News

‘The Real World HomecomingNew Orleans’ Episode 3 Recap: “Outta Bounds Part 2”

0
Please log in or register to like posts.

In episode three of The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans, things begin to get real in a way the original Real World never could, by which I mean the participants start to speak openly about what kind of television they’re making, which raises the question of what is and is not really real, and leaves me really confused about what I’m really watching. Whether Bunim/Murray intended them to or not, the New Orleans cast is giving us a tiny glimpse at how the andouille sausage is made, and though I am left with questions, I am here for it. And moderately concerned for pretty much everyone involved.

When we left off in Episode 2, Julie was Bourbon Street drunk, a state of being nobody wants to visit (even off camera), and the rest of the brave souls who had ventured out into the New Orleans night were faced with the Sisyphean task of getting a drunk 40-something out of a bar and into a Yukon. And right away, that tiny blonde boulder rolls all the way back down the hill: Julie breaks away and sprints inside to continue behaving in ways that makes even the staff of a Bourbon Street gay bar say “calm down.” Melissa lays it out clearly in an interview segment: “Girl, I don’t wanna be on a reality show with you falling all around and shit, because we are old. What is you doing?”

A producer does what the cast, bar security and three New Orleans drag queens could not: says “your night is over,” and soon enough, what Julie is doing is vomiting. Once she is finally in the car, she is crumpled like yesterday’s newspaper and her head is out the window and you think “well, that’s unfortunate for her,” and then her head is on the concrete. Sister straight up falls out of the Yukon like she’s been deployed from a drone airplane, and she hits the curb face first. And then she gets up to run into the house, and hits a tree (also with her face). And then she flops down onto her bed and immediately barfs (out of her face). Melissa has procured a bucket, but alas, she is moments too late, “so now the bottom of my sock is covered in Julievomit.” Julie eventually gets her aim on point and hits the bucket, but then tips it over, leaving her bedroom floor covered in a puddle of throw-up that contains the long-promised several whole saltine crackers.

Now, listen: maybe someone offered her a gold old sleeve of Premiums to help settle that tum-tum, and maybe she threw them onto the floor like so many bottles of production Dasani. But also maybe that was dinner. Maybe when you’re in a houseful of people who are suspicious of you, and you’re not comfy having a group dinner in a roomful of cameras and microphones, what you do is sit in your room and have seven saltine crackers for dinner, and maybe you do not chew. I don’t know this woman’s life.

Throughout it, Tokyo is being the friend you need when you’re Bourbon Street drunk. He holds her hair back, he puts ice on the nape of her neck, he stays by her side even as the stench of Jäegermeister and stomach bile must really begin to take over. He’s a good one, our Tokyo.

This story takes a horrible turn the next morning as Julie pops out of bed full of energy. She has recovered from those partyvoms like it ain’t no thing. In fact, it is because she yammed so forcefully that she feels so good: all the alcohol is out of her system and she is free to do sun salutations in the living room like someone whose basic safety wasn’t at least seven whole other people’s jobs like six hours before. She’s not used to drinking, she says! (Actually, that’s something her behavior said, she’s just repeating it.) “I’m not Mormon anymore,“ she says. “I know this is a thing people do to have fun, and I wanted to fit in.” I mean, for me, “fitting in” describes a situation where people are not yelling at me to leave, but this is a big world and it takes all kinds. “NO HARM NO FOUL,” she concludes, caps mine because I want you to look at those words. “It was really a fun night.” I don’t want to wish Irish Catholic guilt and remorse on anyone, but a touch of it would go a long way for Julie in this moment.

For anyone else, if you’re considering rethinking your relationship with alcohol, watch the first eight minutes of this episode.

Danny got himself a little tore up at the bar too, and because he is burdened with a soul, he has a hangover. He gets into a little more of his story: after a rough breakup with Military Paul, who turned out to have been cheating on him with a close mutual friend, Danny got married to someone else, and they adopted a girl of whom they now share custody, because they too have broken up. Danny says he and Paul just went their separate ways after their split, and though Paul has reached out numerous times, Danny hasn’t spoken to him since.

Now, here is where the show begins to strain credibility: as Danny recuperates, we see little text bubbles to the effect of “Hi Paul, I’m in New Orleans, will you come down and talk?” “Hi Danny, I’ll be there tomorrow.” Of course I can’t be sure what did happen in this moment, I’m going to go ahead and say this was not it.

Julie is also not sure what did and did not happen last night, and as she finds some mystery scratches, she remembers Tokyo picking her up and trying to carry her out of the bar, so she puts two and two together and gets “the Black guy must have hurt me.” Melissa says “I cannot believe you are not leading with gratitude, when that man helped you all night long,” but she says it in an interview, because she’s that over the situation already.

Kelley promises a trip somewhere fun, which turns out to be Cafe du Monde, where the credits sequence for the original season was largely shot. Matt says he hasn’t been there in ages, because “too much dough makes you doughy,” and suddenly we all believe he has six children. While there, Julie excuses her own behavior from the night before, saying she was uncomfortable in a gay bar, because she assumed it “would be more of a sex-driven thing.” Julie’s not great at thinking, it turns out. She continues to insist that her behavior was totally fine and she didn’t need to leave the bar, and nobody agrees with her, and this does not change her point of view in the least.

Back at the house, Julie and Tokyo have a sit-down, in which she says “I worked really hard to get in tune with my body the way that I am,” which is irrelevant. Tokyo says, “You’re being belligerent, which means ‘war-like,’” and tries to remind her that a) she was in a vulnerable state, in a place where she could get hurt, and b) a white woman accusing a Black man of being rough with her is bad optics that will always affect the man more than the woman. Julie literally says “If I’m laying in the gutter, leave me there,” and part of me wishes he had, except that very bad things happen to people who are left in gutters, particularly women. The conversation goes nowhere, Julie slams her Sweetgreens onto the table and leaves, and once again, the Curse Of Becky (in which one former Real World person per cast cannot achieve self-knowledge) has claimed another victim.

Okay, but Danny is now waiting for Paul to arrive, so whatever conversation happened at whatever time, their first meeting in many years will happen on camera, which seems inadvisable. Like, it was largely this show that threw a wrench into their relationship, by making Paul more vulnerable to being revealed and by cementing them as A Thing maybe before they were ready, so it feels like the move is to not have the closure party on TV. But it’s his call.

Paul shows up. I am trying to put a name to Paul’s aesthetic, and the best I can do right now is children’s cocaine dealer, but you best believe I will be workshopping some different ones throughout this paragraph. The talk between the two of them is uncomfortable, as Danny’s dealing with betrayal and the reality-show CPTSD. Danny says the two of them probably would have gone their separate ways if not for the show, but he felt the need to both keep up appearances and fly under the radar, which is a lot of pressure. Danny doesn’t get a real apology from alt-right Doug Henning, but they seem to…well, I’m not actually sure what it is they seem to do, but they definitely do it on a show. Danny acknowledges that he’ll always be asked about this relationship, so maybe this move was an attempt to get people to cut that out already. They hug, Danny closes the door, and then off into the New Orleans night walks Scarface!: The Branson, MO Musical Dinner Theater Experience. Fare thee well.

Julie then hits the hot tub and talks on her phone, loudly enough for Kelley and Melissa to hear, about how she’s the only person in the house making good television. “I took a bullet for the whole cast and got myself sloppy drunk,” she says, in a truly stunning moment of denial. Kelley tells Melissa: “It’s not my responsibility if this is boring television,” which is a really beautiful breaking of the fourth wall, and a fact. It’s a new world now. You can give the editors good conversation and make them deal with it. You can actually make something halfway edifying these days if you want to. It doesn’t have to be The Challenge.

Jamie takes his intramural-soccer calves upstairs to tell Julie that Tokyo wants to move out of the room he shares with her. This would leave Julie physically alone, not just emotionally. She of course doesn’t understand why it’s happening, and she asks whether Jamie wants to just switch places with Tokyo, and he says “That would add a layer of complexity,” which is a lot of syllables for “No.”

Tokyo and Melissa have a quick conversation about how people of color are frequently having to educate their white housemates about some very basic racial issues, a claim that is one hundred percent supported by a supercut of Real World moments from various seasons. So Tokyo decides to call a house meeting to let everyone know where his head is at, and Julie replies with an unearned “HOBOY.” This is not an occasion for a HOBOY. The idea of Julie even walking past a single Aperol Spritz ever again? There’s your HOBOY. That’s a HOBOY and an AHJEEZ.

Jamie mentions the similar house meeting he called back in 2000, over the gang’s frustration with the musical YouTube chef formerly known as David, or as Jamie put it then, “This is a meeting about why David, you are an asshole to each and every one of us in the house,” because they apparently don’t teach tact at Cornell. Also, present-day Jamie is wearing a headband that is a poor substitute for the backward fitted New Era baseball cap that you know he could still rock the shit out of. This is beside the point, but it is important.

Anyway, Tokyo makes the very good point that Julie is creating storylines that don’t exist, and twisting his good deeds from the club night: “You present it in a way where I harmed you, and that’s a problem because we know that didn’t happen.” Julie denies it, and then Melissa very calmly goes in for the kill: “You’ve been walking around showing bruises on your back and saying ‘Tokyo forcefully handled me.’” Julie says Tokyo grabbed her and now she has bruises, and then doesn’t get much more out before Melissa says, “You also fell face-first on the concrete and walked into a tree, so those bruises could also be from that.” Just, overall, like, “mind your Ps and Qs around Melissa,” is the message. Do not come with foolishness. Read your Four Agreements and come to this house with your head right.

Melissa concludes that her Julieboundary is all the way up, and now— in a clear and concise message that I will put in all-caps, not because she raises her voice but again I want you to look at it, but this time because it’s correct: “HERE IS THE OTHER BOUNDARY THAT YOU ARE MESSING WITH NOW: THE OPTICS OF A WHITE WOMAN SAYING A BLACK MAN HURT HER IS NOT GONNA WORK WITH ME, AND I DON’T WANT TO BE ON THAT KIND OF TV SHOW.”

Julie’s in trouble. We’re in trouble. Next week, they go to the swamp and the swamp is in trouble. This is riveting and maybe irresponsible television.

Dave Holmes is an editor-at-large for Esquire.com, host of the Earwolf podcast Homophilia, and his memoir Party of One is in stores now. He also hosts the Real World podcast Truu Stowray, available wherever you get your podcasts.

Tom Cruise casually lands chopper at 'Top Gun: Maverick' premiere
Jessica Cisneros denounces Cuellar, the last representative of the anti-choice Democrats

Reactions

0
0
0
0
0
0
Already reacted for this post.

Reactions

Your email address will not be published.

GIF