There’s a certain type of joy that I fear few of you will ever experience. It starts when you come home at 1am after a late night of concertgoing and karaoke, and realize you have to catch up on the two episodes of Real World Seattle: Bad Blood for work because you were out of town for a week. But then, after finishing the first episode, you attempt to cue up the second one, only to realize there was no new episode last week. MTV took Thanksgiving Eve off! There quite simply is no reaction GIF capable of expressing that level of joy.
The latest episode focused solely on two relationships headed in opposite directions: Jenn + Peter and Tyara + Theo. After Jenn calls her long distance boyfriend to confess that she slipped up and kissed Peter, he dumps her on the spot. Someone's single again! (BLEH.) After some initial awkwardness, it doesn’t take long for Peter to officially ask Jenn out on a date. It’s really hard to tell Peter’s intentions at this point. He seems legitimately interested in Jenn, but he also did just get dumped by Anna and coupling up with Jenn could serve as a minor dose of revenge. After a cute first date that includes cricket eating at Poquitos and photobooth kisses at Narwhal, the two actually seem to be headed on a happy path. (But this is reality TV, so their relationship will probably come crashing down within three episodes. Yay, cynicism!)
On the other hand, Tyara and Theo appear to be done. Their kind-sorta-dating-but-not-really thing hit its final snag at a bar when Tyara started grinding with a dude who identified himself as a professional soccer player (maybe Sounder diehards could ID him, but I could not). Because Tyara had previously admonished Theo for doing the exact same thing, seeing that pair dancing really got to him. He called her out for her double standards and they began arguing. After seemingly patching things up and beginning a confessional makeout session, Tyara received a call from her soccer dude. Final straw meet camel’s back. (Curiously perfect timing, MTV.) The scene exploded in a screaming match which eventually led to Tyara moving out of their shared loft space to another bed. It was their symbolic divorce. The absurd thing about the situation is that they both seem crazy for each other, and all the problems would go away if they just decided to be committed to actually dating. But that’d makes sense, and if we know one thing to be true, Real World Seattle does not make sense.
Perhaps the ridiculousness of their bickering can be summarized by an overwhelmed and frustrated Tyara misspeaking and proclaiming, “I’m losing my insanity.” I am doing the opposite.
On a more positive note, that was episode seven of the series’ 13-episode run. It’s more than halfway over! (Cue the music!) With that in mind, it seemed like the perfect time for a reevaluation of the cast…
UPDATED HOUSEMATE LIKABILITY
14. Katrina – Seriously, how awful do you have to be to keep Mike from taking the basement slot? Katrina exudes pure negativity. She’s combative, standoffish, and selfish. Rarely does a word escape her lips that isn’t dismissive or accusatory. She was troublesome enough before her sister Anna showed up, but since then she’s risen to a new level. Like Palpatine turning Anikin to the dark side of the Force, Katrina turned Anna away from her seemingly blissful fling with Peter by wedging herself right in between the couple. Her appearances on screen garner nothing but contempt at this point.
13. Mike – He’s still the epitome of a bro in all the worst ways, but as a result of his blossoming relationship with Jordan he seems to have cooled it a bit on being an aggro instigator… so... that’s a positive?
12. Kassius – It’s very hard to get past Kassius’s bad blood drug bust incident that got Theo kicked off his college football team. All indications point to Kassius being at fault, but he still won’t accept any blame for an incident that ruined his cousin’s dreams (even if they were pipe dreams). The fact that he can’t grasp why Theo remains upset is downright baffling. There’s also a disconnect in his personality between his outward unearned braggadociousness and inward sensitivity that he really needs to sort out (especially considering he has a 2-year-old son). It was also incredibly upsetting when Kassius forcefully attempted to stop Mike from dancing with a girl at a bar because he apparently deemed her too unattractive. You ain’t no catch yourself, Kass.
Flawed Folks (But That’s No Excuse)
11. Tyara – No one in the cast has mastered self-sabotage like Tyara. Her constant misguided claims of victimization and her toying relationship with Theo stem from a lack of self-confidence which she cannot seem to overcome. It’s difficult to root for someone that continually gets in their own way with elaborate internally crafted narratives instead of just letting things happen. It would be one thing if she merely moped, but she turns her perceived slights into attention-grabbing opportunities to call out everyone else in theatrical fits of yelling. Her ego craves having the biggest, most spectacular drama. Because without that, what’s left? An adult who unfortunately doesn’t know how to interact with her peers on a fundamental civil level? That doesn’t grab the spotlight.
10. Anna – Anna and Peter were adorable. Anna and Katrina are detestable. It’s a shame that Anna allows her sister to have so much power over her. Her once bubbly personality now seems more focused on bitterness. Katrina’s darkness has consumed her light. Since Anna coldly dropped Peter with no warning, the pair has splintered off from the rest of the cast and became a little familial clique that goes against the intended communal spirit of Real World. They don’t seem to be having that much fun, and it's not fun to watch them.
Troublesome But Inconsequential
9. Will – Will has been kind of a non-factor so far during the show, but when he has been heard from, it’s generally not positive. First off, having bad blood with Anika seems crazy because she's the coolest person in the house. Making their issues worse with a strategy of harshly and combatively ignoring her early seem downright silly. His attempt to invite a couple women he met at a club back to the house while the others were out both failed and cast him in a poorly light. He seems to have a swagger unbefitting of his actual lot, which never comes off as an appealing trait. Oh, and he’s also a father with a newborn he supports on the other side of the country. Wonderful.
8. Kimberly – After looking like she’d be a hurricane of drama upon her initial introduction as Tyara’s bad blood, Kim has been notably restrained. She’s basically been relegated to the narrative bench for the past few episodes, but that lack of starting any sort of trouble has helped her climb up this list. Her personality remains uninviting, but the lack of actions speak louder than words.
The Wild Cards
7. Theo – Out of all the cast, Theo’s likeability fluctuates the most from moment to moment. He can be both the voice of reason and fly wildly off the handle in fits of rage (though he’s been leaning toward the latter more recently). But even when he’s upset, there usually rationale logic behind it. He’s not wrong to be mad at Kassius or Tyara. They’re both extremely frustrating people that want to hold him to standards which they themselves don’t follow. Hopefully the happier Theo from early in the series will pop up again soon.
6. Peter – Peter could drop like a rock depending on how he handles his relationship with Jenn (Mike has suggested he’s a serial quick date-and-dumper... but it’s hard to trust the narrator there). That said, he comes off a relatively (for reality TV, anyway) genuine and sometimes sweet guy. It’s hard to not be pulling for him a bit after Anna (and Katrina) really did him wrong. Then again, making out a woman who has a long distance boyfriend isn’t gonna score you any points.
People I Can Stand
5. Jordan – Probably could be a few slots higher because there’s a general niceness to her personality that’s shown through recently, but coupling up with Mike is quite frankly an unforgivable sin. You’re better than that, Jordan.
4. Jenn – Oh Jenn, you were doing everything right until your first makeout with Peter. Regardless of the rationale and where that relationship goes, it’s not a good look to break up a long distance relationship with someone clearly on the rebound. However, that doesn’t wipe away her prior body of net positive work. She just comes off as a much more natural person than almost anyone on the show (aside from #1). Jenn seems like a good person with some insecurities that lead her to some questionable choices, which makes her more relatable than most of the housemates.
3. Robbie – Yes, Robbie had a massive no homo freakout to start off his time in Seattle on a dour note, but since then he’s been a giddy ball of energetic excitement that rubs off on the rest of his housemates. His spark plug personality and sometimes childlike glee (see: the trip to the zoo) always brightens the mood for those around him. He was able to patch up his bad blood with Jenn, and morphed into a friendly sympathetic ear as she’s struggled with relationship drama. There are certainly parts of his personality that are ridiculous—from his eyebrow waxing to DJ Maserrobbie persona—but it all it’s all in service of trying to create a fun and relatively stress-free time for those around him.
2. Orlana – Sometimes flying quietly under the radar is the best strategy. There’s nothing particularly noteworthy about Orlana. She’d by far the blandest member of the cast, but that’s not really a knock. She seems… normal. She’s been open about her struggles with depression, and was able to talk out her bad blood with Jordan. Orlana certainly isn’t a star, but she feels like an actual human during her very limited camera time.
The Good One
1. Anika – There’s a likeability chasm between Anika and the rest of the Real World cast. She’s #1 on this list, and it’s not even marginally close. She’s a bastion of drama-free positivity in a den of reality TV misery. There’s yet to be a moment that’s painted her in a negative light. In comparison to her peers, she exhibits a lack of extreme ego and vanity. Whenever someone else in the house is dealing issues, Anika pops up to lend some encouragement. For a show that's predicated on people having massive fights, having a sane, stabilizing force on the cast might not make for the best TV, but it’s comforting every time Anika pops up to calm things down. She's everyone’s friend, the viewer included.
Episode Space Needle Count: 11
Running Space Needle Count: 78
The Real World Seattle: Bad Blood airs Wednesday nights at 10pm on MTV.