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TV Review: Real World: Austin 10-18-05

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For some reason, the Real World has lost its spark for me this season. Early on, I was excited to see this show every week, but now it just doesn’t keep me as interested. I think they had potential here with the cast of room mates they selected, but somewhere along the line the show lost its focus. Now things that could have been used to make things much more interesting earlier on are finally being brought to our attention. The Danny and Melinda saga has calmed down some and that may well be the reason for the shift in focus. The two are finally happy, but there is still some time left on the show, so the producers are looking for ways to keep things interesting.

This week’s episode focused on two things that hadn’t received much attention since the beginning of the season – the incident with Danny’s eye and Rachel’s boyfriend Erik. Yes, she has one, but we don’t really hear much about him so it is quite easy to forget he exists. However, her man finally pays the house a visit, and after she gets permission from the rest of the house mates, he brings along their pet dog. Before he arrives, she is excited to see him, and even mentions all the sex they are going to have once he does on the phone.

When he does arrive in Austin, her mood shifts. She’s cold and distant, and she wants to have no part of any kind of sex with him. She wants to cuddle and sleep. This is something Erik isn’t happy about, but deals with thinking he’ll get some by the time end of his three day trip. Rachel just feels different now that she sees him in person for the first time since coming to the house. The feelings she has for him have changed. She sees him as a friend, not a boyfriend, and this bothers her. This also hurts him. Rachel wants to talk with him more than have sex because she knows having sex would have her lean towards being with him, but she doesn’t want anything physical to influence her feelings.

While he is in Austin, he talks to one of the house mates about the situation with Rachel. His room mate of choice is the worst possible one. He chooses Lacey, and Rachel overhears their conversation. She goes to him after overhearing things, and it doesn’t go well. That night, Erik goes off with Wes and Nehemiah who have to decided to show Erik a good time in the city. They call up all the numbers they have collected and then they create a story of Erik being a producer from New York holding mini-auditions for a reality television show. When the opportunity presents itself to Erik for him to go home with two girls, he backs away and returns to the house because he loves Rachel. She just isn’t sure of what she wants when it comes to love.

The other half of the episode focused on Danny. Back when the season began, we all remember the incident outside the bar that led to Danny being injured and having to undergo surgery. Since before his mother died, not much has been mentioned about pursuing legal action. He had planned to call the day after Valentine’s Day to get things moving on that front, but his mother died and he didn’t pursue the matter. Well, he finally does so. He calls the detective on the case and shows him the video. This is enough, along with Danny’s statement, for the police to issue a warrant for the man’s arrest.

Consider this another yawn. I know some might disagree, but I think this season of the Real World has fallen apart. With so much of the focus early on going to two of the room mates, we have an imbalance here. When we could have seen more of the personalities of the other house mates develop over time, we were being thrown bits and pieces. Lacey’s behavior wasn’t even brought out much until later episodes, and now it has become an issue because the room mates are making more note of it. Danny and Melinda are now perfectly happy, so there really isn’t much to show there. Also it appears the festival is over, even though there was no mention to that fact. The previews for the next show has the room mates putting together their footage for a showing. We all remember they had to have this done in order to go on their vacation. Will they succeed? Tune in next week!

For more reviews by Regina, including reviews on books, music, movies and several popular television shows, visit her review blog found at One Couch Critic. She is also the newest contributor at Media Village with her Thoughts from the couch. Her rambles on life and writing can be found on her daily blog, One Writer’s Rambles.

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  • Blane

    I am trying to find out the name of the song that is played at the end of this episode when erik is packing his bags. It starts out with piano and its a punk song….anyone know?

  • http://myspace.com/emilyscool5 Emily

    Ummm…
    I was just wondering….
    Did Melinda and Danny ever get married?
    That has been on my mind for like ever and i just wanted to know.
    Thanks.