Screen: MTV

Timing Is Everything

Or, in Tony and Madison's case, nothing, as the next skeleton in the rotation hits the Real World house.

The felony contrivance being committed on this season of The Real World...well, I would say it would bother me less if I knew the parameters of the skeletons' visits, like whether they can up and leave (it seems, based on Alicia's decision not to deal with their bullshit by staying at a hotel and peace-ing out early, like they can), whether the target housemate could also hide for a week or simply refuse to deal with the new arrival, et cetera. But it doesn't really "bother" me; it doesn't rise to that level. It does seem like it's helpful for the audience if we understand up front that, if the situation is untenable for the skeleton or skelet...ee (?) -- Violetta compares Alicia's experience to the first day in prison, as if she weren't primarily responsible for creating that hostile environment -- someone can call an audible.

But if they can, what's the point? Apparently the element of surprise is a critical element of the skeletal set-up, and I got the distinct feeling based on a producer's asking Tony if he's sure Madison won't go with another guy that they were at minimum trying to steer Tony towards a Madison hook-up and possibly considering locking them in a room together with a Cocteau Twins album and a bottle of schnapps -- the better to blow Tony's spot to smithereens the next day when his ex Elizabeth shows up. Production thumb on the scale or not, it couldn't have gone better in the ironic-timing department, as Tony departs Madison's room with her terrycloth sleep shorts on, and the doorbell rings minutes later. (Not many minutes, either; his repeated OCD "waitwaitwait"s did not suggest that he could deal, at all.) But once the skeleton is revealed, then what? You can't really force adults (fine: "adults") to stay somewhere they don't want to be.

So what's the plan? What do the skeletons agree to? A little less time goosing the situation with the "[X] HOURS UNTIL SUCH-AND-SO'S SKELETON ARRIVES" chyrons, a little more time explaining what the production expects of everyone involved. The 30th season has had zero problem breaking the fourth wall and showing housemates on the Bunimphone, or letting us hear producer questions during talking-heads. Why get coy about the parameters? Because unfortunately the premise isn't interesting enough unless we can see the seams.

"What the hell?" I'll list the housemates from best to worst each week. First place gets 7 points, second place 6, and so on. Whoever has the most points at the end of the season is probably the most awesome person in the RW: Skeletons house. No, Mr. Snuggledicks doesn't get his own slot. No, I don't think this is a terribly scientific system. Yes, I went to university "for this."

  1. Nicole
    Blows up Jason's secret-daddy spot for disrespecting her, but it's an accident, and she immediately squashes it and apologizes. Could stand to act slightly less of a big shot at work. Needs a new ponytail narrative.
  2. Jason
    As usual, he's pretty cool and level-headed -- removing the rest of the house from Alicia and Sylvia's first conversation; empathizing with Sylvia but pointing out that hearing a nasty tone "doesn't mean you have to bite" -- but pretty dumb at the same time, continuing to hide his impending fatherhood from non-wolfpackers and defaulting to a slam on what Nicole "eats" in bed during a petty argument over taking out the trash at work. Is also rocking a crush on Sylvia now, which is not going to end well.
  3. Bruno
    Fishes his ranking out of the toilet and blow-dries it by barely speaking this week. Smart.
  4. Sylvia
    I don't know what Alicia is or isn't really like based on her two seconds in the house (though I do support her decision to bolt, if only because Violetta's acting like the queen bee of the sixth-grade camp bunk), but I can't really co-sign Sylvia getting that pissy with Madison when Madison is just trying to keep the peace -- and it's hard for me to believe Sylvia couldn't just get another job if Alicia is that much of a nightmare. If you don't want "everyone to think" you're weak, 1) quit, and 2) calmly correct Alicia's lies instead of freaking out. Points for calling out Tony for "jellyfishing" Madison when she's flirting with another guy at the club, but not a great week for her.
  5. Madison
    I wouldn't take Alicia out drinking, probably, but I don't see why it's such a betrayal -- she got Alicia out of everyone else's hair, didn't she? Inserting herself into Tony's phone calls with exes Alyssa and Elizabeth is a huge mistake, and you just can't say shit like "the heart wants what the heart wants" under any circumstances, but "whining is what I do best!" cracked me up. I can see the production wants me not to like her, but I'd totes hang out with her. Not letting my husband live with her, though. Hee.
  6. Tony
    He "lost the battle" of his attraction to Madison. Really, dude? Like it's a weather system or she just fell on your hose there? He's not a bad guy, just kind of weak, and he's going to have to grow up fast in the next ep.
  7. Violetta
    Seriously: stay out of it. You're not eleven. Putting a bench in front of the door, calling Madison two-faced when that's not what that means (Madison didn't pretend to hate on Alicia to Sylvia's face; she's trying to get along with everyone, openly, so...just the one face there, Interferie Canal). Doesn't sink to the level of hateful thanks to her "ooh ooh ANGLES ANGLES ooh ooh" dance break, but needs to calm it way down.

Season To Date Rankings

Rank Name Points Trending
1 Nicole 34
2 Jason 28
3 Sylvia 25
4 Tony 15
5 (tie) Madison 14
5 (tie) Bruno 14
6 Violetta 10
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