Lori, the house flirt, is the early, clueless standout, Josh Wolk

By Josh Wolk
July 05, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
The Real World: MTV
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The ”Real World” cast takes Manhattan

The 10th season of ”The Real World” has begun (July 3, 10 p.m.), and it’s not just the location — New York City, site of the first season — that’s familiar, but also the entire beginning of the show, which has been the same year after year. Roommates meet, squeal with delight over meeting new best friends 4-eva, then squeal with delight over stylish new pad. In fact, both the self righteous Coral and the studiously laid back Kevin dubbed it ”phat” at entirely different times, without consulting each other! They really may be best friends 4-eva!

The first half of the hour long debut was rather rote, with the roomies hitting the nightlife (doing the obligatory Night One walk down the street arm in arm), determined to par-tay, but apparently finding the only empty bars in all of New York City. How is party boy Mike (who looks like a cross between Hawaii’s Colin and ”NewsRadio”’s Dave Foley) supposed to kick it reality style in such a lame space?

We also learned more about just how sheltered 18 year old Rachel is, considering that her mother didn’t talk to her on Christmas after discovering she had gotten a belly button ring, and then grounded her for three weeks. One wonders just what the punishment will be after Mom watches ”The Real World.” I predict a silent Easter.

It wasn’t until the second half hour that things got interesting with a one-two punch of racism and unrequited love. First came Mike’s jaw dropping statement, to the African American Malik and Coral, that his uncle never hired black people because when he tried, he found that most weren’t well educated. When Coral got angry about this, Mike asked her why she was so angry. After all, he explained, he didn’t say ALL African Americans weren’t educated, just MOST. This is a prime example of why the ”Real World” people should have been brought in to cast last summer’s ”Big Brother.” The ”BB” housemates were so nervous about offending each other that they all but just sat there staring at each other. For good reality TV, you need people who have no internal censors or societal mores.

Mike skulked around the house ashamedly for two days as grudge queen Coral stewed (it didn’t rock the world of the near comatose Malik — who is so mellow that they have to put flashing lights behind him during his confessions to prove that the videotape hasn’t frozen).

Meanwhile, Lori and Kevin continued the kind of all hands flirtation that is hell for others to live with. Lori cannot seem to enter a room without pressing her entire body to Kevin’s for some PG-13 foreplay. Kevin’s no model of restraint, but at least he recognized that perhaps fooling around with someone you’re going to live with for five months isn’t the wisest move. Considering how bad previous Real Worlders have been at looking more than one grope session into the future, Kevin’s wisdom seems downright Buddhalike.

Lori continued to prattle on to anyone who would listen things like: ”Does he like me? Why doesn’t he kiss me? Should I kiss him? Should I hug him? Should I just accidentally brush against his crotch?” There’s nothing quite like a roommate who wears drama like heavy perfume, and sprays every room with it the second she walks in. She’s so one note it almost makes you wish Mike would make another ignorant racist comment just to change the subject.

What do you think of the new ”Real World” cast?

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