Sharon Steel watches the Real World Brooklyn so nobody else has to. Last week, Chet auditioned for an MTV VJ Slot. This week, a Red Hook castle prankathon!
The Chet Show last week was a real meat-and-potatoes kind of episode, so I wasn’t surprised when the tenth Real World: Brooklyn, otherwise known as “Pole Dancing and Pedro,” turned out to be a blandly edited hour about how Katelynn and Scott Zach Morris are baby-children masquerading as adults who fight like lovahs but are actually BFFs for life. Also, Devyn came out of the phone room–it’s like her Life Guru hovel where she goes to meditate on Life Guru things–and screamed at both of them. That was pleasant. Onward!
What you need to know right now is that Katelynn is broke because she spent all of her monies on snipping her pee stick off. Guess what, it’s a kind of expensive to live in New York without a little bit of a cushion! Who would have thought! And while she likes volunteering at the GLBT Center, they don’t pay her in anything but love and attention. So she decides to get a job doing something that will pay her in more attention, plus free booze and chump change. Pole dancing! Or, rather, cage dancing! At some club called Revel where a sketchy D.J. is willing to give her $100 to shake ass for four hours straight. Once again, Katelynn provides us all with the opportunity to sit back and reflect and ask that all-important question: WTF WOULD JUDY BLUME DO?! She would maybe have Deenie or Stephanie or Jill or Sally J. Friedman go dancing and then learn an important lesson the hard way about dirty men and unreliable part-time jobs and sexuality and what it all means, in the grander scheme of things. Of course there would be no answers. There never are. And Katelynn sort of follows that route. Her first “performance” is on the eve of Scott’s 24th birthday, and she has a peachy time exploring her femininity and bragging to the roomies about it later. Unfortunately, she neglects to ask for her payment up front. This becomes an issue later. But we’ll get to that.
In the meantime, Scott meets up with a bearish photographer man who dresses him up in campy shit like a long fur coat and David Bowie lipgloss and a pinstripe suit and has him scream and look really angry. (It was supposed to be “high fashion.”) The whole scene is sort of like a mini version of America’s Next Top Model, except Tyra isn’t there to berate Scott for not smiling with his eyes. Instead the photog is like, you’re MAN PRETTY and Scott guffaws and carefully, with palpable adoration of himself, puts the pictures in his portfolio.
Eventually Scott gets all bubbly and excited about his impending birthday, which 50 of his friends deign to attend. We don’t see much of them, or much of the night, just a yucky-looking cake and a bar and the roommates not appearing to be remotely trashed. At all. But Scott Zach Morris, though he is surrounded by his nearest and dearest, is sad that his Katelynn Kelly Kapowski is not there to share in the magical moment! In fact, he is downright furious. So he storms into Mr. Belding’s office and slams the door shut and screams: “I LOVE KELLY! WHY IS SHE OFF WITH SLATER? WHY DOES OUR SCHOOL ONLY HAVE TWO CLASSROOMS?!” and lots of other things. And Mr. Belding pats him on the head and violins swell and Scott Zach Morris cries and moves on and starts dating that Tori chick who was only there for like five seconds.
If only it were that simple! Katelynn Kelly and Scott Zach are now at odds, and Scott is all feelingy-hurty about his party! So the next day, he projects his misplaced fury by yelling at Katelynn for not cleaning up her kitchen mess. She growls and stomps her foot and leaves, and while she’s away Scott and Ryan move a bunch of couches and chairs into Katelynn and Devyn’s room. That’s where things get more interesting, or more stupid. Girls and boys, it’s a Prank-a-Thon! Let’s score it!
1. Scott asks Katelynn to clean up card table. She refuses out of principle, because he’s Not Her Boss, Daddy, Fuck-Buddy, Husband, or Priest. +1 K.
2. Scott retaliates by dragging furniture into Katelynn’s room. Katelynn and Devyn pretend they wanted that stuff there all along, but Ryan says they’re just faking. Katelynn makes a pretty good show of sprawling on the couch and acting like she does enjoy it. We’re satisfied with that. +2 K.
3. Katelynn tips over all the chairs in the living room and kitchen area while Scott is in the gym grunting and ab-crunching. “I’m going to show HIM how childish HE is!” +5 default to S, because Katelynn should have moved on from furniture by now, and Scott never sits down–he’s always wiping down counters or something.
4. Scott takes all the dishes and locks them in a cupboard. “Sometimes you have to treat children like children.” Ryan approves, noting this is a very military-like policy. America!! +3 S, because Katelynn couldn’t figure out how to pick the lock.
5. Katelynn puts all the pool balls in a tote bag and hides them in her closet. “I don’t care how my actions are perceived!” +2 K, because lines like that are the only things that get me through this show.
And then! There is a verbal altercation! Kelly says Zach is totally arrogant! And Zach says Kelly is so lazy! And then Zach starts weeping about how Kelly didn’t come to his birthday party, and Kelly flicks her long, brown hair over her shoulder and rolls her eyes and thinks dirty, impure, un-cheerleader-like thoughts about Zach, and Zach is frightened by the strength of his own emotions. Conveniently, Devyn and her boobs storm in from the phone room and she begins shouting incoherently about how Zach a just a bully–she’s off her game tonight–then runs back in to whisper to her secret beloved, who a little birdie told me was actually MR. BELDING HIMSELF. Yeah, that guy. It’s a painful moment.
Oh. The Think MTV department decided to rent the rest of the episode for infomercial purposes, using it to promote a movie called Pedro, which will premiere on the network April 1. Pedro was a former RW cast-member and the first HIV-positive gay man to appear on television; and the film tells the story of his life and the good things he went on to do in terms of HIV/AIDS advocacy. So MTV asks the roommates to find a place to hold an advanced screening session, and coerce people to come watch it and eat free Subway. Naturally Chetubular the Morminator attempts to turn the focus back on him because they need two people to “host” the event and he thinks he should be one of them. He is shot down when the roommates remind themselves that he has never seen a vagina and therefore is not the best person to discuss protected sex. Which, admittedly, is technically ass-backwards, but I would have been annoyed with Chet’s pomposity so I’m glad they passed him over. Then J. Dingus has a tantrum because he wants to screen the film at the GLBT center, which everyone else seems to think will limit the turn-out. The kids decide on the New York Film Academy. Not that many people show up, and J. Dingus takes this all very personally. Whatever. It’s not about them. It’s about the movie and what it means. They make speeches and people are moved and they eat sandwiches and they go home, and it’s nice.
In the end, Scott Zach misses his pool balls, and Katelynn Kelly misses her unwashed bowls, so they agree to make a barter exchange. But that’s not good enough! Because the shaderific D.J. that was supposed to pay Katelynn for her shaking it like a Polaroid picture didn’t, meaning she’s still broke yo. We hear snippets of a phone call between her and her boyfriend during which she deliberates leaving the Castle. Gasp! No! Luckily her knight in shining armor is there. Scott Zach Morris swoops in with his gigantic cellular telephone and All-American good looks and big Men’s Health savings account, and offers Katelynn Kelly $1,500 so that she can stay in New York. Because he cares. And because Mr. Belding gave it to him as bribe money so that nobody would tell Mrs. B. about that tryst he had with Devyn in Miss Bliss’s classroom. OMG. (I just did.) They are so lucky to have peaked in high school.–Sharon Steel