'Real World Ex-Plosion': The Producers Send the Roommates Footage of Jay Kissing Someone Else
Wednesday night's episode of Real World Ex-Plosion had me feeling a lot of things. The word "bro-pocalypse" was uttered. Hailey drunkenly somersaulted around the house. A fight broke out. Thomas ate seaweed chips while laughing at Hailey telling him he's going to die one day. ("I will die," Thomas whispered, mid-chip. "'Cause that's inevitable.")
As amazing as all of these moments were, I want to talk about the producers planting a drama seed in the house, leaving it be, and letting the conflict flower bloom on its own.
And did it ever bloom on its own.
One afternoon, Jay noticed a new video had popped up on the house comp's desktop. I assumed it was a virus/Trojan horse/the first sign of the e-pocalypse (not to be confused with the bro-pocalypse. Entirely different). Nope, just a video sent by the producers. Jay told us via confessional that the producers liked to send them videos every now and then. Oh, a harmless video? That's all? Not a virus?! WHEW. Close call.
OR SO I THOUGHT.
Why would the producers toss a vid at the roommates? Why on earth would the producers think it was imperative that the roommates saw that very footage at that very moment? Why couldn't the cast wait until the show aired to see the footage?
Because the footage was T-R-O-U-B-L-E. And it could. Not. Wait.
The title of the file: “Sloane.” Jay freaked out at the mere sight of the thumbnail. He didn't even have to watch the video, and he freaked out. The name of the vid was enough. He knew it was footage from the night he smooched a rando at Sloane.
Arielle deleted the video before anyone could watch it.
Jamie told Jenna about Jay panicking about the mysterious video, so Jenna confronted Jay. Jay told her he kissed someone in the video, but that it was nothing more than a kiss on the cheek. We viewers knew that it was more than a kiss on the cheek. It was a mack attack. Poor Jenna.
The ladies of the house got ahold of the previously-deleted vid (thanks for re-sending it, producers!) and watched it. And, as we viewers already knew, Jay totes macked on the rando. And Jenna witnessed the mack footage. Poor Jenna.
Jay's ass? CAUGHT.
Jay had no choice but to fess up to what happened. He also fessed that this isn't the first time he's cheated on Jenna. Goddammit, Jay. Why would you do anything to hurt Jenna? She seems like such a lovely lady. Enghhhh.
They had a few convos about their relationship status. Jenna told Jay he has to earn back her trust. I reckon that means their relaysh is TBD.
So how do I feel about the producers stirring the pot? I'm more for it than not. No, I am not for Jenna getting hurt. That really sucked. But watching someone be held accountable for their shit right then and there, rather than waiting for their delayed comeuppance at the reunion? I'm game.
If this was another season, footage of Jay secretly kissing a rando at a club wouldn't surface until the show's reunion. The cast, months removed from the actual events, would address it then. It could be an explosive reunion moment, sure. But could it ever be ex-plosive? No. Timing is everything.
Also? It's not like the producers fabricated footage of Jay smoochin' on another lady or something. He did it. The producers simply showed the roommates what Jay had already done. It wasn't fake. It was real. Real World!
I am obsessed with this season of the Real World. The breaking of the fourth wall. The frequent interactions with the producers. The chats with the camera crew. Into all of it.
As for chucking a footage bomb at the cast and letting it ex-plode? SO META. SO IN-THE-MOMENT. I LOVE IT.
Why would the producers hit the house with the vid? Perhaps they were looking out for Jenna. Or perhaps things were sailing too smoothly for Jay and Jenna. Before the Sloane video incident, their relationship was going okay. Sure, they had their issues. They weren't perfect. But compared to Jenny and Brian duking it out, or the Jamie/Thomas/Hailey love triangle, Jay and Jenna's relationship was one of the less dramatic relationships in the house.
The producers had the power to change that. They had the technology. They could un-build it.