On ''The Real World,'' incompatible housemates Jo and Wes make out in public (yuck!), and Rachel manhandles a random bar guy, prompting a symposium on sluttiness
The Real World: Austin (Season 16)

”The Real World”: Jo makes out with Wes. Gross.

I know I’m probably supposed to get very excited about all the, um, excitement of this last episode. Rachel wished death on Nehemiah! They all called each other sluts! Wes pretended to be in love! Danny cooked fajitas! But it’s getting increasingly hard to get riled up about the roommates’ conflicts when most of them — both the conflicts and the roommates — simply don’t make any sense whatsoever.

Case in point: Wes and Johanna’s big bar hookup. They kissed. Oh my God! I would probably be more disgusted if I wasn’t so perplexed. I used to have a remaining shred of optimism about Jo, before I saw the make-out session and did a ”Wait, really? Really?” double take. Maybe I was disoriented because I was still trying to piece together Wes’ conflicting feelings about Wren, the skinnier, probably non-Latina version of Johanna. First he gushed that she was the kind of girl ”I swear to God I could make changes in my life for,” which he logically followed by an aside to Jo and Lacey that ”every instinct in my body tells me that I should get rid of her.” Why? Because she’s so perfect for you?

I’m sorry. Wes is killing me. It’s not so much that he’s that gross looking or verbally offensive — I tend to think of him as relatively harmless — it’s just that in his little universe, which in no way resembles reality, he finds himself both irresistibly appealing and wise. It’s like he thinks of the most ridiculous thing to say in a given situation, plays it out once in his numb skull, and then slowly utters it in the voice of a sedated, non-technologically-advanced robot. I don’t hope he gets shot on the street, but I would like to shake him by the shoulders once in a while, like when he classified true love as not looking at a girl and thinking about how fast he can get her pants off.

Wes wasn’t the only outlandish one tonight. There was Rachel, who called Nehemiah a slut, then said she hoped he’d die. There was Nehemiah, who called Rachel a slut, then made that disgusting ”bitch, you’re not even getting through to me” smirk while the girl completely wigged out a few feet away. Wes called Rachel a slut, during a different conversation, probably because the other cool kids were doing it, and Lacey told Rachel that if she danced on a bar, five out of seven people would think she was slutty. Actually, that was kind of funny. She and Danny got high marks tonight — Lacey for outing Wes’ ”this is what you could have had” plan to Jo, and Danny for taking Rachel on a walk ‘n’ talk in (gasp) another part of Austin than the Dizzy Rooster, Chipotle, or P.F. Chang’s. (By the way, Papa’s got a brand new hat. Discuss.)

This whole antislut prejudice in the house is confusing me. Don’t Neh and Wes love sluts? They have a groupie drawer! Don’t give me that ”little sister” load of crap. I’d say it’s a bit hypocritical for these two big brothers to rag on the very beings whose pants they would like to pull down. Speaking of hypocritical, Neh at first acted outraged that Jo and Wes kissed, only to band together with Danny seconds later to chant for Wes to sleep with her ”for America.” Yeah, sleep with the Peruvian girl for the U.S. of A. That’s classy. As was the boys’ slightly homoerotic romp on the ”orgy couch.” Did anyone else notice how Danny kept standing up and flopping onto the couch again, seemingly for no reason? He’s such a playful drunk!

Obviously, the biggest point of confusion this episode was how or why Johanna would ever want to hook up with Wes. The only reason I can think of is that she’d be assured more camera time if it happened. She’s said in the past that there was absolutely no attraction between the two of them, then suddenly we innocent, unsuspecting viewers got treated to some extreme close-ups of her humping Wes against a wall. No! Make it stop! Kelly Clarkson!

Jo even called their little fling ”relaxing.” Wait. Name one thing about Wes that could be connected to the word ”relaxing.” I kind of wanted to shake Jo, too, when she reasoned with Wes that ”we live together — we might as well make out together.” No! No, you shouldn’t!

Rachel, meanwhile, is not so much confusing as just annoying as hell. I don’t mind her outbursts about the war, but I can’t stand that she consistently makes out with people she doesn’t care about and then stands around trashed, begging her roommates for moral support. Support in what? Her quest to ruin what was probably her solid long-term relationship with Eric before the show? Rachel seems to truly believe that hooking up with other people while she can will eventually make it easier to settle down with someone who already makes her happy. Too bad Matt, tonight’s make-out buddy, had his eyes open the whole time and seemed desperate to avoid touching his lips to any part of her skin.

An open plea to all of the roomies: Find someone you actually like instead of someone simply willing to make out with you on screen. We’d like you a lot better, and even get little thrill pangs for you when you score a long-awaited kiss. Well, maybe. Okay, probably not.

Oh, and please, for the love of God, go to another freakin’ bar!

What do you think? Can’t the sluts just get along? After seeing Jo and Wes together, should we all get treated for PTSD? And should Danny invest in a chef’s hat next?

The Real World: Austin
  • TV Show