her birthday tomorrow. Tonya pulls the most unacceptable roommate offense she can: she tells Aneesa's birthday-wishing friend to call back since she's waiting for her boyfriend to call. Bickering ensues. We go to bed. Morning, September 11. The kids are watching the towers collapse on a TV with an antenna. They had to bring this TV in for the day, so it tells me that the kids woke up clueless, and the camera folks woke them up to show it to them. And early. If Chicago is what, 2-3 hours behind the East Coast it was like 6am for them. I'm not trying to do a Television Without Pityesque recap of the show, I'm just setting the stage.

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