''Real World''

Oh, Pairs

Those sex-obsessed couples are at it again. Josh Wolk sorts out the latest behavior of Steven, Trishelle, Irulan, and Alton

The Real World | YUCK-OH Irulan and Alton find some QT in the Confessional
YUCK-OH Irulan and Alton find some QT in the Confessional

Those sex-obsessed couples are at it again

We began the March 18 episode with Steven deciding for the 143rd time that he needed to break things off with Trishelle again. And yet as many times as he's done this and told her he just wants her for sex, she comes scrambling back every time a stiff wind blows by his crotch. Trishelle needs to have a sit-down with a lab rat, who can explain the pros and cons of always going for the nut with the electric shock.

Steven told Frank that breaking things off with Trishelle would motivate him to find a new woman outside of the house. Way to set goals! Yet I suspect that he would only make it as far as the elevator bank. Heaven help the woman from housekeeping who backs her cart into a horny Steven. Then again, perhaps his ideal mate would be someone with a ready supply of Lysol.

Steven later announced that he and Frank had been asked out on a date by two women. Trishelle's reaction to this flaunting? Bitterness? Fury? No. She declared that Steven deserved a really good girl, and these women were not worthy of him. Even HBO's ''Hookers at the Point'' would call that unhealthy behavior.

The dating quartet went to Coyote Ugly, for the third-generation trashiness of a bar based on a movie based on a bar. It's like Disney World for unimaginative, drunk tourists: I wonder if at this bar you can get your souvenir picture taken with someone in a giant Piper Perabo papier-mache head.

After a subtle display of shirtless bar-dancing, Steven concluded his evening of classiness by making out with one of the women in the cab home. Boy, when Steven kisses, he really puts his tongue into it, doesn't he? I keep waiting for him to lift a woman out of her seat and twirl her over his head with his mighty tongue. It does seem pretty dexterous: I wonder if he uses it to tie his shoes in the morning.

When they got home, Steven complimented Trishelle on her ass and began wrestling with her on the ground until his date got angry, grabbed her friend (who was in the midst of making out with Frank), and stormed out, thereby giving Trishelle false hope that Steven was back with her. I guess the allure for Steven is that sex with Trishelle is twofold: He gets to f--- her AND f--- with her head at the same time.

Eventually, he decided to do his version of the mature thing and just stop talking to her, because in Steven's world, nothing stops an obsession faster than the cold shoulder. This seems like a recipe for a ''Fatal Attraction,'' although in the Trishelle version of the movie she says, ''I won't be ignored, Steven...that is, unless you want me to be ignored.''

Meanwhile, we had to deal with Irulan and Alton yet again. MTV has at least taken to only featuring this absurd couple on alternating weeks, so the show is only assured of sucking every OTHER episode. Perhaps they took their cue from the ''Star Trek'' movies; I only wish they'd take another cue from ''Star Trek'' and propel this couple into space. Well, that's not fair: Uranus never did anything to deserve that.

The two are back together...and together all over the house, including the Confessional. (Move over Puck: I think shooting a porno in the common room has supplanted eating peanut butter with your finger as ''worst roommate behavior ever.'') The love affair faltered when Alton borrowed Irulan's pen to write down a woman's phone number. His explanation was that it would have been rude not to, since she offered, which is probably how he defended his threesome: He was only going to sleep with one of his dates, but it would have been ungallant to let her friend walk home alone.

Eventually they made up, because that's what they've always done and will continue to do. And Steven will continue to screw around with Trishelle and then abandon her. And I will continue to grind my teeth into sand as I wonder what I will continue to say about this broken-record group if this show continues much longer.

Originally posted Mar 19, 2003