The traveling MTV roommates should've been warned about Boston driving, says Josh Wolk

By Josh Wolk
October 31, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST
The Real World: MTV
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Lori sings and loves without accompaniment

After pestering the Arista employees and her roommates all season, aspiring singer Lori finally had the opportunity to be heard on the Oct. 30 ”Real World.” Lori’s a cappella group at Boston College, the creatively titled ”the Bostonians” (was the name ”the Collegers” already taken by a group at Dartmouth?), was having their year-end show, and as a senior she was to perform her farewell song. And believe it or not, Lori decided to make a big friggin’ deal about it. That’s so unlike her! And, of course, by ”unlike” I mean ”exactly like.”

Lori found many opportunities in this half hour to make big deals. First came her soul-wrenching agonizing over what song to sing. What tune could possibly sum up four years of scatting and waving your arms to the song ”Don’t Worry, Be Happy”? It’s an impossible decision. What ”Sophie’s Choice” would she be asked to tackle next? Pick a sandwich from a lunch menu? She’s only one woman!

And then, having selected Sarah McLachlan’s ”Hold On” — a song genetically engineered to make sorority sisters whimper, ”Ohmygawdthatssosad!” — Lori had to writhe over her rehearsal. She loudly practiced her singing at work with headphones on, and could not comprehend why those around her would find it irritating. ”I swear to God,” she harrumphed, ”We have nothing else to do!” I’m waiting for the episode where Lori smashes a window in the house, then turns to her roomies and says, ”What? It’s not like you were looking out of it!”

Lori decided to take all of her roomies to Boston to watch her performance, perhaps out of fear that if she left everybody behind, the cameras may stay, too. Although, methinks MTV had a hand in this invitation, considering these deadbeats not only got two rented cars but also rooms in a swanky Boston hotel. But MTV did not have a hand in the navigation, since the two cars got lost, allowing Lori to hyperventilate her way through the Boston streets, and scrape the concierge’s car when she finally arrived at the hotel. (The fact that the concierge seemed so unfazed by her collision led me to believe that MTV also had a hand in paying for his body work.)

Then came the concert. The Bostonians are not so much an a cappella group as a wild-eyed, over-enthusiastic, harmonizing mob that seem to have been brainwashed by Rockapella. Arms were waving, ”dooby-doo-doo”’s were flying, and all the guys were wearing ties? but no jacket! The Bostonians have done gone rock and roll! Get a haircut, you rebels!

Lori wasn’t only making a big deal out of her singing. No, she also found time to go back to her favorite go-to moan: not having a boyfriend. This time it was motivated by watching Kevin date a model, Beth. How hot is Beth? Well, so hot that Mike referred to her as a ”dropper.” There seems to be a whole different lingo in Mike’s world? and it all makes you feel vaguely dirty.

This budding relationship rankled Lori, who seems like she’s still got a wee crush on Kevin. She lashed out, saying that Beth isn’t even that cute, and that she and Kevin look like siblings. I don’t think it was that Lori was jealous of Kevin per se, just jealous of anyone who looks at anyone adoringly? who isn’t Lori. Perhaps when Lori goes to see, say, ”Serendipity,” she comes home bitter at John Cusack for not saying, ”Excuse me, Kate Beckinsale, there’s someone in the audience I really should be talking to.”

But Lori shouldn’t feel too bad about losing Kevin, who told Beth that he won’t maintain a long-distance relationship with her after he leaves New York. He explained his motivation to Mike: ”I’ll be at [the University of Texas] with the hottest girls in the world who all want to party with me.” Lori could never be happy living with someone who wasn’t staring lovingly at her all day long, and Kevin would be too busy staring at himself.

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