Say it ain't so! A one-night stand in the house?!?! And Cameran can't stand it -- Josh Wolk says we might've understood that better if not for some flawed editing

By Josh Wolk
April 13, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Say it ain’t so! A one-nighter in the house?!?!

After tuning in for President Bush’s press conference, watching the April 13 episode of ”The Real World” turned my evening into one big repetition. First I had 60 minutes of Bush reiterating that freedom is great, and then I got 30 minutes of Cameran saying that Brad is disgusting. In other words, it was 90 minutes of people stating and restating the obvious but missing a central point. I’ll leave the pundits to dissect the President’s speech, while I concentrate on Cameran.

We began as the housemates decided to go drinking. (Gee, I guess the library was closed!) Brad met a woman, Jackie, who he had a great deal in common with: They both liked discussing what bars they’d just been to. ”Oh my God, you like puking in trash cans so you don’t have to wait for a toilet stall? I love that too!” But the eerie similarities didn’t end there: They both liked fast cars AND motorcycles! What are the odds that two people with the same wildly disparate interests would meet up? That’s like discovering someone who loves french fries AND tater tots. Propose now, Brad, this is kismet!

Jackie sensed the chemistry, and made her move. After Brad brought her home, he asked her, ”What do you want to do?” and she replied, ”You.” I’m guessing that somewhere on the ”Real World” cutting-room floor lies the subsequent hour of footage of her explaining this witty riposte to Brad, and diagramming it on a chalkboard.

Cameran was none too pleased with any of this. She unfairly proclaimed Jackie ”a little on the loose side” hours before Brad’s one-night stand actually demonstrated that she was a LOT on the loose side. And then Cameran led the entire house in mocking the drunk, rambling Jackie, which is the very definition of the word ”hypocrisy.” People who live in glass bottles shouldn’t throw shot glasses, or words to that effect.

Cameran kept saying how disappointed she was in Brad, and how he wasn’t the guy she thought he was. What kind of guy did she think he was? He’s been in the drunk tank twice, and the nights that he doesn’t end up there is only because the cops weren’t paying attention. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Brad made a pass at Frankie’s underwear drawer.

But on and on Cameran complained, over and over again. ”She’s a dumbass, Brad’s disgusting, she’s a dumbass, Brad’s disgusting?” As this repeated, I thought of the movie ”Speed,” where Keanu Reeves makes an endless loop of the bus passengers sitting quietly so Dennis Hopper, watching the security-camera feed, doesn’t realize that they’re actually escaping. I began to panic that as I was being hypnotized by Cameran’s cyclic whining, the ”Real World” producers were breaking into my apartment.

The Greek-chorus roommates commented endlessly on how Cameran was just jealous. (That is, they did so when not busy creeping up to Brad’s room and peeking at the action under the curtain. What, I thought, was with this house’s voyeuristic need to watch each other’s hook-ups? Of course, then I realized that I was voyeuristically watching these roommates voyeuristically watch each other’s hook-ups, which is two steps removed from interesting. And that is when I felt my soul leave my body and take a bus ride to Abilene, not to come back until I pick up a book.)

Cameran would not cop to being jealous, only to being disgusted. She couldn’t comprehend why anyone would have a one-night stand. Now, disliking casual sex is perfectly valid for some. Granted, she was a bit sanctimonious about it, but still. However, after about 25 minutes of ranting and complaining, she casually mentions that her father cheated on her mother so Cameran wouldn’t trust any man, regardless of how he acted.

Oh. So THAT’S the problem.

So we were subjected to nearly a full show of her whining about Brad’s promiscuity, only to find out that she has issues so deep-seated that she’d consider John Ashcroft to be a big ol’ pervert? Shouldn’t this information have been revealed a little earlier so as to clarify her behavior? It was as if there was no prologue to the movie ”Mystic River,” and at the end a voiceover said, ”Oh, one more thing? Tim Robbins’ character had been abducted and sexually abused as a little kid. Sorry, was that important?” What fun is it being voyeuristic about these people’s lives if you’re not told everything that you’re seeing?

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