Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Getting Challenged: A Conversation

Look, I'm not going to bother to sell anyone on this: the new season of The Real World Road Rules Challenge began last Wednesday, and as the last three people in America to watch the thing, Sarah Bunting, Sarah Blackwood, and I decided to chat about it for your (our) amusement:

Joe: I knew I was going to have to blog about this show when, in the span of five minutes, Katie told us that she was in school to be a criminal profiler, Melinda told us she's divorcing Danny, and Abram said he "published my first kids book." Parsing of the language of that last statement aside ... are these positive personal developments I'm witnessing? Are we finally seeing that, while it may take until they reach 40, these kids ultimately do take steps to better themselves? And how long until I find out that Coral is an EMT and Veronica is a teacher's aide?

More importantly, isn't this going to make it even more depressing to see these cats jello-wrestling and fist-fighting with CT (CT! Is in the "coming up this season" montage somehow! Is he now a Challenge unto himself?)

Bunting: Didn't Katie say she was retiring? I'm fine with that not being true; I'm just saying. I'm also saying this, repeatedly and in response to all comments no matter how irrelevant: I FUCKING HATE FUCKING SHAUVON. Also, I believe Abram and I have the same hairstyle. Feel free to continue the discussion between you while I kill myself.

Joe: I think, yes, the last time we saw Katie, she said she was retiring to "start a family." If coming back to the show means she's put those plans on hold for while (hopefully ever), I say this is a positive step. Speaking of Katie, I was kind of embarrassed for her that she ended up part of that hydra of screeching terror that was the blue team's girls (led by Officially The Worst -- Sorry, Shauvon-- Theresa). At least my girl D.C. Emily is keeping her head above the fray. And I know Tori and Melinda can be awful, but I was somewhat encouraged by seeing them give that poor Brazilian mess of a girl some comfort in the face in her mean-girling. (That said: we're pulling contestants from random Spring Break diversions now? Do standards mean NOTHING to the producers anymore?)

Oh, and as for Abram, Bunting-cut or not, I have to say: still looking fine. I'm pretty shocked how much I like him given that he spent his Road Rules season being racist and homophobic and his first Challenge season in a threesome with Rachel and Veronica.

Bunting: ...Oh, JOE. With the topknot? You stop it right now.

And yes, Theresa is bad. As my grandmother once said about one of her friend's grandchildren, "That girl isn't pretty enough to have that nasty a disposition."But I'll stop now until Sarah can weigh in.

Joe: You cannot be more disappointed in my Abram crush than I am in Luke for crushing on Camilla. Honestly, it's not just self-interest talking when I say he would do SO MUCH BETTER as a gay guy. Can the network send notes and have Jon Murray change his character's direction?

Blackwood: I, too, have things to say about Abram's hair (hee) and Katie's new professional direction, but first, I have to address something.

So, um, you guys....this week's Challenge involved both a "Gulag" and a gas chamber?


Can I somehow make these capital letters appear even bigger? A FREAKING GAS CHAMBER?!

The historical sensitivity MTV shows never fails to astound. What better way to bear witness to the last century's greatest carnage than to send....Big Easy into a gas chamber. Melinda into a gas chamber! JOHNNY BANANAS IN A GAS CHAMBER!!!

Now that that's out of the way, I can safely say that my favorite part of the episode was that quick little shot in the beginning of Tyler doing some serious Rockette kicks.


Joe: Sorry, I was too busy staring hypnotized at Danimal's prodigious snot rocket to recognize the cruel ironies of said GAS CHAMBER. Though this does take the show one crucial step closer to setting the next season of the Challenge inside that warehouse from Hostel.

Bunting: I completely forgot to address the "Challenge: Greatest Hits of Totalitarian Cruelty" motif. Why not just put it at Dachau and have a Swiss bank product-place the superfluous prizing?

Somewhere, Solzhenitsyn is like, "You know what, forget it."

And oh my God: "Challenge: Saw." A giant bear trap clanging shut around Shauvon's skull? Although I don't know how much damage that would even do, neurologically.

It's a testament to...something that we haven't even mentioned Ayiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiia yet. Asthma says what?

Joe: Well now that we are speaking of Aiiiieeeee-ah, can we talk about "The Grey Team." Kind of apropos that their team name sounds like a euphemism for clinical depression, because dig the walking personality disorders on display: JD? Sarah? Shauvon? Laurel? Cara Maria? Ayiiieeeeeeea? DANIMAL? (Though at least Danimal is nominally sober. I was really sad his lasting impression from his last Challenge was his limp-dick encounter with Robin.)

Honestly, though: this team WON. Probably because the gas acted as a neurotoxic corrective?

Bunting: There's a "Laurel"? ...Wait, you mean Less Expressive Kristen Stewart?

Blackwood:Laurel seems to be acting all turtle-without-its-shell weird without Kenny around to buffer her.

I do hate Shauvouioun (sp WTF) but I may have to steal her repeated drunken line: "I'll kill you in your face!"

Ed and I thought that one girl's name was "Cara Mia" for a while, which would translate roughly as 'my face' and yet somehow found it totally plausible that that would be something one of these dolts would be named.

Finally let me take a moment to just say "Braaaaaaad"

Joe: OK, to wrap this up, two questions for y'all:

1) How sad was Jenn and Paula's Conversation of Failure? They have one of these every season (including Robin and Derrick's memorable "D, I just wanna win!"), and it always underlines the sad desperation of it all. Are Jenn and Paula even entertaining enough that we want them coming back every year?

2) Is it just me who was sad to see both Derek and Brandon in the first Gulag? Derek is adorbs (though I'm kind of glad he got out of the hornet's nest before the inevitable hot tub hookup with Tyler or JD -- sad crop of gays this year, MTV!), and I found Brandon really likeable in his cup of coffee with Fresh Meat II.

Blackwood: Oh, dear. Paula. Paula has pretty much gone through every iteration of female MTV personhood: anorexic, slutty, abused, tough-talking....and is now coming out the other side as....kind of middle-aged? Like self-aware and sort of tired but somewhat optimistic and just looking to go to bed at a reasonable hour? You know, like a normal person? But who wants to watch that? And Jenn. Oh, Jenn, Jenn, Jenn. I have this lizard-brain reflexive love for Jenn but when I try to capture that feeling, look at it directly and inquire into why I have it, and of what it consists, I can't see it clearly. Why do I like Jenn again? I can't remember anything she has done. I'm sure it was crazy and endearing-in-a-batshit-way, but it's like magnets, how do they work? I don't know, man.

As for Brandon and Derek: I have literally no idea who Brandon is, but I do remember that I very much loved Derek after watching the Cancun season's Shit They Should Have Shown. He was kind of edited out of the season itself, but came across in the extra footage as hilarious and cute and fun. So I was sad to see him go.

Is it seriously already almost time for another episode?! I don't think a week is enough recovery time in between.

Bunting: There's a "Brandon"?


mspaul said...

Please, please do this every week. It's good to know that I'm not alone in being unable to stop watching this show.

Dan Mac said...

Every year this happens and I'm like "Still? Really?" and then I get creeped out realizing that some of these people are my age now. I mean, they always were my age, but it was different when we were all 23.

This needs to happen every week. I know you all have other ways to use your time, but if you're spending the time to watch, please, please take the time to discuss and share with us. Your coverage of the Challenges is a consistent highlight. This is full of so many gems, I'm not exaggerating when I say it's better than actually watching the show. Because I don't actually watch the show (anymore).

Danny & Melinda! If a couple Abercrombie and Fitch catalog models can't turn instant attraction into long lasting love through exhibitionism and consumption of lethal volumes of tequila, what chance do the rest of us have? I'm not sure I want to live in a world where such a love can't prevail.

DuchessKitty said...

I can't even express how good reading this made me feel. I'm not alone in my scary addiction to this crap show!

Y'all, am I the only one who thought Johnny Bananas' hair looked weird? Like it was flat-ironed or some kind of Hair Club action?

The idea of Abram writing a children's book is terrifying. Yet I desperately want to read it. And I heard that he and Cara Maria are still an item, which gag.

Jenn said...

Am I a horrible person for laughing when Melinda said she and Danny are getting divorced? Because I'm kind of not ashamed that I did.

I can't believe no one mentioned that Tina's coming back with CT!

Anonymous said...

I cannot stop watching this show and I hate everyone on this season! They need to have a poll on MTV.com where we can vote for old school players - CT, Coral, Timmy, Robin ... and Cohutta, because he is pretty. Keep the blogs going, I'll read every week!