Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reality Rant: When Katie Attacks

Normally, I'd bitch about the latest episode of The Ruins, which featured Tonya getting ejected from the game after she smacked Veronica, something viewers like myself had waited a long time for. However, somebody did a great job talking about the episode, and giving much-needed grief to the jerks who've helped wreck the franchise. Katie Doyle, one-time member of Road Rules: The Quest, veteran of several Challenges, and creature that runs on alcohol and cigarettes threw in her two cents on her MySpace blog. Despite some grammar errors, she managed to articulate her rage surprisingly well. Because I have a life and am also a bit lazy, I will comment on Katie's blasts regarding her final episode, where she lost to Sarah in the Ruins, something few people will remember about the show.

Evan and Kenny thought it would be hysterical to pour baby powder in my suit case. All over my clothes. Then I discover the plunger in my bed. That is just disgusting. I do not like to be the target of anybody's joke. I think I have made that pretty clear over the years. Regardless, Kenny and Evan do not care. They just want to be amusing, silly and have fun. But, they seem to only want to do it at someone else's expense. Not mine, fuckers.

I immediately like that Katie has the same contempt for those two assholes that I do, and I don't even have to live with them. And she's just getting warmed up.

As far as the Sarah story line is concerned...she isn't that bad. She did try a little too hard to fit in with the "Champion" team which was bizarre because she should have been trying with her own team. But everyday, morning or night- she never left our room. I was not the only one who thought that was weird. People called her "superfan". Her obvious crushes on Evan and Kenny were more than apparent. And yes, the guys did say bad things about her when she would actually leave the room.

And with that, I lose respect for Sarah. Crushing on the likes of Evan and Kenny? That's just sick. From what I hear, Sarah will be on the next season -- Fresh Meat 2 -- but I think everybody will be distracted disrespecting the attitude of her ex-roommate, the mouthy transsexual known as Katelynn.

The next day, I felt bad. I knew that my anger [towards Sarah] was misdirected. I should have flipped out on Kenny and Evan. Funny how neither one of them even remotely defended her as I screamed. They let her take the heat and even laughed about it. They don't care. That is the type of guys they are. They are on the wrong show. They should be on Tool Academy.

Here, Katie is dead wrong. Those two would never make it to Tool Academy. From what I've gathered, girlfriends "enroll" their less-than-respectful guys in the Academy. Can you see either of those two with a steady girlfriend, as opposed to an on-air hookup? Of course not. In fact, the end of the latest episode had Kenny lying on his bed, with Evan over him like he's about to plant his lips behind Kenny's ear. They're probably not gay for each other like I rant on the TWoP forums, but footage like that makes me wonder.

Seriously, I have heard the same jokes with Evan for the past 5 years. He used them on Freshmeat. He switches it up a bit to cater to his new audience. I am so completely confused how these 2 assholes have managed to be popular from this show. They were NEVER even on Real World or Road Rules! And because it IS the title of the show, um...I am still confused where they fit in. As far as I am concerned, they guest star on the show.

And that's why Fresh Meat has ruined the show. With Road Rules defunct, Bunim-Murray Productions needed to inject new life into the franchise beyond the seven meatheads on any given season of The Real World. Of the ten new cast members from Fresh Meat, five of them (Aviv, Chanda, Jesse, Johnnie, and Linette) have never been seen again. I figure that Ryan and Eric are rather inoffensive. What are we left with? An overachieving lesbian who sold out her principles for big money and quit on her team in order to save a friend (Evelyn); a cancer survivor whose dramatics have rubbed some the wrong way and who willingly dated CT (Diem); a twit who's afraid of half the missions, used her prize money to get implants and who talked shit about Coral (Casey); and Evan and Kenny. Even if I take away Diem, somebody who hasn't given me enough reason to dump on her, that's still enough reason to dread Fresh Meat 2.

Unfortunately, that's not how it works. I am also not in the editing room at BMP. Because with all the Wes drama, I don't think Evan needs to constantly be the mouthpiece for the team. Its ALWAYS what Evan says that makes air. Why not show Darrell's, Syrus or Derricks opinion? Must it always be from Evan and Kenny? For fucks sake, I lived the show and get bored watching the same 2 pricks put there fucking opinion in over and over. The house had 28 people! Use Ibis, Kim, Adam...anyone but them over and over and over. I get it, they are witty. But still...

Exactly. Of course, Darrell's interviews are no fun unless he's massacring the English language ("non-flexiblist," "infuerno," "I ain't come at you foul!"), but you get Katie's frustration -- as well as my own -- that these two tools get the lion's share of the commentary. Norma, well-adjusted folks just don't get the commentary time. That's why back during Road Rules: The Quest -- Katie's initial season -- we dubbed Steve as "HiSteve" because it was so rare that he got any sort of camera time. Meanwhile, most of it went to Adam (obnoxious ADD case) and Ellen (equally obnoxious twit who had a love/hate thing with Adam).

What's confusing to me is that Evan can be really friendly outside of these shows. We got along great on Duel 2. But then again, we were not on the same team. He used to bring me chocolate candy bars on Duel 2 but on The Ruins I get plungers.

It's possible to say that Evan is the worse of the two because he wasn't an asshole to start with. He was pretty cool during Fresh Meat, back when he was paired with Coral. But somewhere along the line, he let himself turn into a douche, culminating with him turning his back on her in Gauntlet 3. And that's why the conclusion of Duel 2 sucked ass; because Evan eked out a win over Brad for the big money, and Brad was a far nicer, far less dramatic guy than Evan. Even though I don't drink or act like a meathead, I'd probably hang with Brad before Evan. To me, Evan's the worst thing to come out of Canada since SARS. Or maybe just Celine Dion.

Evan does not care about Tonya. Don't be confused with his pathetic attempt at looking like a nice guy. He tortured that girl the entire show. I mean, fucked with her so bad- most of it didn't even make it on TV. Evan is hyper aware of the camera's. (Clearly) So he saw an opportunity to get his mug on TV a little more by consoling Tonya. That is all it was. I can promise you that. That's why I was so annoyed after he gave Sarah the flowers after I screamed at her. I wish Evan had the fucking balls to admit to peoples faces what he says behind their backs. But that's what he does. He always makes fun of someone to get some laughs. But every moron on the show laughs hysterically thinking how funny he is...until they walk out of the room and they become the joke. Naive idiots, I tell you.

The whole Tonya/Veronica feud and its ugly conclusion reminded me of the "Cripple Fight" episode of South Park, where differently-abled rivals Timmy and Jimmy wound up beating the shit out of each other in front of the whole town, reenacting the big fight scene from They Live. Only when both of them knock each other out does an adult step forward and tell them to break it up. I didn't buy Evan's consolation for a single moment, seeing it for what it was: a pathetic attempt to look good in front of the cameras. In fact, some viewers think they saw Evan hold back Wes before Wes could break up the brewing fight between Tonya and Veronica. If that's true, Evan is really a piece of shit. And if it's not? He's still a piece of shit, but for different reasons.

I know they don't like me. Even when Evan pulls me aside to explain he didn't do the plunger and we are "friends". Fuck you. Evan has fucked over many of his "friends" on these shows. Coral? Paula? I mean, do these girls really think he cares??? Come on! This guy will do whatever he can to benefit himself. Always.

No real comment, at least none I haven't posted already. I'd love some sort of comeuppance in an upcoming Challenge where the women gang up on Evan and toss his ass into the fire, but something tells me that's not going to happen. I'd settle for Evan, Kenny, Johnny, etc., getting booed on a reunion special like the losers that they are, but that also never happens. I guess it's my fault for expecting torches and pitchforks.

I also really like Wes. We are friends, they don't show that. But we are and I defended him on numerous occasions. No one agreed with me, but I still said what I thought.

How messed up a season is this where Wes is a voice of reason? I mean, he's still an asshole, and he probably would throw his teammates under a bus out of spite, but he did seem to care about Tonya.

Ok, so I have said what I have wanted to say. I recently saw Evan in Vegas and we actually got along quite well...but then I heard from a mutual friend, Murtz, that he insulted the shit out of me. So game on, motherfucker.

I don't know how truthful Katie was about The Ruins being her last Challenge, but there's a part of me that wants to see her eviscerate Evan with the same amount of gusto she did attacking Veronica in The Inferno. Hell, I'd settle for her sneaking up behind him in a "real life" setting and letting him have it.

Believe it or not, i like 90% of the people on these shows. I like Johnny, he was never an asshole to me.

And there's the glaring blind spot of Katie's blog entry. Like I've said before, Johnny is every bit the tool as Kenny and Evan, if not more so. I guess it's a combination of a lack of screwing her over and actually appearing on a season of The Real World.

Katie, you're probably not reading this, but if you are? Thank you. Thank you, you tiny volcano of simmering resentment, you. And even though you're no longer on the show, I'd love to hear more about the events in The Ruins from your perspective.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Reality Rant: Road To "Ruins"

I watch television. A lot of it. Perhaps too much to be healthy. Some of it sucks and I'm all right with that. Sometimes, I watch a show that isn't good for me, yet I watch because I want to stick with it as long as I can. Smallville is a prime example; the premise of Clark Kent growing up without calling himself "Superboy" lost its appeal years ago. I can go on about it, but I want to talk about another show where all hope has been abandoned: Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Specifically, the current season: The Ruins.

I know that show is supposed to be trashy. It was trashy in the days of Challenge 2000 and Extreme Challenge. It was trashy while I was recapping it for six seasons. But now, it's gotten VH1 reality show trashy. True, there hasn't been a deuce dropped on stairs -- at least none that has made it on air -- and the biggest would-be candidate for Tool Academy is currently on The Amazing Race. But thanks to several bad apples, the Challenge has gotten to be downright unbearable . . . and we're only two episodes into the current season.

The usual suspects have stepped up to rise as this season's Axis of Ass: Evan, Johnny and Kenny. These three have been trying to run Challenges for years, and they're all punks. Worse, they're punks who won big money in the past two seasons (The Island for Johnny and Kenny, Duel 2 for Evan). Joining the Axis this season is Darrell. I've had mixed feeling about him; he started his Challenge career by trying to throw Sarah -- my favorite player -- under the bus in The Gauntlet. Yes, Sarah was a competitive underachiever back then, but I didn't need her ex-castmates from Road Rules: Campus Crawl Darrell and Rachel looking to boot her off right away. Over time, I mellowed on Darrell as he lost his attitude and steered clear of drama, winning a record four Challenges in as many tries.

So where did Darrell go wrong? In an obvious attempt to get Wes kicked off the show, he openly talked shit about his girlfriend Kelly Anne. He kept saying that Wes couldn't "turn the ho into a housewife" in order to get punched by Wes, thereby getting him booted. Not that Wes's action would be tragic to his Champions team (those who have won Challenges in the past); Bunim-Murray Productions probably has MJ on speed-dial, after he was brought into Gauntlet 3 and Duel 2 in similar circumstances. Also, I suffered a flashback of my own. Back in the days when I was attending talk shows for article fodder, I made the mistake of going to a taping of Sally Jesse. There were newlyweds whose marriages were already on the rocks, an there was this one guy decked out in a blue suit, insisting over and over, "You can't turn that freak into a housewife!" It was so bad, I bailed out of a subsequent taping right away. Anyway, Darrell made me remember that, and he sucks for it.

Getting back to Wes . . . at this point, he's the closest thing to a protagonist this season has. For those new to the show, he was one of the worse things about The Real World Austin, which was one of the ugliest seasons in the history of the show, Real World Awards results be damned. He's not a team player . . . in fact, he's never been on a team before, having played for himself (The Duel) and partnered with Casey (Fresh Meat). So he gets put on the Champions team, and he has this idea of pulling names out of a hat to determine who would be up for a potential sacrifice. Really quick: three men and three women from each side step up before the mission, and the winning team's sextet determine the male and female matchups for the endgame known as The Ruins, where the winner stays in the game while the loser goes home. Anyway, Wes is obsessed with the hat, and while the Axis were justified in shooting him down, they did it in the douchiest way possible. So Wes decided to out-douche the Axis by scheming to throw missions whenever possible.

Onto the second episode. A plan is hatched to put the screws to Wes. The scheme: get the Challengers to put up Kelly Anne, then bring in Evelyn from the Champions to take her out in The Ruins. Of course, Kelly Anne and Evelyn are best friends, and they're the only people in the game -- along with Wes -- who don't know the plan is coming. And when the Champions majority -- Derrick, Johnny, Susie and Katie -- take Evelyn's Ruins choice out of her hands, she exploded. Apparently, she learned nothing about how Johnny put the screws to her in The Island. She probably thought everything was cool after she won the final mission along with Johnny, Kenny and Derrick. It never occured to her that Johnny could still be a scumbag. And shame on Derrick for rolling over like the 5-foot-6 dog that he is. Way to set an example to your wife and kid, Wee D.

Anyway, Wes and Evelyn had their Hulk-outs, while the Axis were shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that Evelyn would have reservation about fighting her BFF instead of a weak Casey. Evelyn threatened to throw missions down the line, while Wes got up in Johnny's fugly grill. When the two strongest members of your team are openly rebelling, it's not a good thing.

Cut to The Ruins: Evelyn and Kelly Anne are pitted against each other, and Evelyn decides the best way to screw her team . . . was to throw the game. Instead of making the Champions' lives a living hell, she took the easy way out, and this came three seasons after she crapped on Coral for doing something similar. And that's why I can't like Evelyn, ever.

There's so much other bullshit to sift through, like Johanna threatening to sell Wes's house from under him, Tonya being a human trainwreck, and the next episode, where Veronica snuggles up to Evan, making one of the fugliest couples in reality show history. There doesn't seem to be any genuinely feel-good moments on the horizon; even if all three main Axis members are taken out, you still have a lot of idiots who don't deserve the money to be won. In fact, there are only three people worth rooting for without guilt: Cohutta (no drama, good sense of humor), Syrus (fun older guy) and Brad (guy who has gotten screwed in every Challenge he's been in to date). Worse, BMP is bringing back the "Fresh Meat" edition for next season, where reality headaches old (Wes, Evelyn, Kenny) and new (CJ from RW: Cancun, Katelynn from RW: Brooklyn) are paired up with newcomers . . . and if you think the company would bring in a few stable people like last time (Aviv, Linette, Ryan), you're sadly mistaken.

I wish I could quit this show with all these mental midgets. It would be nice to see South Park at 10 p.m. instead of waiting for the midnight repeat. But I'm stuck with this show, for better or for far, far worse. And unlike actual marriages, I don't think I'd get alimony if I break it off.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Reality Rants: Host With The Least

A funny thing happened when I was contemplating recapping the latest season of The Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Namely, I got a job. While it's a part-time position, it's important enough where I can't waste extra brain cells searching for quotes, picking out moments, and telling people to shut up like they can hear me. But I'm willing to compromise. So here's my plan: whenever I feel like it, I will engage in a "Reality Rant," going off on whatever's bugging me in the genre. And what better way to start than with the Emmys . . . specifically, the "Best Host" category.

The thing you have to understand about me is that I'm a devoted fan to The Amazing Race. I don't think it was an accident that it won Best Competitive Program seven years in a row. Sure, you'd think the Emmy voters might be lazy, and there have been off years for the show (Family Edition, anybody?), but I firmly believe that even at its lowest point, it still kicks ass. And a big part of that success lies with its host, Phil Keoghan.

In case you're new, I'll be brief. Phil comes from New Zealand, finishing runner-up for the Survivor hosting gig. He acts as the show's narrator, guiding the audience to the exotic locales the Racers run through. He greats the teams at the end of each episode, often eliminating the last pair to arrive. And perhaps most importantly, there isn't a time where he makes himself more important than the show.

Cut to Emmy night. Phil is nominated for Best Host after getting snubbed last year. It seems like a slam dunk; since TAR is the only winner of its category, why wouldn't Phil win his? Wrong. Instead, it goes to Jeff Probst. Again. Cut to me yelling "BULLSHIT!" at the television screen.

What was my problem? Jeff Probst was the right guy at the right time, hosting Survivor as it led the reality television boom of 2000. But that was then, and this is now: Probst has become more of a factor on the show than he should be these days. His running commentary affects challenges. At Tribal Council, he once shamed a tribe into picking a leader on the spot. And he loves alpha males in such an unhealthy way, it makes him disdain almost any other competitor. Sure, he dated one-time contestant Julie Berry (from Vanuatu), but you have to wonder about him at times. Clearly, this is not the guy who should be given an award for being a dick.

Order was restored a few minutes later, when TAR won its seventh straight Emmy. You can say that Phil sharing a stage with the production people is a metaphor for how the show is a team effort, but it still felt hollow. Clearly, there had to be a way to stop Emmy voters from making the same mistake next year. My solution: open up the category by renaming it Best Permanant Cast Member. This way, judges and other personalities can be elligible. I don't want Project Runway, but I've heard enough about Tim Gunn to know he could wipe with Probst. At this point, I don't care who does it, as long as it gets done.

Attention, Emmy voters! You guaranteed a scene in Season 20 of Survivor where Probst, clearly thinking he's in the right, will snuggle in the lap of JT and/or James. And guess what? It's your fault that it'll happen.