News & Politics

Why Does ‘The Real World:DC’ Always Feel Like a Battlefield?

Don't be fooled, these two are as fake as press-on nails.

Last night, war was declared at the Real World: DC house. First, it was Ashley versus Erika, followed by more Ashley versus Erika with a slight intermission for the conflict between Mike and Eric (who, thanks to the magic of editing, went from a first date to just friends in the span of an hour), before the Ashley-versus-Erika feud resumed. Conflict was carried into a laser-tag arena, where the roommates split into two factions: the Terrible Pterodactyls and Quadruple Penetration 400. In honor of the spirit of battle and competitiveness that permeated last night’s episode, we’ve structured today’s recap as a match between those two teams, with points awarded and deducted, depending on the actions of the team’s respective members.

Read on to find out who won this week’s battle.

Team Captain: Ashley
• A true pro, Ashley doesn’t need words to steal the spotlight from Erika. She just suddenly walked away in the middle of a conversation and for all we care, Erika did in fact crash her car. Plus 3.

• “It’s great that Erika has recovered from depression, but I’m still suffering with issues with it and it’s not as easy for me to talk about. And it’s tough for me because every time Erika talks about depression, she talks about her family and how she turned to them, and [dramatic pause followed by crocodile tears] I wish I had that support that she has, but I don’t.” Plus 6, because that’s the number of times a self-referring pronoun is used, and being the shameless narcissist that she is, of course Ashley pulls the parentless card and makes Erika’s life sound so easy by comparison.

• As far as takedowns go,“are you about to start your period?” isn’t exactly an original quip, but it does the job. Plus 2. Also, a bonus plus 1 for following up the quip by calling Erika a Debbie Downer.

• “Sometimes I get to a point where I get into a fight and instead of making sense and instead of saying my point, I get on the defensive and I say the meanest thing that comes to my head. It was a very bad low cut and I shouldn’t have done that. And for that, I’m sorry. For where I came from, prior to saying that, I feel I had nobody to rely on when it came down to if I needed something, if at the end of the day . . . I was homeless for a time because I had nobody to turn to—so it’s never been that I turn to people. Here it’s a very uncomfortable situation because you’re in a new home, in a new environment, and you don’t have people you automatically click with. Nobody in this house I automatically clicked with, and I’m almost jealous of the fact that you and Callie automatically clicked, right? Obviously, when I tried to make friends with you guys, somehow something slammed in my face, you know? So . . . I feel really stupid, like almost crying here. . . . [starts crying]” Wow! Our head is still spinning from trying to figure out the many ways that Ashley turned what was supposed to be an apology into yet another sad narrative about herself. At one point, it even seems like she’s chastising Erika for not being as socially awkward as she is. Truly, this one never ventures outside her own head. Erika never stood a chance. Plus 15 for the number of times the “I” pronoun is used, but minus at least 5 because we can’t really reward this level of self-involvement without feeling super-icky about it.

Other team members:
• “I’m a messy guy. I’m an artist.” Minus 3 because, while there are actual comic-book writers and illustrators who are considered artists, Andrew, bless his heart, isn’t one of them. He’s the dude who draws rape-y comics. But plus 1 for at least being consistent about his lack of concern for personal hygiene: After swapping saliva with Peanut Butter Legs and the Tom Tom Tramp, what’s a little co-habitation with flies and ants?

• “Ashley doesn’t get along with Erika because neither of them listen.” Actually, the reason Ashley and Erika don’t get along is because they’re both bat-shit crazy, attention-starved drama queens. But, aw, plus 3 for trying, Ty!

• No additions or deductions, considering the fact that Josh didn’t even utter a word this episode.

Total score: 23 points

Team captain: Erika
• “There’s a particular incident that seems to follow me forever, but I don’t think this is really the place,” says Erika, obviously trying to bait her roommates into probing her for more information. Plus 4, because success! But minus 1 for not being able to say “hyper-ventilating” without stumbling. This can’t be the first time she has used the word.

Minus 10, because as far as desperate ploys for attention go, “I’m going to crash the car” pales in comparison to “I’m gonna fake a terminal illness,” and we know Erika can go there.

• Since the singing thing obviously isn’t going anywhere, Erika makes herself a spokesperson for clinical depression. Plus 1 for at least trying to come up with an alternative story arc for the show.

• “To be honest with you, I’d rather buy a dress for $32 than go on a tour.” Plus 2 because we too would buy a dress over going on a duck tour.

• “It just sucks because nobody ever wants to do anything I want to do.” Minus 5. Too obvious.

• “I know I have high standard for friends, but Ashley just doesn’t know the proper friend etiquette.” See that? It looked like Erika was admitting a character flaw, but then she really wasn’t. Ashley’s the one who’s seriously messed up and, not only that, she’s also ignorant of the Friendship Code of Conduct, duh. Plus 3.

• “She said I was being inappropriate. What does that mean? I asked her to get off the phone. How is that inappropriate? Inappropriate would be like, ‘Could you get your vagina off the phone?’ That’s inappropriate.” Well played, Erika. Plus 10.

• “I don’t know why you think I’m a spoiled brat. I was just raised with good parents that care about me. I’m sorry if that bothers you, but I can’t help that.” Zing! Hit ’em where it hurts most. Masterful. Almost Waldorfian, one might say. Plus 7.

Minus 1 for threatening to leave and not pulling through. Lame.

Plus 2 for being the bigger person and making amends with Ashley. Pl
us 5 bonus points
for actually hugging Ashley.

Other team members:
Plus 2 because even though she may be the doe-eyed country bumpkin, even Callie seems to have caught up to the fact that when Erika rants and complains, it’s best to tune out, feign attention, and carry on with life’s true pressing concerns: lip-gloss and hair-spray application.

Minus 1 because laser tag isn’t “fucking awesome”—it’s just awesome—and really only if you’re a teenager or a sad underage adult with no older friends who are willing to buy you boxed wine and then chug it with you in an empty parking lot instead. Also, did she really ask if there’s a P in “pterodactyl”? Minus 3. But plus 5 for asking this season’s most pertinent question: ”Oh my god, Ashley, do you listen to yourself?”

• Mike’s so nervous about his first date with Eric, he can’t even remember Emily’s name when introducing them to each other. Plus 1. We’ve all been there, sister.

• According to Mike, he’s bisexual because —and we’re paraphrasing here— right around the time he came out to his parents, he was dating a girl, and sure, he hasn’t hooked up with a woman in over a year, but don’t you wag your finger at him in disbelief, because he’s still figuring things out and—non-sequitor alert!—some people go celibate their whole lives, you know, and what about them awesome Giants, anyway, huh? Minus 7 because epic fail, dude.

• “I don’t want to hear any more of what Erika has to say, so I’ll take one for the team. I’m gonna take Erika shopping and I hope I come back alive.” Plus 3.

Minus 5 for pathetically flirting with girls at McFadden’s just to keep appearances. Everyone knows, Mike! Just embrace the gay in you already.

Total score:12

Winning Team: Quadruple Penetration 400. To no one's surprise, and despite Erika's challenge, Ashley remains this season's reigning bitch. 

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