“I rule the world, not you. You are little pawns and I am the queen. Know your place, stay in your role, think before you speak. I got your dog, bitch. I GOT YOUR DOG, BITCH!”
— Hurricane Nia, June 5, 2013
First there was music. Then eerie calm. Then the shocking flurry of violence. Yep, Real World went straight Game of Thrones this week. This particularly dysfunctional group of seven strangers gave us the most violent fight in the history of the franchise. Bill was bummed out about it. He said that it “went to a dark place” and forced him into "Real World retirement.”
Nia (Real World, House), 70 points: The most violent act in the history of the Real World franchise started with dog poop. When you track it all the way back, the butterfly-wing flap that started this chaos was barefoot Nia stepping in a Daisy deposit on the confession-room floor. How a young woman stepping in dog deuce can lead to attempted murder with a hair dryer is a study in conflict escalation that can only be understood when broken down step by (pun intended) step. Ladies and gentlemen, I now present:
THE BLOW–BY–BLOW–BY–BLOW DRYER BREAKDOWN
1. Action: Nia steps in Daisy’s deuce on the confession-room floor.
Motivation: 100 percent unintentional.
My Take: This is one of those sliding-door moments in life. I'm not exaggerating when I say this: Stepping in that Daisy deuce will affect the way people will treat Nia for the rest of her life. She will forever hear background whispers of, “Is that the chick who tried to kill someone with a hair dryer?”
2. Action: Averey and Johnny return home. Nia tells them about stepping in the Daisy deuce.
Motivation: Remind Averey and Johnny that they should walk Daisy more and be wary of floor deposits.
Intention: Clean up the house a bit and take some of the Daisy deuce duty off her plate.
My Take: Nia isn’t being irrational or malicious ... yet.
3. Action: Johnny and Averey request that Nia clean up the Daisy deuce.
Motivation: They don’t want to clean the mess themselves and they find it strange that someone would discover something like that and leave it for others to clean.
Intention: Create an environment in which Daisy deuce duties are shared among all individuals who enjoy Daisy’s company.
My Take: We are still in a place where all parties are acting somewhat rationally and you can relate to their motivations and behavior. Remember that feeling.
4. Action: Nia refuses to clean up the mess.
Motivation: She doesn’t feel responsible for Averey’s Daisy’s deuces. She feels that is the responsibility of her owners.
Intention: Create an environment where Averey and Johnny clean up after their dog.
My Take: There's a life lesson here — namely it's not what you say, but how you say it. Nia could have been gentler in her refusal of the request, but I 100 percent back her position. Dog owners are responsible if their pet shits all over the house. I’ll give you one guess how Johnny and Averey feel about that ...
5. Action: Averey and Johnny (OK, mainly Johnny) yell at Nia about her refusal to clean up the poop. (5 points)
Intention: Shame Nia into cleaning Daisy’s deuce.
My Take: This woman spends the entire day drinking in her undergarments and writing a book about how to date athletes — you aren’t shaming her into anything.
6. Action: Johnny and Averey ban Nia from enjoying Daisy’s company.
Motivation: They feel if Nia won’t share responsibility for the dog's leavings, she shouldn't share the benefits of her companionship.
Intention: Guilt Nia into cleaning Daisy’s deuce.
My Take: This is where logic starts to take a backseat.
7. Action: Nia turns the lights on while Averey and Johnny are sleeping and calls for Daisy to play with her.
Motivation: Vengeance? Anger? Insanity?
Intention: Piss off Averey and Johnny; start a fight.
My Take: Averey and Johnny may have left the rest of us behind in Sanityville when they banned Nia from snuggling on Daisy, but Nia loses us at this point.
8. Action: Johnny goes to the bathroom, blows his nose, and then drops the Kleenex on Nia’s lap:
Motivation: He felt disrespected during their argument.
Intention: He intended to bring justice to the house and balance to the force.
My Take: Boogers on a Kleenex, dude? That's the best you could come up with? There are second-graders who are above this. Besides, if you really want to get your boogers off of a Kleenex and onto your target, you go with a wipe rather than a drop. That's just Booger Transfer 101.
9. Action: Nia puts the boogery Kleenex in Johnny’s shirt.
Motivation: Retaliation for the booger offensive.
Intention: Justice. An eye for an eye, a booger transfer for a booger transfer.
My Take: The retaliations aren’t really escalating at this point. Remember what that feels like.
10. Action: Johnny pours soda on Nia’s weave:
Motivation: Insanity, anger.
Intention: Mess with Nia’s precious weave.
My Take: Don’t mess with a weave. Just don’t.
[Quick note here: This officially marks the end of things making sense. All “motivations” and “intentions” are mere speculation from this point forward. Everybody kinda goes Mike Tyson chewing on ears from here on out.]
11. Action: "Hurricane" Nia finally lives up to her nickname and drops a barrage of punches on Johnny’s head. (25 points)
Motivation: Again, don’t mess with a woman’s weave.
Intention: Hurt Johnny.
My Take: Johnny’s “cover up and weather the storm” technique is his only option here. I can’t lie. I really wish Nia recognized the tactic and countered with an uppercut. Regardless, Round 1 goes to Nia on all scorecards.
11. Action: Fight is broken up, Nia brandishes hair dryer.
Motivation: Engage in more physical combat, preferably with a weapon.
Intention: Hurt, possibly even kill, Johnny.
My Take: WHY A HAIR DRYER? Of all the things that Nia could possibly brandish as a weapon, how did she end up opting for a hair dryer? Hair dryers are plastic, hollow, awkward objects. Her choice of the hair dryer shows me that she doesn’t REALLY want to kill Johnny. If she REALLY wanted to kill Johnny, she would have grabbed one of the four knives I saw hanging on a magnet in the wall in the kitchen.
12. Action: Nia waits on the other side of the door for Johnny to exit.
Motivation: She is trained in the ways of Sun Tzu. She knows that surprise is an ally.
Intention: Hit Johnny in the head with a hair dryer. Repeatedly. Preferably to death.
My Take: Note Averey standing by casually putting her hair up. This was sly passive maneuvering on her part. It will come into play shortly.
11. Action: Nia attempts to murder Johnny with a hair dryer.
My Take: How did Johnny not see this coming? What door in the house has hinges like that? Was Johnny coming out of a meeting with production? The elevator outside? Why is there a decapitated, flying skeleton cyclist painted on the wall? Is this the questionable moment of the week?
13. Action: Averey immediately engages with a solid double-arm weavelock.
Motivation: Defending her boyfriend from being beaten to death with a hair dryer.
Intention: Stop the fight. Oh, who am I kidding? Inflict pain on Nia, and not be seen as a sucker who stood by while a girl whupped on her boyfriend with a hair dryer.
My Take: The weave grab is always the preferred method of engagement when fighting on reality television. It provides leverage against your opponent, target location, and, if done right, a little post-fight trophy to put on the mantel. Averey quickly transitioned this into a left-arm weavelock, leaving her right arm free to do some punching, landing a couple decent shots and even slightly bloodying Nia. Round 2 goes to Averey on all scorecards.
14. Action: Jordan and Marlan come in and break up the fight.
Motivation: Peace, sanity.
Intention: Keep their roommates from killing each other with beauty supplies.
My Take: This is well and good, but then ...
15. Action: Marlan says, “Dude, you got to let them fight, bro!”
Motivation: No idea.
Intention: Again, no idea.
My Take: I think Marlan’s thinking here was, If we keep holding them back this is never going to end. Let’s just let one of them die, chalk it up to natural selection, and blame Darwin.
16. Action: Nia pours water all over Averey’s face. (5 points)
Motivation: I don’t know why I even include “motivation” and “intention” anymore.
Intention: See above.
My Take: I think we are officially in that “dark place” that Bill was talking about.
17. Action: Things calm down and Averey sits down in front of a mirror to fix herself when ...
Motivation: Reputation damage control.
Intention: Give Averey a Sidney Crosby concussion.
My Take: I feel like Nia knew that Averey got the best of her in that second skirmish and was ashamed. Show me someone who just lost a fight and I will show you someone who is ready for another. Nia had built up this HBIC persona and realized that the only way to maintain it was to ultimately win this fight. Thus, the sucker punch. And the end of the episode.
Lessons learned: If you own a dog, you are responsible for taking care of it. Don’t mess with a woman’s weave. And if you are attempting to transfer your boogers to another person via Kleenex, remember that a wipe is better than a drop.
Glad we got to experience that together. Let’s laugh at some losers looking for love.
Brooks (The Bachelorette, Lisanti), 25 points: Why do these men think that sharing their sob stories is the way to Des’s heart? YOU JUST MET THIS CHICK. There's a time and a place to drop the ol’ “woe is me” on a lady, but methinks a couple of solid fun hangs should transpire before you start telling the tales of how fucked up you are because of your parents. Besides, everyone is fucked up because of their parents.
Brooks was the first to kick off the sob-story oversharing because he had the first one-on-one date of the season. Where was the first date of the season, you ask? A bridal shop ... where they tried on wedding gowns and tuxedos ... and wore them to the Hollywood sign, where they made out. (5 points)
When Des had her first kiss of the season with Brooks, my wife blurted out, "She just took her first step on the road to herpes.” I would have laughed, but I was too focused on her footwear. Who wears Skechers with a wedding dress?
After the makeout came the teary sob story (20 points) that begot a teary sob story that begot a teary sob story. There was more tragedy in this Bachelorette than the complete works of Shakespeare. So much so that this week’s GRTFL Top Five is the Bachelorette Sob Story Power Rankings. Now, even I am not going to make fun of the genuinely terrible things that happened in the lives of these genuinely terrible men, so I will present these without commentary. But that doesn’t mean you can’t rank them from “Really, dude? That isn’t that bad” to “Whoa, I will never complain about my childhood again. You, sir, are a hero”:
Sob Story Power Rankings:
5. Brian (greasy banker-looking guy): I just went through a breakup.
4. Michael G. (hair from 1988 guy): He starts with, “There is something about me that is a big part of my life that I want to talk to you about ...” and that essentially ends with, “I have type 1 diabetes.”
3. Brooks (only guy with long hair guy): I didn’t talk to my dad between the ages of 13 and 19. Then I yelled at him when I saw him.
2. Bryden (military guy): I got in a terrible car accident, and then I went to Iraq.
1. Brandon (tall Aaron Paul): “I was born and I had a dad and a mom like you did. And, ah, my mom raised me until I was 5 and then my dad left. He ran away and I never saw him again, and I moved every two years of my life ... My mom was a drug addict growing up so it was me and my little brother and little sister. By the time I was 11 my mom started leaving for, like, a week in a row, so I had to raise this little family of mine.”
Johnny and Averey (Real World, Jacoby and Lisanti), 30 points: Whenever a reality show starts a segment with an anti-violence PSA, you know you're in for a treat. (30 points) Such was the case with the Averey–Johnny–Nia–hair dryer fiasco this episode. When I did my postmortem call with Bill, he noted that Johnny’s method of holding back Averey during the fight was curious. After reviewing the tape, I made some interesting findings.
Exhibit A: Johnny holding back Averey during the argument phase:
Exhibit B: Johnny holding back Averey during the fight phase:
Selective peacemaking can be the difference between winning a fight and getting blow-dryered to death.
Zak W. (The Bachelorette, Jacoby), 10 points: Zak “The Naked One” W. was the first to give Des a gift. He gifted her a journal from an “antique shop.” (10 points) One thing, though: The journal had an inscription in it:
“To Cara, my beautiful daughter. May the words flow from your pen filled with emotions from the heart. Love always, Daddy.”
OK, THIS is the questionable moment of the week:
What happened to the daughter? Did she live? Why was she such a shitty diarist? She couldn’t even add a couple entries before giving up? Was this “antique store” Cara’s driveway? Why is he wearing a shirt? Is Des even into journals? Are gifts allowed in the game? Why don’t they all have gifts, then? How did this thing come in its own fitted Styrofoam case? Do you think somewhere some dude watched this, called his daughter, and was all, "Cara, tell me you didn’t sell the journal I gave you on eBay"?
Jessica and Ana (Real World, Kang and Simmons), 5 and 10 points: Jessica was dumped via electronic mail last week, so this week she decided to be celibate until she was married. Before making this vow she did some research. She Wiki’ed “celibate,” “purity,” and “puritanical.” Then, to seal this very personal and private vow between her and God, she went into the confession room, turned on the camera that records what she says for a national TV show, and stated, “Lord, please just bless this ring. Please just give me the faith and the strength to trust you in all things, but mostly in my decision to wait for you.”
Ana did not appreciate her drawing so much attention to what she considered a private matter.
Ana approached Jessica and opened with, “I have something I want to get off my chest.” If someone ever opens with “I have something I want to get off my chest,” just leave the room. No one has ever said, “I have something I want to get off my chest: You are getting a promotion and a raise.” Ana followed with, “I have been fighting my intuitions on this for a long time and I kind of see what you are doing here, and I personally just don’t think I can like you. I think that you are here with a role and you are kind of sticking to it and I see the inconsistencies and the things that are not making sense, and I don’t like it and I don’t think I can be friends with a person like that.”
I can’t tell whom I should dislike more in this scenario — the oversharing attention whore, the one who calls out the oversharing attention whore, or myself for caring?
Bryden (The Bachelorette, House), 10 points: You know a story isn’t funny when you finish it with, “It was funny.” You also know that you aren’t having a good time when you are constantly talking about what a good time you are having:
Bryden: “This is awesome. This is so much fun.”
Des: “Good, I am glad you enjoy it.”
Bryden: “This is more like I hoped this day would go.”
Bryden: “Yeah, this has been exciting.”
Des: “That's nice.”
Bryden: “Yeah, this is completely different, but this is awesome at the same time.”
Des: “Just kiss me already.”
You also know you have no game when you are in a hot tub (5 points) and a lady tells you, “Just kiss me already” (10 points).
All the Bros Except Brooks, Bryden, Chris, and Brad (The Bachelorette, Various GRTFL Teams): The Bachelorette Bros and Des recorded a rap song titled “The Right Reasons” with Soulja Boy. (20 points) It looked like this:
I was going to write a long thing making fun of everyone involved, but it made me too depressed.
Ben (The Bachelorette, House), 5 points: Ben made out with Des (5 points) and every other dude in the house hates him. Naturally, he just became my favorite. Haters gonna hate Ben.
James and Michael G. (The Bachelorette, House and Connor), 10 points: These two lead the “I hate Ben because Des likes Ben” charge. The best part was when James explained, “She’ll figure it out, she'll figure out who is here and who isn’t here for the right reasons. It's weird that the rap song was about that, but she’ll figure it out.” (10 points)
Check back next week to see what household item Nia will brandish as a weapon next, what new sob story the Bachelorette Bros will be telling, and what the Challenge trailer they play after Real World looks like. Enjoy your weekend.