On ''The Real World,'' with their trip at stake, the housemates race to edit their film in time for its first screening

By Andy Horonzy
Updated October 23, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

”The Real World”: The documentary is screened

Nehemiah wants to be a filmmaker. He’s made that clear from day one. Remember when he scolded Wes and Danny for drinking on the job? What a hard-ass. But, you say, what about all the time he’s spent diving into the groupie drawer? He was just trying to find nonunion extras. All those nights at the Dizzy Rooster? He was scouting locations, dawg.

So this week, when the housemates had less than 24 hours to reedit their South by Southwest documentary after Neh botched the first attempt (”You can’t have a documentary without talking,” Lacey said after viewing a blitzkrieg of blurry glorified music videos), what did he do? The same thing any would-be auteur would: He headed to a bar. But he wasn’t there to drink. Well, not just to drink. He was doing a little freestylin’. (And while we’re on the subject of freestylin’, I’m spittin’ rhymes again this week while your regular Real World correspondent, Annie Barrett, is on vacation.)

While Neh was reenacting 8 Mile at the Velvet Spade, Rachel and Mel were scrambling to piece together something watchable from what Lacey called ”15 minutes of nothing.” Oh, there is just no pleasing that girl, is there? First it’s ”These bands suck.” Then it’s ”Rachel is a whale.” Now it’s ”If our job was a haircut…” Hold up. What? Like Lacey’s hair is that great.

Anyway, you really can’t blame Nehemiah for picking the mike over the movie (even if the group’s trip to Destination Undisclosed hung in the balance). ”When I’m up there, I just transform,” he cooed. Chills, Neh, chills. At least he’s always got Wes in his corner. Wes loves Neh’s work as an editor. He loves it so much he’s going to ”stay out of that editing suite unless I’ve got a girl in there.” You’ve gotta admire that kind of consideration. Wes puts the ultra in altruistic.

Sorry, before I continue, I feel I must disclose that my right index finger is currently hovering above the go-back button on my remote. I keep returning to the joys of VH1’s I Love the 80s: 3D. Ah, those simpler times when Tiffany played in malls and Michael Ian Black wore mesh tops….

Oops, Real World‘s back. And so is Neh — and he’s finally ready to edit! He is sooo on this project now. He lives for this. It’s going down. Danny is mucho impressed; Neh’s in the shower at 6:15! Neh’s mantra (remember this, it may be important): ”I haven’t failed anything, except math…twice.” That’s really nothing to laugh at; I couldn’t do a quadratic equation either. Second-order polynomials are superhard.

While Neh is helping Rachel and Lacey put the finishing touches on this turkey, Melinda and Danny are making out in their bed, and Wes is asleep. And Johanna, she…uh…I really don’t know. Is she even on this show anymore? Is MTV blackballing her after the grand theft homeless-carnation incident? That would be a shame. Although I saw a girl in a green top at the Dizzy Rooster this ep who looked like she could fill Jo’s slot just fine.

Update: On I Love the 80s, Luis Guzman and Ron Jeremy are reading dirty jokes aloud. Damn! Do you think VH1 is going to rerun this show?

Whew, the doc is finished and ready to be screened for the Austin Film Society. It’s all going to work out and we’re off to…somewhere…right? Wrong. The computer’s frozen. Lacey says the screen looks like Atari, but it’s actually more like level 18 of Tetris right before the blocks start falling really fast. Thank goodness Paul’s lackey Super Dave is a techno geek. He fixes the glitch, Lacey and Rachel race to the screening with the tape, and the curtain goes up.

How’s the movie, you ask? Well, from the six seconds we can see that aren’t played at ramming speed, it’s not that bad. Don’t expect to see it at Sundance, though. Apparently it’s good enough for the AFS people not to say too many mean things — and for Lacey to pull her customary 180. (”I think that our piece has definitely earned us our trip.”)

Ah, yes, the trip. A travel company is sending them to Costa Rica. Uh-oh. This group, on a beach, with half-naked bodies and booze everywhere? The possibilities are endless.

What do you think? Did Nehemiah drop the ball? What will happen when the group goes to Costa Rica? And why is Johanna still MIA?

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