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The Real World Chicago

posted by Jen on 6/26/02

How rude of me. I stop writing for months without any explanation. I just up and (temporarily) abandon the whole 80's thing without any explanation. I don't even return your e-mails anymore. Next thing you know, I'll be saying "I've been REALLY busy." But truth be told, I have been really busy. Aside from getting a job, following a rigorous workout schedule, and moonlighting at the Night Shade every other Saturday of the month, I've been catching up on some much-needed reality show viewing. Tuesday has become the new Thursday for my roommate and me, in much the same way Reese has become the new Sarah Michelle.

It's become a most exciting ritual for us. We happily plop our [fully-clothed] buns on my big red couch and flick on the TV ten minutes early in anticipation of a good har har har. The night starts with a full hour of The Mole. I have pretty much narrowed down the possibilities to Bill and Bribs. Bill, because he has tried to destroy every mission, and is just old enough to be entirely unlikely. Bribs, because he is the only person that nobody thinks could be the mole and because he the only attractive guy on the show. As soon as the Mole is over, we tune into The Real World, and a great night becomes that much more stellar. Now I realize that admitting I religiously watch The Real World is like admitting that I had a little thing going with Stanley Zbornak.

It's not that I hated f**king Stan…I just F**KING HATE Stan

But let's be honest here. Everyone of us can claim at least one bad show to fit in their repertoire among the more admissible South Park and SNL reruns. Whether it be it old Step by Step reruns you just "happen to catch" on your way to soccer practice, or sneakily watching Will and Grace after going to the half-pipe with your cool skater friends, you all make time for what you love.

As far as The Real World goes, I know it's false entertainment. In fact, I know it's the furthest thing from real life imaginable. The house itself is only real to those of us who live in the most upper of upper echelons. Considering that at least 75% of the world, according to Jerry Seinfeld, is "undateable," (don't tell me if I got the percentage wrong, I hardly e-mail you back as it is), these somewhat attractive kids don't exactly represent a microcosm of twenty-somethings "randomly" picked to live together. Furthermore, weekly "episodes" are just the most exciting 22 minutes of these peoples' weeks cleverly carved and contrived into a web of subterfuge and comedy.

A web of subterfuge and comedy. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Jen, repressed poet extraordinaire.

Anyway, I'm willing to bet the rest of their weeks are spent watching Suzanne Somers and Patrick Duffy play "revitalize the dying career." But all disbelief suspended, the show entertains me. I make time for it. I cherish it like the child suckling on a lolli cherishes its lime-flavored goodness on a cool summer's day.

And so, in my own inimitable style (read: pretty much the same style we've done every time we review a show), I shall talk about each character, talk about some of their best lines, and talk about a whole lot of nothing else in between. I like to fancy myself a wordsmith.


I got a gay friend. And his name is Chris.

Famous Quote:

"If anybody asked me, I'd say I got a gay friend. And his name is Chris."

Can usually be found:

Saying he has a gay friend. Whose name is Chris.

Either it's the MTV method of obsessively repeating dramatic phrases or Theo has autism. Either way, I think we've heard Theo say, "If anybody asked me, I'd say I got a gay friend. And his name is Chris" more often than we've actually seen Chris appear on the show. Theo is the perfect stereotype of a guy who never has met a gay man, but will go above and beyond the call of duty to indicate his open-mindedness. I recognize the behavior because my mom is the worst offender. I can't tell you how many times she has baked cookies and invited over her lesbian neighbors just to show that she's "not threatened" by their lifestyle. Two months ago, she invited over the lesbian couple and ACTUALLY CHALLENGED THEM TO AN ARM WRESTLING CONTEST AGAINST US. Nothing says tolerance quite like fostering the stereotype in your own home.

Why I like him:

Because he does what everyone of us would do if we were stuck with these people: he abuses the house, invites people over for naked make-out parties, and couldn't give a shit if people in the house actually hang out with him or not. Oh, and he made Tonya cry.

I'm sorry, but WTF is this?!


crazy biznatch

Famous Quote:

(from the MTV website) "Never die wishing you didn't have that last cheeseburger," and "Man, that car don't come out until next year…Where in the f* did you get it?"

Can usually be found:

Pouting with her big lips every time Kyle or Cara snub her. Working on her spooky Halloween screenplay 'Bloody Mary' in the hopes that it will one day be picked up by a major publisher like Simon & Schuster or Whatever-Dude.

Why I like her:

She's an interesting character. Tonya dubbed her a "materialistic, selfish girl who is all about her Gucci and Prada" but she has not once said anything materialistic or selfish since she's been on the show. I also kind of empathize with her; the poor girl has been trying so hard to win over Kyle's affections in spite of his countless rebuffs. I mean, not that I've ever been rebuffed, but it sure sounds sad.


SE-CUUURE yourself to Heaven

Famous Quote:

"If you don't want to see me walking around the house naked, than you can just look the other way. Because I am a beautiful, black, Jewish lesbian and I have had such a difficult time getting people to accept me. But I never had to pay for a single one of my Gucci bags, because I have more money than God."

Can usually be found:

Walking around the house with her ass hanging out. Duh. Getting out of doing even the slightest bit of housework because people want her nude ass out of sight.

Why I'm indifferent to her:

We NEVER see this girl. She has probably been on the show for a total of ten minutes, and five of those minutes were spent singing an Indigo Girls song with Cara. I guess that's The Real World's way of saying we accept homosexuality: "Here you go, lesbian. Sing an Indigo Girls song."

Why I like her:

Because when she IS on the show, she slanders Tonya's fake breasts.


I am hot

Famous Quote:

Has maybe spoken once? No quote for him. Oh wait: "So you guys are going on a road trip together? Oops, looks like grandma's heart just gave out."

Can usually be found:

I honestly have no clue. I think he went to a cross-dressing club once, and maybe an AA meeting or two, but he pretty much escapes as often as he can.

Why I don't like him:

Because he apologized to Tonya for "taking part in some negative things that were once said about her." Taking part? The kid was guffawing about her fake jugs louder than anyone.

Why I like him: Because I'm hoping that one day he'll change his mind and start liking girls. I don't care if he likes fake jugs, I'll be happy to make that investment. Baby got sauce, aww shit!

I am still hot



Famous Quote:

"I'm not really into any of the girls on this show but I wouldn't mind hooking up with that Jen girl."

Can usually be found:

According to Tonya, "picking his nose and throwing it against the wall whenever he damn pleases."

You see, this is the kind of thing that strangely attracts me. It's like, I have some boogs….and I'd be damned if I'm gonna leave them up there.

Playing games with Keri's mind just to see if she'll keep coming back for more.
Secretly orchestrating an argument between Cara and Keri that he can only hope will turn into a heated cat fight, which he undoubtedly hopes will lead to the removal of clothing and boobs clunking against each other. See? I know exactly the way you guys think. ; )

I think I was interested, before I saw the fanny pack.

Why I like him:

Because he serves as the fulcrum behind every dramatic moment in the house without ever implicating himself, if you'll notice. He has single-handedly gotten Keri to hate Cara, Cara to hate Tonya, and Chris to become gay. All that, and he still has time to be make fun of Walla Walla Tonya.


Raging eating disorder? Bitch, I eat people like you for breakfast..

Famous Quote:

"People always tell me that I spend so much time worrying about others. I guess I just don't know how to be selfish," and more memorably, "I mean, why would he DOOOO that??" after Chris playfully pinches the dot of skin on her stomach.

Can usually be found:

Inadvertently making the entire show revolve around her, while emphasizing that she is the most selfless individual on the planet.
Leading her ex-boyfriend to believe she still really loves him, while "banging ten guys" as soon as she gets to Chicago.
Insisting that she and Kyle are "just friends" after sneaky sessions of hide the sausage.
Finding a way to get other people to talk about Tonya without having to implicate herself.

"What do you guys think Tonya will be doing when we get home? Oh stop that! The girl has kidney problems!"

"What do you guys think of Tonya's cheesy fake hair and silicon breasts? Oh stop that! The girl has kidney problems!"

OMG, does this bone protruding from my stomach make my head look big?

Why I like her:

I'm not really sure, but this girl is kind of likeable, if only for the fact that she's honest. Also, I like having witnessed the "transformation in her personality" from beginning to near-end. When the show started, she positioned herself as the sweet, carefree girl who "never really gets mad or upset about anything." Since that time, Cara has:

Yelled at Theo for making fun of Tonya's kidney disease.
Blown up at Tonya multiple times, calling her a bitch in front of everyone and THEN making fun of her kidney disease
Cried when Chris jokingly pinched the skin on her bony stomach
Yelled at Keri for not focusing long enough on working on the screenplay that would get watched by five kids in a small tent.


I passed a kidney stone today. Wah.

Famous Quote:

"I can't go away with you guys. My kidneys are bothering me again. My life is so difficult; I'm in medical debt up to my ears! I miss Walla Walla!!!" (sneaky invites boyfriend to the house for a little boom, boom)

Can usually be found:

Making long-distance phone calls 24/7 to her boyfriend, Justin, then complaining she has no money.
Bad-mouthing everyone to Justin then not understanding why she has no friends.
Not making a ghost of an effort to leave the apartment or be social then complaining about her pale ass. Passing kidney stones into a large drinking mug and making everyone look at them.
Complaining endlessly about her finances, then taking trips to Walla Walla and buying herself breast implants. Hello??

Why I can't stand her:

Because this is just disgusting:

"For those who are deeply committed to donating to my medical bills, stop harassing MTV and e-mail me at I will send you more information from there."

Honestly, shame on America if this girl rakes in more than $10.

Speaking of shame, I should probably feel a bit red in the cheeks with all this obsessive talk. But I'm actually quite confident that when the Real World Marathon begins, I'll be propped up on my big red couch with a fistful of Good & Plenty and a big fat smile, as I mouth the "I got a gay friend and his name is Chris" mantra. In the meantime, if you were concerned about my finances while I was unemployed, stop harassing Dave Macchia and e-mail me at I will send you more information from there.


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