''Real World''

Directly to Jail

What was this, an episode of ''COPS''? More like when San Diego cops wanna be ''COPS,'' says Josh Wolk

The Real World

What was this, an episode of ''COPS''?

When I was in my 20s, I rarely got drunk. And there were few things less enjoyable than an evening which ended with my friends being eye-glazedly intoxicated. I think I developed permanent brow furrows from some evenings just trying to corral four friends into a cab who kept wandering off to sing to an all-night diner waiter or scream at a mailbox.

So why did I get such enjoyment out of watching the ''Real World'' gang spray 150-proof drool all over San Diego last night? My goodness, what a delightful night of dunderheaddery! And all the better because I wasn't Jacquese, having to take care of these drunken humps.

Remember when ''The Real World'' tried to turn ''RW: Hawaii'' Ruthie's binges into a life lesson about alcoholism? Apparently morality-tale time is over, because this year they're just reveling in the house's guzzling. Although just showing Brad, Robin, Randy, and Frankie's drastic post-glug IQ loss should do more to scare teens off the bottle than any Ruthie intervention.

First, there was Robin's arrest. Now, let's be honest: as much as I love the idea of people getting persecuted just for being obnoxious human bullhorns, it's clear that she was provoked only because she trailed a ''Real World'' camera crew, and that the cops were just looking for an excuse to bag a reality-TV star. Did they think they'd get to keep the cameras as a trophy? Were they jealous that ''COPS'' had never come to town, and they were determined to get their TV time no matter what?

And what kind of sting operation is it when the cops politely ask a bar manager to please bring their perp outside for them? Well, apparently a good one -- it worked. Seeing Robin weave outside going, ''Where's my girlfriend?'' only to find two cops standing there was priceless. You could get Robin to stick her head in a bear trap if you told her there was a Tequila shooter at the bottom. Although she's no idiot: she did know the law enough to saliently use the ''Kiss my ass! I wanna go home!'' defense. I believe that's the same one Martha Stewart is using.

And then came Brad and Randy, thrown out of the bar for being too intoxicated. Even when 100 percent sober, Brad has the look of a man whose only thoughts are the lyrics to ''99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.'' But when he's drunk, he somehow looks even dumber, like operating a stapler could be a major mental challenge. The wet stain on his T-shirt just completed the picture: I'm guessing that his words after creating said stain were, ''Huh? How me am not get beer in mouthhole?''

Watching Captain Bug-Eye and his sidekick, Randy McSlur, obliviously stagger past Robin's cop car had to be one of the most priceless moments in ''Real World'' history. This confluence of disasters was akin to ''Seattle'' Stephen throwing Irene's teddy bear, and it hitting ''Boston'''s Montana in the arm, causing her to spill the wine she was pouring for her day-care kids.

And then Brad got arrested, again for the trumpiest of trumped-up charges. A drunk guy yelling at other drunk guys? I believe that makes him Public Enemy No. 45,783. But unlike Robin, at least Brad didn't lose his sense of humor, saying, ''The penal code? I didn't pull out no penis.'' Actually, he might not have been kidding, but after all he's been through, let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

Poor, poor Jacquese, who spent his whole night attempting to solve this problem, all with the aid of barely conscious sloshed roomies who seemed unclear what each other's names were. ''Brad is not a manivolent person!'' garbled Randy, while Frankie looked like she would either be humping him or throwing up on him within seconds, and it could go either way. Jacquese (who provides a blissful reality check to remind the viewer that no, the roomies' behavior is not normal) couldn't even count on the teetotaling Cameran for help, since even when sober she needed Robin to write down where her own home was. First let her master her own address, and then worry about teaching her the U.S. legal system.

When, after finally figuring out Brad's predicament, Jacquese got the tearful jail call from Robin to say she was in jail too (though she thought she was in Mexico), and her bail was $8,000, his shock made for one of the funniest moments I've ever seen on this show. Hopefully he will do the right thing in next week's conclusion: offer the jail an extra $8,000 to keep her locked up until the show is over. Then again, if she promises to keep her camera crew with her, I'm sure the warden would do it for free.

Originally posted Jan 28, 2004