As if there needed to be more evidence of my lack of life, I'm going to go ahead and admit that I still sometimes watch "The Real World." I'm not proud of this, but I can't help myself. The worst is when MTV runs a marathon on the weekends; if I had a nickel for every beautiful Saturday or Sunday I have wasted because I was sitting slack-jawed and drooling in front of the TV, unable to tear myself away from some asinine MTV marathon, I could buy out Trump.
Take last Sunday for instance. Sunny, low 70s, not a cloud in the sky...and yet, there I was beached out on the couch in my pajamas with a bag of chips at my side in the middle of day. If that wasn't bad enough, I was hypnotized by the latest eps of the Key West installment of RW—not because it's good or engaging or even fun to make fun of, but because I think that they may finally have a certified mental patient in the cast. And I thought Frankie the Cutter from the San Diego season had issues—I honestly can't figure out if this chick has some truly serious issues or is simply an attention whore of the highest order. Either way, I haven't felt this uncomfortable watching someone on TV since "The Ashlee Simpson Show."
First off, let's meet Paula. She's a 24-year-old desk jockey who claims to be from "a padded room" in Connecticut. If her virtually unreadable MySpace page is any indication, she's a party girl! Who loves to drink! And loves to party! WHOOOOOOO! She only looks sweet and innocent! She can go from zero to bitch in 1.3 seconds! In other words, she was a shoo-in to become one of the Seven Strangers. Other things you can learn from her page is that she loves Nicole Ritchie (who she seems to be taking diet tips from), she deperately wants to meet the "inventor" of Miller Lite, and she appears to be a drunk of the "You'rrrre my bethst friend!" then starts sobbing variety. (She also loves annoying avatars and ridiculous "Which 'Sex and the City' gal are you"-style quizzes. Warning: I almost had a seizure looking at that page, so prepare yourself.)
Her MTV profile describes her as "Confrontational, yet sensitive; bitchy, yet likeable; damaged, yet self-aware; attractive, yet insecure." You may sarcastically say (as I did), "Wow, what a brave new avenue for RW to cast someone of this ilk." But seriously, this chick's issues are on par with those in a V.C. Andrews novel. In the first five episodes, the following things have happened:
• A clip from Paula's try-out video is shown where she says, quote: "I'm kinda, a little bit bulimic." As opposed to completely, full-on bulimic, I guess.
• She continues to call her mentally and physically abusive ex, who once beat her up to the point that she had to be taken to the hospital, and she drunkenly tells everyone unfortunate enough to be within shouting distance about it. Unless that person is, of course, actually qualified to help her deal with these issues.
• She whimpers to one of her roommates that she thinks she is not pretty or smart and doesn't want anyone looking at her, which I'm sure is why she signed up to be followed around by television cameras every day for five whole months.
• During an argument with roommate John, she accuses him of having a small dick and he retorts that she has small tits, leading Paula to sob hysterically and begin hyperventilating to the point that the car they are riding in must be pulled over so she can get out, crumple to the ground and fan herself dramatically.
• She announces that eating a slice of pizza would make her depressed.
• She takes diet pills and then drinks alcohol on top of them, on an empty stomach mind you, and then passes out by the pool area.
• She compulsively cockblocks John.
• She declares that her biggest fear is becoming "pudgy, fat, single, alone forever." However, doesn't seem to think that having crimped hair is problem.
• She downs bar snacks and then starts sobbing
Roommate Janelle described Paula as "a wet puppy" that you want to help, and this is perhaps the most coherant and insightful observation ever made on this show. Yes, she is a pitiful little lost yappy lapdog, but I also loathe her. There's nothing worse than a crying drunk with 99 problems. "Hey, everybody, let's party! WHOOOOOO! Look at me! I'm dancing on the bar and making out with other girls! I'm so fucking fun and wild and out of control...but I hate myself and want to die! Everyone just sees a skinny blonde party girl! But I'm crying on the inside!" I know I'm a big uncaring meanie, but I feel like I should be getting paid $95 an hour just to watch.
In other "news," the Real World's hunchbacked stepsibling Road Rules is being resurrected with a "new format." Unless that involves a gladiator tournament to the death, I'm not watching.
OK, I lied. I probably will watch. Because I have serious problems.
* Disclaimer: I'm mean. I know this. But understand that I'm not making fun of this girl's serious issues; I am making fun of (a.) the fact that she chose to air them on a reality TV show, on MTV no less, and (b.) MTV's drooling willingness to air them, with nothing but an arbitrary message "to find out more" at the end of each Very Special Episode. And, again, if my time is being wasted in this manner, I should at least be getting paid.