Videogum

Real World: Brooklyn: Some Things Never Change

Did you also find last night’s episode of Real World: Brooklyn boring? After two weeks of fascinating and complicated character portraits, this week’s episode seemed painfully thin. There were four main storylines:

  • Baya and Ryan are flirting
  • Devyn and Scott are flirting
  • Katelynn and strangers are flirting
  • Ryan plays guitar

What’s surprising about these plotlines is how unsurprising they are. We’re on classic Real World ground here. It’s the kind of Abercrombie and Fitch-styled light teen romantic melodrama that has made the show such a summer bummer over the last few seasons. What’s been good about RW: BKLYN so far is how it hasn’t been about shit like this. Oh well. We’re about to find out what happens when people stop being interesting and start getting Real World: Austin-y.

We don’t even need to talk about Devyn and Scott. Their flirtation is such an obvious attempt on the part of the show’s producers to cook up some kind of interest between two duds that it’s not worth dignifying with a discussion. He slaps her with some raw chicken. She creates a “BFF-o-meter,” which I think measures how 12-years-old she is. Do you think they’ll hook up? Well then you’re thinking about this TOO MUCH. The only interesting thing to come of their flirtation occurs during an episode in which Scott’s friend Alex visits the house, which Devyn thinks is his attempt to make her jealous. That’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is the way in which Alex’s visit in some small way continues to further the complicated speculation on Chet’s cloudy sexuality.

“She’s a model, so obviously I’m attracted to her because that’s what I read in the book on Types of Girls That Straight Guys Are Supposed to Be Attracted To.” He really is something special.

Katelynn, meanwhile? Still transgendered! She is having trouble with her boyfriend who won’t call her or email her, so she begins to drink heavily on what appears to be a regular basis and flirt with as many guys as she can lay her hands on. Fair enough, but also boring enough. It just goes to show you: when you turn off the lights, everyone’s dating problems are categorically uninteresting. There are some issues raised on when it’s appropriate to tell someone that you’re interested in that you are transgendered, which would be interesting if they actually dealt with it, but they don’t really. So that’s cool. You wouldn’t want to waste too much time on an emotionally complicated issue like that when there’s so much by-the-book playground-ponytail-pulling going on between Ryan and Baya. We did learn another interesting fact about transgendered people this week, though: they go on dates to David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar, too!

Ryan is the real star of this week’s episode, though. He continues to be the second most interesting person in the house (after Chet). He is so open and eager! This week he wants to pursue his music career, which seems like maybe it’s not that great of an idea. There’s a big difference between playing guitar for your seven roommates in one of the compound’s bedrooms because none of the neighborhood bars will let a camera crew in, and a music career. But OK! Team Ryan! He goes to visit with some record producer who calls himself Machine, which is his first mistake, and he takes Chet with him, which is his second mistake. Apparently Ryan never heard the expression “the early bird doesn’t take Chet with him to the record producer’s studio.” When Machine (seriously, Machine, you are an adult, time to go back to Dave, or whatever your real name is) asks Ryan for a song, instead of playing one of his heartfelt, obviously-cathartic Iraq War songs, which if not successful would at least be appropriate for the occasion, he asks Chet’s advice, which is his final and most painful mistake:

Woof. You never get a second chance to play the tampon song. Is there some way to make this emoticon frown harder :(? How about this: :(. Anyway, Ryan goes home and drowns his sorrows in a dull mixed-message flirtation with Baya (who wants to be a DJ this week? A natural progression from learning you’re a terrible dancer) that includes a Perfect-style co-ed pole-dancing class, and ends with Devyn offering to make Baya a “BFF-o-meter” of her own, because childishness recognize childishness.

Next week: Sarah gets a spooky phone call that brings her to tears, but the real question is: WILL SCOTT AND DEVYN EVER DO IT?