TV Article

Rough Landon

The frat boy's binge-drinking alienates the ''Real World'' roomies — and may even be ruining his chances with Shavonda

TROUBLE BREWING Landon admits he may have a problem
TROUBLE BREWING Landon admits he may have a problem

''The Real World'': Landon drinks too much

Is one Real World house big enough for two outcasts? After last week's episode predictably positioned morose blondie Melanie as this year's candidate for Amish-style shunning, it was unexpected to see meathead mousse victim Landon presented as a second potential pariah — thanks to a drinking problem worthy of vodka-chugging Ruthie from Hawaii. And that was not the only twist in what may have been the season's most surprising episode: We even saw a roommate actually read a book — which turned out to be porn, but still!

Surprise No. 1: Landon admitted to a drinking problem — without tears, denials, or savage beatings. Landon, we're told, transforms into someone named Leo when he drinks (perhaps a relative of Sarah's ''Swedish'' alter ego, Ivana?). Leo, it seems, is Gollum to Landon's Smeagol. Sober Landon is already prone to flashing his ''wang'' at his roommates, while drunk Leo slurs his speech even more than usual, tosses women around on the dance floor like errant footballs, and becomes what Shavonda describes as ''a horrible, horrible person.''

Landon initially blamed his latest blackout on the drinks served at a gay bar, which were apparently too strong for him. ''I never drank martinis,'' said the forlorn jock (who, along with M.J., sure seems to spend a lot of time in gay bars). ''I never knew how much was in a martini, and glasses are deceiving,'' Indeed. But when Shavonda confronted him, Landon displayed unexpected self-awareness and pledged to watch his drinking in the future. Of course, Ruthie made the same promise.

Surprise No. 2: Sarah and Melanie reconciled. After further alienating everybody by passing off her preference for a small dive bar over the roomies' mega-clubs as a brand of moral superiority, Melanie really crossed the line. She unleashed her trademark ''I would never'' assault on the highly inappropriate target of Sarah's bulimia. (''I've learned you don't have the right to have an opinion on everything,'' Sarah responded, in a stunning venture into common sense.) Melanie later explained that she's only in her ''comfort zone'' when she's with her family, her friends, and her cat — and her roommates fall into none of those categories. (In a little editing-room irony, we later saw the vomitophobic Mel getting sick after a solo night out at her local.)

But Melanie and Sarah then found something over which to bond: laziness and irresponsibility! After showing up late to an adopt-a-pet event (''We're volunteers — we don't have to be on time''), they ditched it early, too, and went to hang out in the hot tub. Melanie offered some details on her rough childhood, and Sarah (and the audience) realized she's actually human. (We also learned she has a boyfriend — who knew?)

Surprise No. 3: Landon and Shavonda didn't hook up. Despite Shavonda's determination to ''take a break'' from her long-distance lame-o boyfriend, her previous drooling over Landon's deltoids, and his canine horniness, the would-be couple violated the show's unwritten rules by not coupling. Turns out Shavonda (despite having worked at Hooters) had enough self-respect to be disgusted by Leo's piggish behavior. But to keep us from wondering if we're watching the right show, she did continue sleeping in Landon's bed every night. As a friend, of course.

What do you think? What's more annoying: the Shavonda-Landon flirtation or everything Melanie says?

Originally posted Oct 27, 2004
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