”The Real World”: The kids talk it out
What seemed to be week 849 of The Real World: Denver started off with pretty much everyone in the house bitching and moaning about what a terrible person Stephen is — according to Jenn, ”He runs from conflict. He avoids it, and he doesn’t like to address issues he’s not comfortable with.” And Tyrie has a problem with the fact that Stephen doesn’t have a hard time being friends with white people.
Thank God super mentor-boss Chris came by the house just in time to save the day! First he shot hoops with Ty while trying to persuade him not to peace out of Denver just because he was distraught about being arrested (and for public urination, if you will). Chris’ advice was pretty solid — ”Right now, it’s like Mount Everest, but when you look back on it, you can level it out” — but I couldn’t help paying more attention to his girly free throws than his Outward Bound-style words of wisdom.
Then Chris had the brilliant idea of making the roommates sit around a table and state their feelings about each other out in the open, because ”Outward Bound doesn’t work if people don’t say what they really want to say, because then we’re all kind of walking on egg shells, and then the students come and we’re sort of dysfunctional.” (I’m half expecting to go into a Barnes & Noble one day and find a book titled I Play to Win: 101 Motivational Quotations by Outward Bound Instructor Chris, As Seen on ”The Real World: Denver”). The exercise forced Jenn and Colie to admit to Stephen that they think he sucks when it comes to communicating. His response: ”I find that I say things when I feel like saying stuff.” Wow, Stephen, that’s deep.
That’s it? Jenn, Colie, and Stephen were the only participants in Chris’ emotional cleansing game? There’s gotta be more footage at the table that MTV edited out, which probably went a little something like this:
Stephen to Jenn ”I have a problem communicating? Did you know ‘conversate’ isn’t even a word?”
Alex to Jenn ”It makes me feel horny when you throw yourself at me, but I really don’t like it when you lick my face in public.”
Brooke to Davis ”Come on, hook up with me. That way I can be known as the girl who turned a gay guy straight instead of as the girl who exploded over every little thing — including being accused of leaving mac and cheese in a pot, which, for the record, was not mine!”
Alex to Colie ”I miss hearing you whine over and over again about me. In fact, maybe I’ll give you some attention again next time we get drunk so I can just blow you off one last time the morning after.”
Colie to Jenn ”It’s okay that you’ve slept with Alex twice. I just like to pretend I’m upset about it and then, you know, I just get over it. In the end, though, I do have better eyebrows than you.”
Jenn to Colie ”Well, you sound like you’re drunk every time you open your mouth to speak!”
Chris to Jenn ”Jenn, Outward Bound has a strict rule against sleeping with the campers, even if their names rhyme with Darnell.”
Tyrie to everyone ”I swear I thought our front gate was the toilet.”
Chris’ lesson in communication obviously worked, because on their way to the campsite, Davis and Alex somehow drove two hours out of their way in the completely wrong direction. When they all finally met up at the camp and started hanging out with the teenage Hurricane Katrina victims, Stephen couldn’t have bolted out of there faster if he tried. He claimed he had to go to his sister’s wedding in California, which was probably true, but his attitude toward the entire wilderness experience and the campers was terrible: ”I’m not going to front like, oh, I’m so sad I’m leaving you boys. No, I’m glad I’m going home and seeing people I actually care about, and that’s going to be nice.”
All right, friends, now it’s your turn: Were you as put off by Stephen’s comment as I was? What else do you think was probably said at the table? Were you surprised at how good Ty was with the kids? Finally, was it just me or was this episode a tad better than most because the only thing that came out of Brooke’s mouth was ”Let me help you with that”?