Every week, Sharon Steel watches the Real World Brooklyn so nobody else has to. Last week, Chet interviewed Pete Wentz. This week, GIRLS VS. BOYS ZOMG!
Transgender “pioneer” Katelynn hits the stripper pole in Pennsylvania
When you have cameras shoved everywhere but up your butt, and roommates who like to walk around half naked, things on the Real World: Brooklyn can get a little bit, how shall we say, full of the dramz. And since the roommates continue to refuse to cut the King’s County tension with a polite, ratings-friendly romp in the sack, there is only one other way to vent their chromosomal friction: GIRLS VS. BOYS ZOMG! This week’s Real World was a classic Battle of the Sexes. So pick your team, set aside your dog-eared gender studies text that you studied “on a collegiate level,” as dear Devyn would say, and let us guide you in a step-by-step analysis of the differences between fem-bots and cavemen. It won’t hurt a bit!
Devyn, Sarah, and Katelynn in the kitchen
For the most part, the Girlz R00l Boys Drool saga revolved around Katelynn coming out about being transgendered to the rest of the roommates. As of the beginning of the episode, only Sarah, Baya, and J.D. know, and by the end, the cat is out of the bag and Chet is finally, um, petting it. Not literally. And I didn’t make that analogy up–he did. But we’ll get to that. So, it opens with Katelynn roaming through the Red Hook Castle in her cutest pair of boy-shorts and hawtest tank-top, because she wasn’t a girl, but she is now a woman, and she damn well wants to enjoy feeling like one! Except, even Sarah, ever her defender, chastises her for doing so, and the straight boys just sort of cringe and look away. Then Katelynn proceeds to set up what appears to be a portable stripper pole (did the producers provide it, or did she buy it at that class they took the other week?) in the gym area and starts doing her thang in her thong. She’s feeling super sex-say, ya’ll, and she wants you to know it! Seriously, why hasn’t Judy Blume written a book about this? There is a very uncomfortable gap between the lessons learned in Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret?, Then Again, Maybe I Won’t, and what Katelynn needs right now.
Katelynn unpacks a stripper pole?
While Judy heeds to my call to come out of semi-retirement, J.D., Sarah, and Katelynn visit their local GLBT center, and decide to volunteer for an event called Breaking the Cycle that raises money for HIV/AIDs victims and their families. The race begins in the hometown of our Idiot King Ryan! Back there, he’s still just a regular guy’s guy, a commoner! He decides to bring the entire house on a tour of the ‘burg. Not Williamsburg, silly! Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where future Idiot Kings are born and raised and imported to Brooklyn! But first, Duplicitous J.D., which now stands for J. Dingus, Esquire, does another stupid thing. We have come to realize that he is not as charming as the clip of him making dolphins sing and dance in the first episode have led us to believe. CUZ HE IS A BOY AND JUST LIKE THE REST. Sorry. But it’s true. Anyway, he confirmed to the dudes, basically, that Katelynn got her pee-stick cut off in Thailand, and then insisted that they didn’t “hear that from him.” Lying Dingus. What do you think the cameras are for, Dingus? Insta-replay! The MTV Overlords loooooove using insta-replay on J. Dingus, Esq. They did it when he told a falsehood about calling that drag queen a more quality crooner than Devyn, and they did it again, here. They like to amuse themselves, and us, in the process, and we salute them for their labor!
With the strain about Katelynn’s status fully in place–now, everyone knows, but she doesn’t know they know, and she hasn’t told them all herself, yet, get it?–the roommates get up at an insanely early hour to drive to Gettysburg. Idiot King is such a delight, and he is going to make a fantastic father some day. I am not being sarcastic. He already is a 40-year-old Dad. Wide awake at the first ping of his alarm clock, and wandering around the Castle banging on pots and pans to make sure everyone is up and at ’em and on time, dammit, we have a bus tour of historical sites to see that we cannot be late for, you uncultured bastards! Oh, that Ryan. Katelynn throws his alarm clock out the window and stomps around in her underwear again, and everyone gets into cars and leaves. But wait. Important: the girls drive in a Barbie Corvette and the boys take a souped-up Big Wheel and everyone fucking guns it down the highway! The boys win, of course, because they have secret cyborg senses of direction, and girls always get lost, all the time, because, as Scott Zach Morris helpfully explains, “They went to get their vagina hair trimmed.” Zach is so dreamy.
Ryan and Chet eavesdropping on Katelynn in the confessional
Things devolve further once everyone has arrived in Idiot King’s homeslice town. The boys get on their double-decker tour bus for a “guy date,” and the ladies demur to wander around the quaint shops, and dress up in Victorian attire and have an old-timey picture taken. Chet, who, I might add, is sporting his extremely manly purple AA hoodie, hellfire hate Devil glasses, and a pair of matching purple galoshes that I wish came in my size, notes that “We have a much better time when it’s just the guys.” Pete Wentz isn’t here today, Chetubular. But yeah, we get it. Ryan’s very nice seeming family meet up with the Red Hookians for dinner, and seeing our Idiot King with his parental units was pretty gosh darn adorable. But whereas this scene made me feel guilty for calling Ryan anything but “that nice boy, Ryan!” it made Katelynn really bored. So she started humping inanimate objects. Okay, back up. After dinner the roommates went to the bad side of the restaurant, where the alchy was located. Then, Katelynn saw a pole, and decided to show off the skills she learned at home. “You are a pioneer,” Chet said, as Katelynn grinded an elderly gentleman in a green golf shirt with flagrant bitch tits. It was smartest thing he’s said all season.
The next morning, the kids are cranky. At the opening ceremony for Breaking the Cycle, the boys “lighten the mood”–the mood being a discussion about HIV and AIDs victims at a charity event–by poking each other in the ear with a flag that has a dead person’s name on it, and giggling. Fail. The girls respond by elbowing and whining and screeching, OMG YOU GUYS STOP YOU ARE SO RUDE FOR INTERRUPTING THIS TOUCHING MOMENT. Fail, again. Boys are emotionally stunted, and girls are crazy. Nobody wins. They’re all doing it wrong.
Boys, just finishing poking each other in the ear with a flag that has a dead person’s name on it, and giggling, Katelynn getting mad.
We are then treated to more camera-dramz brilliance by our Network Host Overlords, in the form of sharp cuts back and forth between the Barbie Corvette and the Big Wheel Truck on the way back home to the Castle. The boys are joking about Katelynn “men-strating.” How evolved. They make fun of her pole dancing routine. They shriek and swoon in what we can assume is a humorous imitation of their fairer-sexed roommates. They talk shit. And then they eat steak, gossip about hot-rods, fart all over each other, compare penis sizes, burp, and pass out in the back seat. The girls, on the other hand, repeat every detail of how the guys wronged them and then evaluate it in excruciating detail. After congratulating themselves on being 100 percent right about everything ever in the entire universe, they call each other beautiful, braid each other’s hair, cover their nails in pretty princess sparkle-paint, and settle in for a Gilmore Girls marathon.
Unforch, nobody is very relaxed after this separatist bonding. J. Dingus gets into a ginormundo fight with Sarah and Devyn. Back at the Castle, while washing some dishes in a direct commentary about gender roles at home, he bellows that Devyn is a college dropout–a collegiate-level drop-out, excuse us!–and they yell that he is a mean, dumb boy who is dumb and mean. And after more screaming, Dev and Sarah go into the confessional together, and Devyn says: “Never value the opinions of those you don’t respect.” Devyn may not have a penis, or have had her penis snipped, but she sure is cocky. And I love it! She may be the most blindly self-assured and unselfconscious Real World cast member I have ever taken the time to know. Perhaps she should be writing a self-help book about men and bitches and stuff. Even Sarah asked her to be her Self-Esteem Guru. Book deal time.
Ryan Idiot King and Katelynn have “the talk”
Finally finally finally Idiot King and Katelynn have “the talk,” and Katelynn tells the King about birds, bees, how her dick was reshaped into a vag, that she still has great orgasms, and why it’s taking her time to get used to peeing sitting down. Idiot King tries, really tries, to be respectful, but the ass-face that is the trademark of his blue-blood line just keeps coming back. At least he’s kinda nice to Katelynn. The boys ask her to play pool with them, which she does. And so, with everyone frolicking around in their sweatpants, holding large, long sticks and swatting some colorful balls around, the curtain falls once more, to tears, laughter, hope, smiles, ponies, and rainbows. Until a Billboard-sized poster of He’s Just Not That Into You falls from the heavens and crushes Baya underneath it. Just like the rest of the single girls in Brooklyn! Aww. Happy Valentine’s, Baya! I hope she and I both sufficiently recover from our scars by next Wednesday. —Sharon Steel