News & Politics

‘Real World: DC’ Makes its First Impression

It’s not as if we had high expectations for the eight strangers’ first episode, but they still somehow managed to let us down as far as first impressions go. Maybe it was their choice (ha, as if they really have one) to grab dinner at Buca di Beppo, or the fact that very few of them, at least so far, seem interested in what our city has to offer. No, it was the utter lack of a hot-tub scene that really rubbed us the wrong way. Yeah, that’s it.

Here is how they fared in terms of first impressions:

: Like a movie that marvels at how clever it is for calling attention to its artificialness, Andrew’s schtick would feel fresh were this 1984. Not only is the self-aware routine tired, it’s also naive: For some time now, reality-television cast members have been walking into these fully cognizant they’ll be playing a role for the cameras. Despite having the episode’s best one-liners—telling Ashley dark hair doesn’t suit her, and later exclaiming “I knew we’d have a lesbian!” at the sight of Erika—his calls for attention felt more fake than clever, and there’s nothing we dislike more than a phony.

Ashley: We tried to love Ashley, we really did. Despite referring to herself as a ‘Cali Girl,’ which no self-respecting California girl would ever do, she started the episode strong by displaying a genuine interest in politics. Plus, her reaction upon learning of Callie’s political affiliation was amusing, if utterly expected. But Ashley fell from our graces when she revealed herself to be a snooper, spying first on Josh in the confessional and later eavesdropping on Mike and Ty’s conversation. And her denial of any wrongdoing (and her bitchitude towards Ty) lost her the episode. Ashley, honey, it’s okay if you’re nosy. You can be a bitch, too. Just as long as you own it.

Ty: We never thought we’d see anything dumber than Betheny and Kelly’s fight on Real Housewives of New York last season. We were wrong. For a guy accusing fellow roommates of being narrow-minded, Ty sure came across as one bigoted jackass himself. Tragic, really, since his backstory made it seem as if he’d be a nice reprieve from the too-familiar “angry black man” archetype.

Mike: Let’s get this out of the way: There’s something odd going on with Mike’s eyebrows. And by odd we mean he doesn’t seem to have any. That alone did not cost him points, but it didn’t help that every time the cameras focused on him we were distracted by his eyebrowlessness. A second viewing revealed we didn’t miss much: He was painfully inarticulate when defending his viewpoint in the religion fight and emerged the winner only because Ty was worse. In his defense, he seems to be a genuinely gentle and dumb jock—like when he almost leapt in excitement over the idea of visiting the Smithsonian. Mike, we know you mean well, and for that—as well as upcoming shirtlessness—we’re willing to give you another chance.

Erika: As a cast member, she was pretty much a nonentity. As a singer, she reminded us that good can come from auto-tune.

: Other than expressing an interest in Erika, Josh basically spent the episode—to borrow Andrew’s words—walking around the house like he’s cooler than everyone else. This superiority complex is sure to cause trouble in the near future, but right now he gets points for doing said walk with a bottle of Jack Daniels in hand and for sporting that botched Rihanna haircut with such sangfroid.

Callie: All that we know about Callie so far is that she’s a Republican with a penchant for photography and her name is Callie. Not much going on here, but in an episode in which four cast members crashed and burned by revealing too much too soon, Callie at least retained some sense of mystery.

Emily: Against all odds, this former member of a fundamentalist Christian cult made the best first impression. No small feat, considering the episode revolved around a fight over religion. Not only did Emily show restraint and reason by not engaging in the fruitless debate, but her “story line” was the only thing that rung true in the entire episode. Like the wide-eyed interns we all once were, Emily looks both desperate and ready for life experiences in Washington. Plus, you’ve just go to give it to girlfriend for matter-of-factly stating she’s not afraid of cutting male appendages.

What did you think of last night's episode? Let us know in the comments. 

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