Ahead of the premiere of the twenty-eighth (!) season of The Real World, set somewhat curiously in Portland, MTV has scheduled a weekend marathon of three “classic” seasons of the trailblazing reality show. Starting Friday night at 8pm MTV will air the first entry in the series, the groundbreaking Real World: New York, followed by the booze and sex soaked Las Vegas season Saturday at 2pm, and rounded out by the Puck and Pedro-fronted season three, Real World: San Francisco, beginning 8am Sunday. While we applaud the selection of NY and SF as 66.6% of the marathon, we cannot support the further promulgation of Las Vegas, especially at the expense of more worthy, important, less debaucherous seasons like Los Angeles, New Orleans, Seattle, or even the underrated Miami.
Choosing New York to lead off the marathon is a no-brainer. It was not just the first season of the long-running series, it defined what the series would be. Like Richard Hatch on the maiden season of Survivor, The Real World: New York set the mold for what this show would be, and, in many ways, set the course for Reality TV for the next twenty years. It’s cultural relevance and impact cannot be understated. Likewise for San Francisco, which was even more captivating and controversial for its inclusion of Pedro, an HIV positive Cuban-American, and Puck, a bellicose bike messenger with questionable hygiene and even more questionable social skills. This season – with its portrayal of a gay man (living, not dying) with AIDS and the caustic, boorish punk who alienated his housemates to the point of eviction – truly launched the show, and as well as awareness of the deadly disease, into the public consciousness, establishing The Real World as an MTV institution and a cultural phenomenon with immense significance. Nearly ten years later, Las Vegas began to undo everything that San Francisco and its peers has established.
Read on: Sin City or the City of Angels?
Well, we all saw this coming. We saw this coming back on South Pacific when he accused Mikayla of being an evil temptress, and we saw this coming when he went back and forth and back with his relationship with God and spoke of battles with inner demons. And we saw this coming in episode two of Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit when, in beautiful night vision, his neck tattoo glistening in the twilight, he threatened to go on a rampage. So no one – no one – should have been surprised when Brandon Hantz finally lost it on Survivor: Caramoan. Which isn’t to say it was predictable, or that it wasn’t riveting, truly unsettling television.
But first, who’s that girl next to Michael and Eddie?!
Oh, right, Julia. That person that exists on the Fans tribe. At this point, she’s our pick to win it all, solely because everyone will keep forgetting that she’s there and no one will ever write her name down. Also, she might be a ghost.
More: Seriously guys, you should really hide rice and beans…
Today Pope Benedict XVI officially resigned from the Church, waving goodbye to the Vatican and the millions of Catholics who believed he was infallible. But what did he do for his last night as Pope? Well, as you might imagine, he celebrated with a big pasta dinner, and things got a little pazzo (like Gallagher show crazy). See exclusive footage here.
When can only hope that the next Pope demonstrates such mercy.
Last night Prince Fielder became only the second player to win the MLB Home Run Derby twice, equaling the feat achieved by Ken Griffey, Jr (whose success in the event can no doubt be attributed to the freedom to wear his Mariners cap in his preferred backwards position, enlivening him and providing optimal comfort in the batter’s box). The derby itself, taking place at the Kansas City ballpark that most of the country just learned is named Kauffman Stadium, was an interminable display that painfully reflected the American ideal of bigger is better, an incessant cacophony of bombastic, intolerable, verging on nauseating home run calls (the half-life on Chris Berman’s “back, back, back, back….GONE!” is exactly two). Three hours into it, and there we still were for some reason, watching Prince Fielder and runner-up Jose Bautista tee-off on meatballs lobbed in by AARP-card carrying batting practice pitchers (or, in Robinson Cano’s case, disappointed fathers). One can only watch baseballs be launched into centerfield fountains so many times before the tweens earnestly but unsuccessfully shagging pop flies quickly become vastly more entertaining. We freely admit that there was a time when we were once highly engaged in the Home Run Derby. But now, what we wouldn’t give for Roger McDowell and a cow in right field.
But it wasn’t just our yearning for something more exciting and less vacant that reminded us of MTV’s Rock N’ Jock Softball. We couldn’t help watch Prince Fielder deposit ball after ball into the right field stands and not remember first seeing him as a young boy accompanying his father Cecil “Big Daddy” Fielder at those true mid-summer classics. Unfortunately, as Grantland notes in its superb primer on the halcyon days of Rock N’ Jock, video of those games is stunningly difficult to find online. You can spot Cecil in the starting lineup during the Star Spangled Banner in one of the earlier match-ups, but that’s about it. Other than that brief appearance, tragically, there’s no video evidence that Cecil was a Salamander or an Aardvark, let alone any footage from those MTV broadcasts that show a young baseball prodigy named Prince, and we’re all losers for it.
However, there is some proof of Prince’s early talent. However, this phenom ability was found in throwing a baseball, not sending it 440 feet with a Louisville Slugger, as illustrated by this 1992 McDonald’s commercial with Cecil.
Although Prince is on the other side of the ball in this commercial he still comes out on top. Burger royalty then, baseball royalty now.
Keeping with today’s theme, we’re going to address the recent rumblings about Queen Latifah’s sexuality. Last month word spread across the blogosphere that Queen Latifah declared herself a lesbian at the Long Beach Pride Festival on May 19th. But she later denied those reports, explaining that her unity with the gay community does not necessarily equate with her coming out of the closet, and she refuses to comment further either way. And we respect her feelings on the matter and her preference to keep her private life private. But we don’t care either way; you be you, Queen. What do know, however, is that the girl can play ball, for whatever that’s worth.
Take a look at this classic highlight from the 1994 MTV Rock’n’Jock B-Ball Jam and draw your own conclusions. Or don’t. Or do and keep them to yourself. That’s your right too.
Also, Dan Cortese.
Well, it’s back to the grind after a long, boozy, enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend. But so much happened! And all while Lauren was away. Hard to believe.
(sorry, we just never get tired of this)
Well, he hasn’t left this earth, but he’s leaving 60 Minutes. And we should take this moment not to remember Rooney’s 1,097cantankerous, complaint-filled segments, but rather this clip from Beavis and Butthead, which first (tangentially) introduced us to the thorny, opinionated, very old (even then) man.
(and it’s because of this video that up until a few years ago we weren’t certain of the difference between Andy Rooney, Mickey Rooney and Mickey Rourke)