Here we are, everyone: the very last episode of The Real World: Ex-Plosion. Last week ended our time in the house, and whatever fighting could take place there. NOW we've reached the reunion episode: secrets revealed, beefs revisited, and plans laid out for a future filled mostly with "Challenge" appearances and references in trivia night questions. It's a truly sad graduation party!
Now I could fill this space with exactly that information, but where's the fun in that? Instead I just made up my own reunion episode, moderated by me, in which I got to ask exactly the questions I wanted answers to. I didn't get them. But I sure had fun asking!
***What follows is a BEYOND fictional transcript of last night's reunion episode, and in no way an accurate reflection of what MTV aired. In reality, Jenna dumped Jay, Jamie reconciled with Hailey, and Jenny and Brian made the terrible decision to move in together. I like my one act play better.***
ME: Why are you all so terrible?
ME: Haha sorry, I know I can't lead with something that on-the-nose. Backtracking -- at what age did you know that only through alcohol could you truly express your feelings?
Jamie: I was 14, and this girl just would not shut up about her perfect Barbie life with all its Barbie clothes and Barbie concerns. I'd had half a bottle of Goldschlager, which was really edgy at the time, and just told her what I felt. But that's me -- total truth-teller.
[Jamie waits for applause from the audience that never comes. Tom has literally fallen asleep.]
ME: Holy cow, you were 10-years-old when you had your first drink?
Brian: No, I mean that 10 was the age at which I understood the whole personal expression thing via consumption of spirits such as beer. The being my true self thing. I've been drinking since I was a 5-year-old kindergartner.
Jenny: YOU'RE AN ALCOHOLIC AND NOT A MAN!
Brian: DON'T SAY SHIT YOU KNOW IS ROOTED IN FALSEHOODS AND SLANDER, JENNY.
[They start making out furiously, punctuated by breaks in which they stomp the shit out of the furniture on stage. Security guards feign intervention but you know they're just there for show.]
ME: Moving on. Lauren, you had a pregnancy scare this season. Why in God's name would you even entertain the idea of staying on the show?
Lauren: Umm, you know, America has a huge problem with safe sex and stuff and I wanted to [Lauren looks off-stage] hold a light up to this issue with [she's squinting now, trying hard to read the cue cards] brutal candor and vulnerability. But it was good I went home.
[Just then, MTV Producer Raquelle rushes onstage.]
Raquelle: NO, NO, it was not good that you went home! I mean sure, we all need the love and support of family in these disconnected times. But what better family than this one up here? You guys know that song, "With a Little Help from My Friends," right? Gosh, who sings that?
ME: ...The Beatles?
Raquelle: That's not right. I work for MTV, and I know music, and that's definitely incorrect. Kings of Leon? Whatever, you know the song.
ME: Raquelle, since you're up here, talk to us about the genesis of this particular season. Who came up with the "Ex" idea?
Raquelle: Me. I did. Me. I.
[Another show producer, Jetzen, rushes onstage the same way Raquelle just did.]
Jetzen: YO YO YO ITCHA BOY JETZEN, LIKE THE JETSONS BUT WITHOUT THAT PATRIARCHICAL AFTERTASTE. "ZEN," BABY, LIKE BUDDHA.
ME: You are an unbearable person.
Jetzen: THANK YOU.
Raquelle: Jet here, I should tell you, was actually my inspiration for the premise. We were a couple for — God, what was it?
Jetzen: TWO MOON CYCLES.
Raquelle: When we realized we, you know — we just wanted different things. I was obsessed with my job, he was obsessed with his job.
ME: You have the same job.
Raquelle: ...and so we had to end our love affair. But then I thought — how crazy awkward, and what great television, if we were forced to work together? Extrapolate that to our cast here, and you've got the realization of an amazing, deeply human idea.
[Raquelle starts clapping for herself, hoping the audience will join in. Jenna sympathy-claps, briefly, before Jay grabs her hands to stop.]
ME: Back to the cast. Cory, you fancy yourself sort of a peacekeeper, yes?
Cory: In many ways I am a modern monk. I don't play with violence or terrorism or whatever.
ME: And yet you were fighting someone, usually Brian, every other episode. Explain that.
Cory: How does one begin to explain the mechanics of one's own body in a fight or flight scenario?
ME: Well, you fight or you don't. For starters.
Cory: Yes, but when my fists punched or my legs kicked it was not an expression of hatred or aggression so much as my body's decision to render what I might otherwise have said with, you know, physicality.
ME: That is literally the definition of violence.
Cory: Potato Tomato.
[The audience laughs. Cory takes off his tank top and throws it into the stands, which yields an explosion of clapping and cheering. Trying to keep it going, Cory gets on all fours and uses his hands and knees to bound across the stage, howling like a wolf. Jay leaps from the chair he'd been standing on to try and look taller onto Cory's back. Jay rides Cory for a good five minutes. Jetzen is crying and shitting himself he's so happy.
Five minutes later...]
ME: Tom. Tom?
[Tom is still asleep, as he has been for the duration of the special.]
ME: Okay. Jenna, how would you say your relationship with Jay has changed — for better or worse — since your time on the show?
Jay: I got this one. We're, like, equals now. Partners. If I'm gonna go mack on some girl at the bar who's got, like, a tasty set, I tell Jenna first. It's all about communication.
Jay: Baby, I got this. Jenna and me, we don't subscribe to this 1920s model of "love" or "a relationship" or "fidelity" or
Jenna: They're so—
Jay: BABY, let me finish! "Respect" or "compatibility" or "love" or any of that bullshit. We're a 21st century couple that plays by 21st century rules.
Jenna: I agree.
ME: So you guys are good?
Jay: We're engaged to be married in 2021 so yeah, bro [chuckles] -- I think we're good.
Jamie: I'll kill myself if you don't let me officiate.
ME: Tom awake yet?
[Tom is now in a coma. Raquelle stands over him with a Go-Pro camera thrust into his face. Jetzen mimes humping Tom's limp body.]
ME: And that's all the time we have! Arielle, Ashley, I'm so sorry we weren't able to get to you. No hard feelings?
[Arielle and Ashley both nod with a "what can you do?" look on their faces. They're smart, and normal, and understand that face time on an MTV program is predicated almost entirely on how stupid/drunk/pregnant you are.]
ME: See you next season!
[An asteroid strikes earth, a direct hit to the MTV soundstage. The planet is destroyed.]