''The Real World'': The worst bachelor parties ever
Whee! Bachelorette party! Break out the penis straws! Flash the sassy nightie! Who's that at the door? It's the cops…stripper cops! Naughty, ladies, naughty!
Brynn's bachelorette party couldn't have been more staged if it had been a donkey show performed by Cirque de Soleil. Everything about it was done by the bachelorette-party handbook and was clearly orchestrated by the MTV producers. Oh, unless Trishelle selflessly spent her entire Ninja Cheerleaders paycheck booking the elaborate Crib suite. Actually, no, that wouldn't happen, as I think Trishelle was paid for that gig entirely in tequila shooters and TrimSpa gift certificates.
And then came the strippers. ''Did someone order some towels?'' the buff khaki'd men said when they arrived, deep undercover as hotel workers. ''They're nice and fluffy!'' They kept lasciviously referring to the fluffy towels. Was this supposed to be a double entendre? Is there a sex act I'm not familiar with called the fluffy towel? I fear it involves getting someone wet and then drying them with something that historically is not particularly absorbent. Get on it, frat guys!
The parade of party staples continued endlessly, as if there had been a PA standing right outside the door ticking things off a bachelorette-party checklist. ''Phallic popsicles? Check. Whips? Check. Veil? Check. Did the fluffy-towel guys go in yet? All right, give 'em three minutes of gyration, then send in the fake cops to ask what all the noise is about. Then we send in the female stripper and we can all go home.'' And why the female stripper, anyway? Did she come free with the penis straws? Or was this just a bachelorette-party Mad Lib, and she got put in under ''exploited profession''? It could just as easily have been a tossed dwarf had someone guessed differently.
With the professional strippers gone, Trishelle showed them what a real amateur could do, using the pole in the shower. Putting a stripper pole in a shower seems like something you'd get if you programmed a robot how to think erotically. Yes, both things technically are ''sexy,'' but they don't go very well together. First of all, the pole gets wet and slippery. While it is sexy when a stripper turns upside down and slowly slides down to the floor, it is less sexy when a stripper flips upside down, goes shooting down a frictionless pole, and cracks her cranium on a tile floor. Unless you have a spinal-injury fetish: then, hot stuff! Rock that backboard, you little slut!
Also, the shower was a little small and cramped. Trishelle kept trying to showcase the skills she learned for her movie (I didn't realize her Ninja Cheerleader character was also a stripper! Sounds classy! Did Sidney Lumet direct?), but she couldn't seem to manage a graceful flip because she kept bumping into walls. It was like watching Alice in Wonderland try to entertain Japanese businessmen after biting the ''eat me'' cake.
Meanwhile, the guys were up to some trouble of their own! Wee-ha and zzzzz! I'm not a big fan of stripper-oriented bachelor parties: I'm not a prude, but the idea of sitting around watching a stripper get paid to twist her fake breasts into balloon-animal shapes and then knock me and my friends about the head with them makes my soul flaccid. And yet, for guys to head to their own luxury suite to be met by four hot women...and play basketball against them? I'm not sure that that's much better, actually. Is there really that much difference between women being paid to make guys feel more manly by getting naked and women being paid to make guys feel more manly by losing to them at four-on-four? It's a good thing I didn't get what I asked for at my bachelor party: a hot woman to come over in a bikini with the words ''New Yorker Editor'' stitched into the thong and to sit on my lap and tell me that my essays were really special and I should have a regular column, all while my friends throw dollar bills at her.
Oh, and did anyone else have the same thought I did when the guys announced they were going to give Austin a bash, too: Who's watching his and Brynn's kids? Were they in a different penthouse, getting belated baby showers? I hope no one brought them fluffy towels.
Anyway, I was getting really frustrated by this episode, since it felt like an instructional video for partying brides and grooms, but then something special happened. The ladies went over to the men's suite to see what was up and found the guys, now rid of those pesky female bartenders, getting down to some serious partying: giving each other purple nurples and wet willies.
Once everyone was together, the fun really started. Gone were the artificial trappings of bachelor/ette parties, and here were the artificial trappings of histrionic arguing. Frank was being a drunk dope, ''gleeking'' water at people, and he sprayed Irulan. (EW's own Dan Snierson is a master gleeker; at home he probably dragged out a Telestrator to study and critique Frank's technique.) Irulan seemed to accept the gleek in the dumb spirit it was given, and she chased Frank around the room. But when she tripped over a chair and minorly skinned her knee, she decided retroactively that Frank had irreparably shamed her.
''You have to realize we're adults now,'' said Irulan patronizingly. ''You're a grown-up now.'' On and on she yammered about how they were different than they were five years ago. And yet, all I could think was that this was exactly the kind of superior grandstanding that she did back in 2002. And after a sharp, begging-for-camera-time argument with Alton about respect, she got on the phone with a producer and demanded to get off the show. How was this a lesson in maturity? Blubbering, ''I quit!'' through hiccupping tears? Her choppily edited argument with Alton had ended with her saying, ''I understand what you're saying: You're a big, big star and I'm not.'' I don't know what led to that, but it certainly didn't sound like a topic any role model in adulthood would be discussing.
No one can argue that Frank is acting mature. He's getting smashed, trashing the suite, picking up women, and slamming into walls. But at least he's being unapologetically immature. In the morning, he cleans the dried vomit off his shirt, wonders how he ended up wearing the doorman's pants, shrugs, and starts all over again. Yeah, he's being a boob, but he recognizes it and embraces it. It's Irulan's ''Grow up!'' posturing that makes me nuts, because it's the same narcissistic grandstanding that you'd find in any high school drama queen. She's grown up, but only chronologically. Same goes for Arissa; for all her talk about inner peace and change, she's the same impatient, intolerant person she was five years ago, stalking out of the suite after Frank trashed it and saying she needed to stay elsewhere to calm down and reevaluate whether she wanted to stay.
It's two weeks, people! You're there for two weeks! You can put up with a little immaturity for that much time, can't you? And these women can't tell me that they thought that a reunion of the most memorably debaucherous cast in Las Vegas! was going to involve round-table discussions of hopes and dreams, as well as photo shoots and the occasional trust fall. No, it was going to involve just what they got: a chance to scream and act superior and make the show all about them. They should be glad that Frank is spitting and smashing: If he didn't, what else would they have to bitch about?
What do you think? Who needs to grow up? Should Irulan go home? Should they all maybe have stayed out of Vegas?