''Real World''

Grecian Formula

These 6 plus Greece equals... foreign drinking! And on this vacation, Frankie became the ''World'' champeen troublemaker, says Josh Wolk

The Real World | FRANKIE, WE SAY RELAX Even when the story doesn't revolve around Frankie, it revolves around Frankie
FRANKIE, WE SAY RELAX Even when the story doesn't revolve around Frankie, it revolves around Frankie

These 6 plus Greece equals... foreign drinking!

There is no more effective juxtaposition than seeing ''The Real World'' nitwits frolic in Greece to really highlight how low we've dipped as a society. Witness the civilization that gave us poetry and drama and philosophy… as a drunk septet stumbles across it, their pinhead antics videotaped for mass viewership. Even Caligula would think this bunch was trashy.

I'm still reeling from the San Diego troupe's May 4 vacation video. I wondered why the show seemed to whiz through the sights -- Here's Athens, here's the Acropolis, quick, off to Santorini -- but it quickly became clear that this episode had far more pressing things to address. Those ruins will be there forever, these dopes are screaming NOW!

Frankie was a pill from the moment she stored her bag in the overhead compartment, and upon arriving, she managed to sigh throughout most of Greece. Would she have perked up if she was taught the story of Punkrates, the inventor of the scrotum piercing? She did take time out of her busy sulking schedule to suck whipped cream off of Cameran's belly in a bar, but hey, a gal's gotta eat.

On a drunken night in Santorini, Brad and Cameran ended up making out in the hot tub, until she broke away, saying, ''I'm not gonna make out with you anymore''… and that was the last thing that made sense for the rest of the episode.

I will try to reconstruct the subsequent events, but it is difficult to think straight as I'm still suffering from a contact hangover. A drunk Robin grew angry that Cameran lost their room key, and began spluttering weeks-old complaints about her. Everyone started screaming at each other, driving a weeping Cameran to stand in the corner, as if reenacting the final scene of ''The Blair Witch Project.'' Suddenly, miraculously, Frankie cheered up. It turns out that causing other people's misery is Frankie's Prozac. Witness:

First, Frankie told Brad that Robin takes the blame for everything Cameran does (like NOT punching random guys in bar lines?), and then eloquently told Robin that if anyone tells her she was to blame for the night's argument, she should tell them to ''f--- the f--- off.'' Boy, if Frankie's snake-farming career goals fall apart, she can always get a job ghostwriting for David Mamet.

But a minute later, she was pulling Cameran aside to tell her that everybody hated her… while simultaneously reassuring her that Robin was a crazy bitch. Cameran got increasingly disoriented the more Frankie tried to talk her through a nonexistent problem: I guess that's what happens when someone treats you like they're talking you down from a bad acid trip, and you're not on acid. It's the mental equivalent of somebody putting thick glasses on you when you have 20/20 vision.

Then came a flurry of drama that I'm glad Sophocles wasn't around to see. Brad and Frankie were screaming about how she was clearly just fueling the fires (how crazy is Frankie? She made me take Brad's side!), and then suddenly, in flew Robin, the deus ex drunkina. Fluttering her hand on her heart, she burst into tears as she ran to Cameran's bed, apologized, embraced her, and pronounced, ''We're just two dumb b----es who love each other.'' (Well, I'll give her the first five words, anyway.) Then she hopped under the covers, fully dressed, and went to sleep. This was a performance that Jennifer Jason Leigh would consider too mannered.

The next morning, Brad and Randy were discussing Frankie's riling performance, and she overheard them. After receiving and misconstruing counsel from her father about being upfront with people, she confronted everyone antagonistically when they were already half-lit in Mykonos. Even by ''Real World'' standards, Frankie had reached new heights of nonsensicality, and yes, I'm including New Orleans' David. Her argument was that everyone should say out loud how they're feeling. But when Randy countered that she had been silently sulking the whole trip, she said, ''I don't give a f--- if you guys know how I feel!''

An interjection here, and be patient, it's relevant: The other day I read an article on AOL news about a scientist who predicted that global warming will cause the polar ice caps to melt, and the resulting rise in ocean levels will submerge much of Florida. On the linked message boards, there were numerous smug postings by people proclaiming that this proved environmentalists were idiots, because if you leave a glass of ice water out, and the cubes melt, the water doesn't overflow, does it? They were so confident that they had disproved all global-warming theory, you could practically taste the burning coal. Of course, their theory missed one critical and obvious point: The polar caps stick out of the water. If you stack ice three inches above the rim of your smoking-gun of a water glass, well, you're gonna have some spillage.

All of this is to say: I would rather sit in a room arguing global warming with these numbskulls for a year straight than have to debate anything with Frankie for five minutes.

Just when you thought things couldn't get any weirder, Frankie intimated that Randy was never sober, and he let loose a rant (which involved the phrase ''treated you with kitten gloves,'' but enough nittenpicking) that culminated in, ''Do not call me an alcoholic, cause then I will cry!'' And don't call him lazy or he'll hold his breath until he passes out! And you don't want to KNOW what happens when you call him late for dinner (but I'll give you a hint -- someone better get Big Rand a new diaper!).

I'm still reeling from this episode, and am not sure what to think, but I do know this: Somewhere up in heaven, Euripides is saying, ''Man, sometime in the past 2,500 years, entertainment really jumped the shark.''

Originally posted May 05, 2004
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