Thursday, September 15, 2005

Melancholy and Mardi Gras

Apologies to anybody who went into Sunday night's Logo marathon with my list. Wait, why should I apologize? First of all, the odds of anybody reading this blog, having Logo, AND caring about the marathon are slim to none. Secondly, I culled the list from Yahoo's TV site. As near as I can figure, somebody wanted more New Orleans episodes in the aftermath of Katrina, so stuff was shuffled around willy-nilly. I only saw two scheduled episodes from that season, and three more aired; the season opener parts one (Danny revealing his sexuality) and two (Danny getting a visit from Paul), and the Valentine's Day episode (Paul dropping by that night with food from their favorite restaurant). I saw bits and pieces from most of the the beginning, they kept shifting from New Orleans to Philadelphia to Chicago. Then I saw the slated episodes from New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas (the one where Alton deals with his homophobia). I'm guessing that if you're a fan of Beth Anthony, Dan Renzi, and/or Genesis Moss, you got screwed.

Speaking of screwed...okay, so I see the credits for Chicago, and I recognize the episode where Aneesa just got off screaming at Feninem. I get excited...Aneesa doesn't do much for me, but this is the one where Cara hooks up with Kyle's friend, Djordje (pronounced "Geroge." Don't ask). And the kicker is that Cara has been so "open," the editors bring out David Broom, one of the most "open" cast members in the show's history, to sing "Come On Be My Baby Tonight." It's basically ripping off "Luck Be a Lady Tonight," preceded by scatting, and it is funny. It's "Trapped In the Closet" funny.

Anyway...there's Cara. There's Djordje. They're getting on each other in the hot tub. And I'm waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And an alarm goes off in my mind. And now I see Keri making humping motions from a distance. The song didn't play. From what I've gathered, there are licenses involved or something. When episodes of The Real World and Road Rules got syndicated, some songs were boiled off. Oddly enough, I could pick off songs from the really early episodes, so stuff must have been renewed. I understand why it has to be like that, but it does take me out of the game for a bit.

I saw most of the San Francisco episodes, trying my best to skip anything related to Puck. Luckily, three of the four installments were post-Puck. One came right after he was kicked out, with Mohammed burning incense to cleanse the house. I would've fumigated the place, but that's just me. There are a lot of differences between that season and Austin. For one thing, the roommates had lives back then. There wasn't a lot of getting drunk. They had jobs and gigs of their own, as opposed to the spoon-fed occupations the producers foist upon them. Oh, and Judd's hair really receded in the past decade.

Of course, seeing Pedro again is somewhat painful. Would any other popular documentary-based program have somebody who was HIV-positive these days? Some say that he was too boring, or that he was too preachy about his condition. Here's my thing: this is a guy who came over from Cuba on a boat. He had a good life, but he made a mistake, and it cost him his health. So what does he do? He lectures to others, trying his damnest to make sure nobody goes down the path he went down. And he ended up dying the day after the season finished airing. It's just not fair that he's dead and...well, if you ever watched the season, you know how that sentence ends.

But for something really bittersweet, there's the Mardi Gras episode, from a mere five years ago. A few days ago, a friend of made left a comment on this blog. She's gone down to New Orleans for the clean-up...and apparently, it's really bad down there. I'm a wuss...all I can do is send money to charity, and cling to memories of what I consider to be the last great season in Real World history (a case can be made for San Diego, but that's it). And there was no better episode than the one dealing with Mardi Gras. Why was it good? Let's count the ways.

1. Parade rolling outside the Belfort mansion, where the kids were staying. Come on, how cool is it to have marching bands and little princesses on floats? Nowadays, cast members get stools and injured eyes.

2. The visit to Anne Rice's house. It was a little she'd do that out of the kindess of her heart as opposed to for the publicity. Bonus: Matt bitching about how the male servants were hitting on him.

3. David taking a girl he barely knows and gets busy. While "Big Pimpin'" serves as background music, we see Matt trapped in the next bed, and the roommates are forced to play muscial beds. And that leads to...

4. Melissa's confessional interview. With Julie beside her, she goes on about the situation, and how Julie woke her up to crawl in her bed. "I'm thinking I'm seeing Jesus and my days are through," she spits out. "It's just long-haired Julie." Then we see Danny walking around naked, trying to find a bed of his own after Jamie plopped down on his. And guess where Danny ends up? Melissa: "So, let me tell you what the sex life is like. Melissa is in bed with a Mormon on the left, a naked gay guy on the right. What am I supposed to do with that?" Then Julie wails about how she signed up for the "Belfort Brothel," and Melissa screams, "Whhhhhhy? Whhhhhhhy?" Good times...and believe it or not, there was a time where I didn't hate Julie at all.

5. Back to "Say My Name" plays and he escorts his latest conquest out. He interviews and goes "woo woo"...then he admits that he "never got to names," then smiles. The look on his face basically translates to, "When my mother sees this, she will freakin' kill me."

6. Speaking of Bishop Woo Woo...the kids got a chance to ride on a float. David figured that he'd rather be a spectator, and invite some friends over for a barbeque. Julie interviews that he said he wasn't trying to exclude himself. She then does a nice impression of the guy: "Woo, woo, that's not my scene, woo, woo." Cut to David on the phone with a friend: "I'm gonna bounce now, and get all this stuff, woo, woo."

7. The kids ride the float in the parade, and that was fun. Always cool to see a sheltered Mormon girl yell to see breasts in exchange for beads. Meanwhile, Danny is getting drunk. Now...I should hate Danny. Not because he's gay, but because he was just too perfect. He had looks, he had brains, he had Paul (whom he called "kid," which I figured was a New England thing). But his Kryptonite is booze. Later, we found out he had a fear of heights. I still can't believe he and Kelley ended up winning on Battle of the Seasons one year later.

8. Anyway, there's a party at the Belfort. Danny's tipsy, and he meets a friend of a friend named Forrest. They head into the hear a belt buckle...and a slurp. He stalks out, laughing about how royally he fucked up, and there's Forrest wiping his mouth. Suddenly, the relationship between Danny and Paul looked to be in jeopardy.

9. Mardi Gras Day itself. We got vignettes from just about everybody. There's Julie with a wig, trying to have as much fun as she can. There's Jamie electric sliding with a crowding. There's Kelley, partying with her guy, the unfortunately named Dr. Peter. There's Melissa, her dream of being in a "man sandwich" comes to horrific fruitation as she's bounced between two heavyset guys. There's Matt, sitting outside the Belfort in his parade get-up, proclaiming himself to be "The King of Mardi Gras." And there's Danny, wondering if it was over between him and Paul. Eventually, Danny made the call, and Paul forgave him.

Thinking about things now, I've come to realize...there's not gonna be a Mardi Gras next year. There might not be a Mardi Gras there for years to come. I'm not into that...the only Mardi Gras I remember was the last one...and only because I went to TARCon 6 at the Play by Play. I never wanted to go to New Orleans...but now I feel like I missed out (especially after reading Bill Simmons' heartfelt column a few weeks ago). I know it's dumb to relate a decimated city to a dopey reality television show, but that's all I really have.

By the way...if you want to read the reactions from The Real World: New Orleans cast members, click here. Don't ask me while Julie and Matt didn't contribute. Matt's probably petitioning to breakdance for the new Pope. As for Julie, she's more than likely crying off her latest humilation in the latest Challenge (not a spoiler, but an educated guess from past seasons). Next Wednesday , Melissa will be hosting a benefit for hurricane benefit at The Downtown in Farmingdale, NY. Also, this NOLA nostaglia might get me to go over my copy of The Real World You Never Saw: New Orleans DVD. Got it a while ago, but I've only seen it the one time. It's gotta be good writing material before the next Challenge kicks off.

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