On ''The Real World: Austin,'' Johanna plays both hard and easy to get, Danny gets his cranium rejiggered, and Lacey pretends to care
The Real World: Austin (Season 16)

”The Real World”: Head surgery and heartaches

Hey, did anyone watch The ’70s House? I had to turn it off after five minutes to write this, but I was more entertained by those few moments than by the whole season of The Real World: Austin so far. Oh, except for that one time all the RW roommates were drunk. Did you guys see that? They were all drinking and acting dumb. It was hilarious!

Well, the good news is that the producers realized that Mel really shouldn’t be on the screen all the time. Some bright person must have figured out that she looks pleasant enough, but when she talks, people consider suicide. Thanks, bright person. Care to take it a step further? Ever consider staging an accident that will require her to move out? (Maybe that homeless guy shown right after the commercial break could replace her.) Given The Real World‘s body-shot fetish, you could set up a bar-top mishap involving tequila, lime, salt, and, oh, I don’t know, fire?

Yes, it was a huge relief this time around to have Wes and Johanna saying the idiotic things only children would say. My personal favorite was Jo’s reaction to the series’ latest reality-show fame seeker, Leo, a bartender and manager: ”It’s not like love at first sight but it’s like, whoa, attraction at first sight!” Jo seems like, whoa, really smart sometimes. And so descriptive! Jo fell for Leo shortly after Wes’ heartfelt proclamation of like to her (”I’m drunk right now, so I can be truthful, right? I like you”) and her heartwarming response: ”Stop being retarded.” Awww. Johanna’s wily game playing and crimped hair make it hard for us to like her, but I did appreciate her ability to massacre an entire bag of popcorn while trying to hold a conversation. And I liked how that nutty (and 19-year-old) Wes couldn’t seem to distinguish door from wall. I think they were all drunk or something!

While Danny and his dad (and Mel, but let’s just throw her into parentheses, okay?) spent most of the episode at the hospital so Danny could have his numbskull professionally rearranged, the rest of the crew hung out to — you will never guess — drink!

It was all a bit confusing, because the footage of the first club shown was blatantly recycled from one of their first nights in town, as evidenced by that memorable hat of Johanna’s. Basically, power couple Danny and Melinda were edited out of that scene this time, leaving only a really embarrassing and hurtful event wherein Rachel got made fun of by two area hoochies much less attractive than her for not being attractive enough for Wes. I’m sorry, but what? I find Rachel more than cute enough, with nice legs. I already like her and Lacey, the ”average”-looking ones, much more than the less interesting and much more vapid beauty queens Mel and Jo. I don’t like how Rachel is being presented as the ugly girl who has to throw herself at people and make out with them right away just to get attention. When Melinda does it, it’s okay, but when Rachel does it, Wes and Jo say she’s too aggressive. Ugh.

And once again, the two characters with the most potential to be interesting — Lacey and Nehemiah — were pretty much nonexistent tonight. Lacey got on screen twice: once while pretending to care about Danny and once while being ”the mother” to her intoxicated roommates but probably just pretending to care about them. And Neh had his big moment when Danny accidentally used his toothbrush. Ew, Neh, Boston-accent germs. Watch out!

What do you think? Does Wes really like Jo or is he just stirring up drama because he’s bored? Was anyone else’s favorite character this episode that bright pink, googly-eyed fish? And which of the following lines was the most ridiculous or annoying?

A. Jo, to the camera: ”I don’t like it when people say that they like me.”

B. Danny, about his dad: ”I always want to make him proud and this [completely avoidable broken face] couldn’t possibly make him proud.”

C. Wes, about Jo: ”I think she could teach me a lot, both on an emotional level and maybe a physical one as well.”

D. Mel, about Danny: ”If he wouldn’t have gotten hit, I might never have gotten this opportunity to get to know Danny on a deep level.”

Okay, so maybe it’s not really a contest. But the ratings between this show and its ingenious follow-up just might be. Will Austin or The ’70s House get a bigger audience? Which show is better?

The Real World: Austin
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