Feel free to mark the “Pseudo Love Triangle That Benefits No One” space on your Real World Seattle: Bad Blood bingo card. We’re not at blackout yet, but we’re slowly getting closer. (Though that interact with an LGBTQ or Asian person square is gonna be a toughy.) So thanks, Peter, Anna, and Jenn.
Katrina’s jealousy of her sister Anna getting hot and heavy with Peter finally drove the spike into the heart of that relationship. After going on another third wheel outing with Anna and Peter, Katrina finally looses it. Frustrated by losing Anna’s attention, she repeats the line, “I’m here to make my relationship better with my sister.” Which… noooooooooope! No, you are not. You applied to be on the Real World. The producers happened to bring your sister here to stir up drama. In Katrina’s head, she constructs a narrative where the whole goal of the show is to reconnect with Anna, which is patently false. She simply cant’t take the lack of focus on her. Though intimidation that makes both of them cry, she somehow convinces Anna of this narrative too. Almost instantly, Anna drops Peter like a rock and acts like it’s totally normal. After trying hard to be friends with Katrina for the sake of Anna, Peter justifiably seems shell-shocked.
Meanwhile, the episode builds up Jenn’s odd relationship with her boyfriend back home. They had only been dating two months, and from their phone conversations, it certainly sounds like she disappeared to do the show without telling him. Nothing about it seems natural. Despite this, they both make promises to stay faithful. Jenn and Robbie even grab lunch to quash their Bad Blood—Robbie cutting off their young love abruptly and without explanation, leaving Jenn to build up general relationship insecurities. But after a single lunch, they settle into friendly terms.
However, love triangle drama surfaces when Jenn and Peter head into the confessional. Peter begins talking about how Jenn was the girl he he fancied on the first day, but after she told him she was seeing someone, he settled on pursing Anna. In a “this is beyond a deus ex machina coincidence, MTV producers” moment, Anna happens to have her ear against the bookshelf and listens in on this conversation. Anna enters, and a yelling match between her and Peter ensues. After things blow over, Jenn and Peter end up on a couch, where Peter continually kisses her cheek until they begin making out. There goes that strange new long distance boyfriend, Jenn. Pity.
In “oh right, I forgot this was a storyline” news: After weeks of boring tension with no action, Jordan and Orlana’s Bad Blood finally came to the surface this week. Unsurprisingly, it was uneventful, but the lead up proved revealing. While the event that broke up their five-year friendship involved Jordan Snapchatting herself on a night on the town with a man Orlana liked, Orlana maintained that the problems ran deeper.
While having lunch with Jenn and Kim, Orlana shares the story about how she once attempted suicide. Subsequently, Jordan wasn’t overly warm and empathetic when her friend shared the news of this low point. But the impact of Orlana’s confession felt off because of the clear way in which producers manipulated the scene. After she states, “I don’t think people get it, like words hurt. It affects you every single day. And that’s huge. I become low, really really low,” a completely different audio source continues the story while visuals made it seem like one conversation. When she adds, “There was a time where I was so sad that I tried to commit suicide,” the audio quality suddenly dips so drastically that they actually put subtitles on the screen to convey the world clearly, before picking up the actual conversation again with clear sound. It just felt like incredibly uncomfortable and manipulative editing for no reason. They could’ve easily cut away to a pre-taped interview with Orlana saying the same thing, but didn’t. Watching it just leaves a gross taste in the mouth. (On the positive side, MTV did end the segment with a PSA about the mental health support website HalfofUs.com.)
But the Bad Blood, Orlana and Jordan turns out to be incredibly easy to get past. While dancing at 95 Slide, one of their favorite songs from high school comes on and they begin dancing. The next day they have lunch and talk out their beef, which basically boils down to Orlana not communicating her deeper issues with Jordan before icing her out and Jordan not being a pro at empathizing. After the episode's second one-lunch peace summit, their issues disappear, which is probably why producers had put off their storyline for so long and never tried to build it too much. There’s just wasn’t a well of vitriolic drama to drill.
(Tangent: This week MTV kept running one of those bottom corner ads for one of its fictionalized original programs called Sweet Vicious. The graphic was made to look like a switchblade, which would be fine, but for some reason every time it popped up they added in sharpening knife sound effect. Like housemates would be talking and all of a sudden… *SHINK.* This is super weird and disorienting, MTV. Also, probably not the best choice on the very special episode about suicide awareness. Maybe it’s horror movie instincts, but that sound immediately adds a nonsensical tension of impending blood spill, Bad or otherwise.)
Rounding out the episode’s action, Jordan and Mike keep inching ever closer to being a couple. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD, JORDAN, STOP IT. After more club grinding, the pair snuggles on the couch and Mike shares his reoccurring dream of being terrorized by a witch (subconscious issues with women much, bro?). Eventually, they wind up in bed together doing… well, Jordan swore in an interview segment that they didn’t have sex… so let’s class it XTREME cuddling. But I mean, what woman wouldn’t fall for a guy like Mike when he delivers passionate monologues like, “Having genuine conversations with someone and really getting to know them is something that’s kind of foreign to me. I don’t usually do that. I’ve liked Jordan. I think that’s been clearly evident from very early on, but it’s nice to not be just sexually motivated to talk to someone but to honestly get to know them”? You can’t even pretend to touch that level of bro revelation. Seriously, don’t touch it. You don’t know where it’s been.
The Real Seattle Bubble
The Real World cast lives in a different Seattle than I do. That fact becomes more evident with each passing week. Sure, there are a few spots where our Venn diagrams overlap (I, too, have eaten at Skillet), but for the most part the Originals and Bad Bloods live in a very small slice of the city that seems almost foreign at times.
Part of this is practical, as producers have to get clearance to film inside certain business. It explains why the cast’s nights out seem so repetitive. Hey look, they’re headed to 95 Slide. Again. It’s a clubbing night on the town, so that means dancing at Tia Lou’s. Again. It’s the same booze-fueled “thrills” over and over.
Outside of time spent in parks, there have been three total outings that would qualify as exploring Seattle: watching Fourth of July fireworks from a boat on Lake Union, making a fire on Alki Beach, and visiting Woodland Park Zoo. That’s it. That’s the list.
It’s crazy because they haven’t even done the super easy, overly cliché Seattle things. How have they not had a meal at SkyCity, the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle? Heck, they haven’t even trekked to Seattle Center to take selfies with the landmark towering in the background. That’s pilot episode-level obviousness. No one’s gone to Pike Place Market and seen fish being thrown around? Peter and Anna or Tyara and Theo or Jordan and Mike couldn’t have taken a semi-romantic ride on Seattle Great Ferris Wheel by now? Really? You’re not high brow entertainment, Real World. Lean the hell into the clichés. Do I have to write the show for you?
With that in mind, here are 10 Seattle spots I would thoroughly enjoy seeing the Real World cast visiting. (Look, I know the show stopped shooting long ago. It’s in the can. Let’s just play pretend.)
10 Untapped Funcomfortable Real World Seattle Destinations
Seattle Monorail – I just have a feeling that the MTV producers could use their manipulative editing prowess to somehow turn a dull trip on the monorail into a fun and exciting adventure for the cast in a spit-shinning way that would make Lyle Lanley proud.
Atlantic Crossing – There’s got to be at least one soccer fan watching English Premiere League games that can get to the bottom of this nonsense about the authenticity of Tyara’s accent.
Neumos or Chop Suey or Paramount Theatre or… - Seriously, who spends months living on Captiol Hill and never goes to a concert? (Please don’t actually answer this, because it’ll only make me sad.) Oh, and seeing DJ Masserobbie at 95 Slide for the 13th time does not count.
CenturyLink Field for a Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals – Hey, Theo. You see #32 on the Arizona defense? That’s Tyrann Mathieu. He also got kicked off of his college team because of marijuana (he even had to go to rehab), but he’s still an All-Pro in the NFL. You know why? Because he’s an amazing football player. If you were really as good on the field as you’ve built up in your mind, you’d still have a playing career. Lots of guys with weed busts are playing in the NFL. Sure, your cousin Kassius is a garbage person, but he alone didn’t keep you from being a pro athlete.
Fremont Troll – Because we must save Jordan from Mike by finding him a more fitting spiritual soul mate.
“Original” Starbucks in Pike Place Market – If pretty much every tourist (and many Seattleites) get duped into believing the lie that this is the first Starbucks location, you know everyone on this show will fall for it.
Werewolf Vacation – Words can’t full express how gleeful I would be to see the visual discomfort of Real World cast—specifically the men—if they had to attend a punk concert at my favorite unlisted, underground house show venue in town. I want them to squirm in the dank quarters while surrounded by some of Seattle’s finest beautiful weirdos in safe space that’s been know to break out into delightful chaos resembling a gender-nonconforming casting rejects version of Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” video.
Living Computers: Museum + Labs – Let’s obliterate the meta wall and watch Real World stars play The Sims on old Windows computers.
Seattle Glassblowing Studio - Because with how much trash these roommates talk about each other, they might as well put all that hot air to good use. (This joke sponsored by your dad.)
Fremont Solstice Parade – Ugh. Why didn’t producers start shooting in June? Having the cast go to the Fremont Solstice Parade and react to the seemingly unending stream of naked bikers would make for legitimately fun reality TV. Maybe producers could’ve even talked a housemate into getting body painted and being part of the parade. In the episode's plot, the rest of the cast would think said person bailed on coming with the group, only to be shocked when their nude roommate flew by on a bike with their privates out. Seriously, just let me write the show.
Episode Space Needle Count: 3 (such restraint!)
Running Space Needle Count: 67
The Real World Seattle: Bad Blood airs Wednesday nights at 10pm on MTV.