Josh Wolk
March 16, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Let’s see? Walk off or do a good job?

Over the past few years the ”Real World” casts have been hired at such fun, exciting workplaces as TV and radio stations, a surf shop, a beach, and a Vegas nightclub. And at each place, the housemates grimaced and complained about the agony that was their grindstone lives. This year’s group gets to work outside on a boat all day, and are paid to learn how to sail? and they hate every minute of it. It’s official: you can’t invent a job that will please a lazy ”Real World”er. If the producers ever want to curb the San Diego bunch’s partying, just offer to pay them to drink.

The only roomie who has any excuse to not enjoy work is Frankie, because her cystic fibrosis makes breathing difficult. However, how can you complain about your difficulty breathing, and then smoke? That’s like complaining about the high price of gas but buying a Hummer. Actually, no, it’s like complaining about the high price of gas but buying a Hummer and lighting it on fire. Or buying a Hummer and lighting yourself on fire. However you put it, it’s ridiculous.

And then there’s the fact that she won’t tell their captain, Brian, the extent of her problem. She refused to tell him her extenuating circumstances because she didn’t want to ”seem weak.” Uh, Frankie, it doesn’t count as bravely soldiering on when you complain incessantly, regardless of what facts you leave out. The key word in ”suffer silently” is ”silently,” not ”suffer.”

The rest don’t like work much, either, they just don’t have a medical excuse. They hate getting up at the godawful hour of?10:30 a.m. And they don’t like the way their boss Brian bosses them around, even if that word is actually in his title. (Does Cameran also hate when a plumber gets all plumbery?) They convene a house meeting to discuss the only logical solution to the problem: They should all quit, thereby improving their lives. ”A happy house is a happy Randy,” said Big Rand. No, a happy house is a lazy Randy.

Jamie surprisingly voted with the group to quit. Which was odd, since she was the driving force in getting everybody to work every day. It’s pretty telling that she was willing to work hard on a boat every day, but motivating her roommates’ lazy asses proved too strenuous a task.

Jacquese was the only holdout from the walkout, since his mother had instilled in him this weird thing called a work ethic. ”You don’t quit a job just because you don’t like it,” she said on the phone. (Well-timed advice that kept me watching this episode, I might add.)

The group was deadlocked, but Robin suggested, Hey, what if we all started working harder and developed a good attitude? Revolutionary! It’s so crazy it just might work! What followed was a montage of this plan successfully being implemented. They washed the deck with smiles on! They helped each other! And Frankie asked if she could wear a jacket! Cue the peppy pop music, because the group has solved the most easily solved problem ever! Tune in next week when the group complains about starving to death, but in the end Brad figures out how to open a can of tuna and use a fork to transport said tuna into his mouth!

The subplot was all about Big Rand’s hookup, which was yet another example of why you should never date a ”Real World” housemate. You go out, maybe you suck face, and then things don’t work out and you go on with your life? and then eight months later you turn on the TV along with the rest of the country to find a household of people making fun of your missing tooth (”Randy likes ’em young and gummy,” said Jacquese) and hair extensions. And so begins your life of insecurity.

When his ”date,” Erin, came over, he made out with her while Jacquese told Cameran and Erin’s friend to sneak upstairs and watch them. I’ve kind of let Ja off easy, since he’s often the only voice of reason. (The sensible Jamie doesn’t count, since she rarely gets a voice.) And yet, isn’t he a little too willing to applaud Brad and Randy’s frat-boy idiocy? His mom applauds him for his work ethic, but I’m not sure she’s equally proud of how her son told Erin’s friend that ”Big Rand’s puttin’ it down. That’s my boy!” The only positive spin I can put on Jacquese’s actions is that perhaps he was just happy to see Big Rand get a job done? any job.

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