”The Real World: Denver”: Fighting words
We’ve now learned that there are 10 people living in the Real World: Denver house: the seven roommates themselves, Alex’s alter ego, Mr. Emo, and Tyrie’s two alter egos, Dark Kent and Leroy Jenkins. (The latter, he explains, is ”kind of like the Incredible Hulk to my Bruce Banner, so we don’t want to go there.”) What’s next? Jenn creating a secret identity to excuse her loose behavior with Alex? Perhaps she’ll call herself Princess Drinks-a-Lot.
Here’s how the casting sessions for this season apparently went:
MTV producer: So, about how many personalities would you say you have in any given day?
Prospective cast member: Oh, um, I’d say about two. No, maybe three.
MTV producer: Great. That’s perfect. So when would you say these personalities come out and play?
Prospective cast member: When I drink, mostly, and when I’m horny.
MTV producer: Uh-huh, and have you given any thought to naming these so-called alter egos of yours? You know, it makes it easier for us to market them.
Prospective cast member: Oh, of course! I’m really into comic books, so that’s where I get most of my inspiration.
MTV producer: Congrats, you’re on the show.
Davis’ famous last words before going out and partying were ”I just told my boyfriend I wasn’t going to drink a lot tonight, so I’m not.” Well, Davis, you lied to your boyfriend — and I think you set a Real World record by threatening to leave the show after only three episodes. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the events leading up to Davis’ breakdown.
As near as we can tell, he got drunk at a bar and left the others there early, without telling Stephen. Stephen apparently tried to find him, and the bartender addressed Stephen using a racial slur — the Michael Richards one, to be specific. For some reason this made Stephen madder at Davis. ”That’s my roommate,” he said later. ”He left. Nobody else knew he was gone.”
Tyrie took the situation — if we can even call it that — into his own hands and confronted the uncomprehending Davis, whose drunken smirks provoked Tyrie into full-on Leroy Jenkins mode. (”I’m gonna break your punk-a– neck!”) Davis then stirred the pot even more by yelling over and over again at Ty, ”Hit me!” Real World producer Jim was forced to step in to break up the raging boys, and Davis went super-dramatic saying, ”I don’t want to live with somebody who’s going to kill me when I’m sleeping.” To make matters worse, Davis used the Michael Richards word himself, screaming, ”I’m going home tomorrow because some n—– wants to kill me.”
After spending a night sobering up at a hotel, Davis came back to the house to make amends with the roommates, still insisting that he was returning to Georgia. Stephen showed real maturity and forgave Davis, but I don’t blame Ty for being hesitant after what happened. But by the end of the episode, everything got wrapped up neatly with a little bow on top. Davis decided to stay and work on his drinking problem, and Ty said he’d have Davis’ back from now on.
What do you think? Did this episode have any redeeming social value? Will Davis ever act out like that again? Will Ty put up with it if he does? And who was that blond girl who was in the house during all the screaming?
I realized after I wrote this TV Watch that I barely included any opinion in it. Many of you have pointed that out, and I apologize for the oversight.
The main thing I was thinking after the episode ended was What the heck happened? Stephen got mad at Davis for leaving, yet it was Tyrie who decided to talk to — no, wait, scream at — Davis for peacing out at the bar without telling Stephen. Had Ty maybe talked to Davis like an adult (calmly and rationally), I doubt the argument would’ve turned into a full-blown war between the two. Instead, Ty made an incredibly poor decision and attacked Davis over something that wasn’t even that big of a deal in the first place. But even if the fight was Ty’s fault, that still didn’t give Davis the right to use a racial slur against him.
What is saddest is that this race war has been raging on and off since the first season of The Real World aired in 1992. (Remember Julie and Kevin?) I’d like to see the members of the Denver house make some progress and have an actual intelligent conversation about race or culture (or any subject for that matter) instead of just getting drunk and calling each other names.