Put Down Your Lethem Novel and Join Us: Recapping MTV’s Real World: Brooklyn Episode 1


We already met the Real World Brooklyn cast members (twice, [cough] three times.) Here’s what happened in the first hour-long episode.

LtR: Devyn, JD, Sarah, Katelynn, Scott, Baya, Chet, Ryan

The new season of that inebriated, emotional, disease-bag-sharing The Real World-ok, fine, the reality shitshowstopper we all adore so much–has finally arrived in Brooklyn. It was here months ago, actually, but now we get to see what actually went down: who is gay, who is angry, who is horny, who had a five-way, who is very, very troubled about their past, who will pass out piss drunk on the free Ikea ferry–who the Red Hook residents will throw sharp objects at first? Episode One covers our dear cast members’ back-stories and first meetings, and we must say, we are so very proud of them for how quickly they judge and pretend to understand one another. Put down your Jonathan Lethem novel, reheat your Guerilla Coffee dregs, and join us as we recap the histrionics in their full glory!

First, we’re treated to the trademarked “this is my previous life that I am leaving OMG I am special look at me dammit” montage. Ryan, the ex-army boy, shows us a video of him smashing his guitar, because he is a rock star with a death wish, perhaps! Katelynn, who was not born a girl but is one now, shares several awkward goodbye smooches with her Montana boyfriend, who she believes is the One. Devyn shakes her boobs and says she is intelligent. Baya undulates in someone’s kitchen, showing off her Honey-like dance moves. JD makes dolphins fly! Scott takes his shirt off. Sarah utters something sentimental. She is going to get eaten alive. And I’m-not-gay-I-just-dress-that-way Chet says: “Brooklyn is usually spoken of [by Miranda Hobbes and Olivia Palermo] as a place that you don’t want to end up. I just don’t want to get shot down here.” Chilling. This becomes important later.

Everyone meets up in twos, and they arrive separately at the house (“It’s a bachelor pad!” “No, it’s a bachelorette pad!” Wrong show, guys!) hugging and whereareyoufroming and forming negative first impressions that will last a lifetime. It is all so new and exciting. They have ROCK BAND THE VIDEOGAME in the house, of course, because Viacom owns the company who made it, and we’re in Brooklyn, duh, everyone has ROCK BAND parties in Brooklyn, went to one the first week we moved here. That part is totally real. But, they only play it for like two seconds and then run away to go unpack their socks and figure out who is hot, who is not, and who was actually born with a penis and doesn’t have one anymore. Everyone winds up in the hot tub and stares at each other’s bathing suit area! The ladies ogle Scott and his bare chest because he has “muscles for days” and was in Men’s Health magazine, swoon.

The roommates flipping through the Men’s Health featuring Scott.

Suddenly, Katelynn is talking about how she’s had a five-way! She compares it to “a drunken game of chess.” During this reveal, Ryan’s mug looks like Whitney Port’s on The Hills when she had to go crazy-face over whatever stupid fucking thing Lauren couldn’t believe her ex-friend did that week. It is a priceless, wonderful moment.

Yipee skippy!

Good morning! The cast, arm in arm, walks along the boardwalk, yipee skippy. The sun is shining and nobody is unemployed because the Dow hasn’t crashed yet, oh summer of 2008, we hardly knew ye! They eat some pizza, but it isn’t Grimaldi’s, so we don’t care. They go to a shop, and stare at some T-shirts. They play stickball with the locals! Holy shit, remember that scene in It Could Happen To You where Nicolas Cage is playing stickball and Rosie Perez is like yo, get in the house, bitch? It reminded us of that.

Suddenly, we’re at a rock show. At an undisclosed location. Is it a loft? The Music Hall? Your basement? We do not know anything anymore, because we are utterly blinded by the sight of Chet in a pair of non-prescription, oversized coke bottle glasses, lightly drizzled with his perspiration. The sight of it is more beautiful than anything we’ve ever seen. A voiceover from Chet: “I’m most impressed, at this point, how much pride there is in Brooklyn. Every time they mention the name ‘Brooklyn,’ everybody is just screaming. It’s really nice to be involved in that right now.” We will now refer you back to what he said when he first arrived, and feared a dastardly shoot-up near his gated Red Hook castle, a mere 24 hours ago.

Then, Ryan gets drunk! JD Mommies him and yay it’s the next morning again. Ryan and Sarah have a heart-to-heart about his time in the military. Turns out he’s drafted a memoir, a novel, a something that’s professionally bound and typed, about his experiences. “That’s going to be a bestseller,” Sarah says, pointing. (Bet you it sells better than Laura Bush’s memoir!) Soon, Ryan grabs his guitar and Chet, and they sit outside in a beached boat that MTV aesthetically made look weathered and old. They write a song! Several, in fact. Here are some lyrics:

    Scott ate roast beef/and he didn’t cut off the fat/Then he went to the gym/and then he worked on his abs/I really think he’s starving/And I think he’s cute, wait, what?

We were moved. Then we stopped paying attention, but at some point there was a behindyourback convo about the fact that Katelynn is a transgendered person, and JD asks her out to dinner (he’s gay, which seems relevant to remind you) so they can discuss it in private. She says yes, they go, and there is hugging and tears and hand-holding, acceptance and love. There is also a sunset, followed by roommates sneaking coy looks at one another. Oh, life in King’s County! We cannot wait for the rest. —Sharon Steel

JD and Katelynn, bonding!

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 8, 2009

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