This week’s episode of the Real World was entitled “The Ins and Outs of Brooklyn.” We suppose it this was because MTV thought it would be too vexing, for promo-purposes, to call it In Which Some People Act Like Hypocritical Homophobic Twats And Some People Go Dancing And Some People Make Out With Drag Queens, Then Wash Their Mouths Out With Soap. Oh, good gravy, there was also a Mom. Crying. Join us for a recap, and breathe the fresh Red Hook air deeply; we’re pumping it through your MacBook right this very minute!
Sarah and Katelyn, bonding
We begin with some chuckles between that walking Dov Charney protégée Chet and his roommate J.D., who is unpacking some sexy fun belongings. OMG CONDOMS, goes Chester Chump, wide-eyed, because he is a virgin, and perhaps never saw them up close before? Do they not have Walgreens in Salt Lake City? Whatever, this is fine, but why is he obsessed with J.D.’s XXXXL prophylactics? “We’re roommates, not boyfriends,” J.D. reminds him. The little chirping Faux-Hawk continues to crow over the fact that yes, indeed, someone he’s living with has a mighty big man-package.
Then Ryan, who we can easily identify now because he is constantly wearing a baseball cap and a shit-eating grin, totally pulls a hilarious prank on J.D. where he makes an alarm clock go brrrrrrnnnngg! And J.D. runs all over the place trying to figure out who is ringing the doorbell! And it’s like, whoa, there he goes! Super-size mature, no? (Say mature in your head the way Heathcliff said it on The Cosby Show. “Mat-urrre.” The Huxtables lived in Brooklyn, too!)
Katelynn, the nerdy-but-interesting transgendered person, and Sarah, the compassionate alternative one with the tattoos, have a long conversation about sex and gender that makes Cave Man-Child Ryan hit his head in frustration, because who cares, unless they are nuzzling each other’s necks? He thinks these discussions are “lame.” Sarah, however, is inspired. “We should write a book!” she yips. Ryan is probably inside-smug because he already wrote a book, about himself. This is shaping up to be very Brooklyn: everyone’s an aspiring author! Who’s going to invite Colson Whitehead over for margaritas first? We are taking bets.
Ryan and Chet, guffawing over a condom-wrapped banana in the fishtank
However, the raging creative class is interested in things other than writing, duh! Baya goes to a dance audition! Whatever, there is gyrating to the beat. Then on the way home, Katelynn comes out to Baya! Suddenly, there’s a banana wrapped in a condom floating in the fish tank. Woooooo! (Say woooooo! in your head the way the laugh-track used to do it in Saved By the Bell whenever Zach and Kelly would kiss.) Some stupid shit happens where everyone freaks out because Chet probably went through J.D.’s personal possessions and stared lovingly at his latex accessories before giggling and stuffing his hand down his shorts. Fight! Fight! Fight! Let’s do it AIM style, because it may as well have been.
IndieRawkChet: D00d u need to stop being so sensitive. Stop actin gay.
JDolphins: I am gay. Maybe you should be more mature, Chet. And if you have a problem, please take it up with me instead of rifling through my stuff.
IndieRawkChet: Hahahah NOOOO pranks are funnay
IndieRawkChet: Anyway that condom was mine I got it free at a club haha
IndieRawkChet: umm how big is ur dick again?
JDolphins is offline.
Basically that is all you need to know.
Chet and Ryan decide to accompany J.D., Sarah, Katelynn and Baya to a GAY CLUB in CHELSEA. To commemorate this momentous, possibly Devil-worshipping occasion, Chet busts out the eyeliner, because he wishes for all the world he was Pete Wentz except maybe his wife would look like Tony Romo instead of Ashlee Simp. Oh, no, here’s a better explanation: “I don’t know why I choose to wear eyeliner. I find that the girls at the clubs with whom I want to interact tend to like it.” We thought his head would explode as soon as he said this and thousands of doves wearing coke-bottle glasses and tiny canvas shoulder bags would fly out of the gaping, bloody hole in his neck, but it didn’t, and now we’re crying, too, just like his Mom.
Ryan has an attack of the homophobias, which is a disease he seems to have picked up since cameras started taping his every move. Essentially he flapped his arms around and gave Chet and his other V-neck man-cleaved roommate the once over and wept: YOU ARE GOING TO A GAY CLUB THE GAYS WILL EAT YOU ALIVE BECAUSE THEY WILL LIKE YOU LIKE THAT. GAY PEOPLE. HUH? Do they not have Will & Grace in other parts of the country? But he gets his! Cave Man-Child Ryan must be kissed on the lips by a drag queen at the club, this is the answer and the question and the solution and the new MTV religion! It happens, and then he washes his face with holy water and looks disgusted and puffs out his cheeks like a befuddled, ignorant blowfish in Abercrombie fashions. But the gays, they just adore him, they are new disciples. “We love you, you are very open-minded,” they nod, even though Ry-Diety looks like he took a dump in his pants. Either way!
Chet’s entire Valley of the Blond family, minus his dad and girlfriend, come to visit, marching into the house and sizing everyone up. Guess what! They heart J.D. Like, soooo much. Except Chet’s mom gets teary and sad because Chet wore eyeliner, which means, as Ry-Diety suspected, that Evil is looming near. Evil that can be washed off at the end of the night with witch hazel! And you know what they did to witches back in the day! A scolding follows.
MomofChet: You do NOT wear eyeliner.
IndieRawkChet: i had to! we were going to the hipster joint last nite!
MomofChet is typing…
No more guyliner!
In the car (the subway is very far away and silly!!) with his family and Ryan, Chet reveals that J.D. is gay. After a moment of shocked silence, Chet’s Mom notes that this must be why he’s “so nice, like, nurturing, you know?” And she’s so awfully pleased that she asks J.D. to be a stand-in Mom for Chet if Baby Chetumbarumba gets sick, or gives himself a sty infection from too much make-up.
The next day, perfectly timed, is the big drunk altercation we’ve all been waiting for! You see, “so nice” J.D. poured some beers down his throat and tried to buy Chapstick from a foreign bodega clerk and started mouthing off about how nobody understands English, to which Chet replies “I think you’re pretty ignorant…I don’t care if you’re drunk, just monitor what you say!” We are hah-hahing so hard we can barely feel the place where we punched ourselves in the mouth over and over again to be able to sit through this entire hour. And yet, there’s always room for another heart-to-heart, right back where we started! Chet and J.D. bonding over…well, nothing, because J.D. had a horrific childhood and Chet just wants to get name-checked on Page Six almost as much as he wants to explore his bisexuality, we suppose. Plenty of time for that and an American Apparel shopping spree.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 15, 2009