Sex and more sex dominate 'Real World'

by Kelly Swartz | 1/17/02 6:00am

After 10 seasons of MTV's popular reality show, "The Real World," audiences have accustomed themselves to the outrageous consequences of throwing seven contrasting personalities into a posh, elegantly decorated den of fire. "Real World 11: Chicago" complicates the equation by saturating the sofas with gasoline and tossing in a match in the form of a doubled-headed shower and monster-truck sized hot tub.

Except for brief and uninteresting introductions when everyone arrives, the main focus of the first episode is sexual preference and attraction.

Eyeing each other's scantily clad bodies in the hot tub, the seven cast members pretend to concentrate on the details of each member's life story. Out of any previous young American cross-section, this cast has depth potential owing to a wide variety of life experiences. Tonya spent the majority of her adolescence in foster care; Chris is a recovering alcoholic; Kyle is a graduate of an Ivy League university and Theo has never lived in a racially diverse environment.

Soon the cast members begin to emerge as their superficial selves, simple adaptations of popular real world roomies of the past.

Tonya, the rural blonde nursing student from Walla Walla, Wa., arrives first with Theo and takes her place early on as the background character with her ear constantly plastered to the phone, talking with her at-home boyfriend. While her ignorant nature and voluptuous curves might have excited an anticipation of promiscuity among viewers, she appears already prepared to leave Chicago, in tears by the end of episode one.

Theo, an untiring "playa" from California, launches in on a flirtatious campaign to get feisty housemate Aneesa in bed seconds after their initial introduction. Although Aneesa is very straightforward about her sexual orientation as a lesbian, Theo refuses to cease firing winning lines like, "You can always room with me. This is the sex room," and "I like my women with some meat on their bones."

Quiet Chris, the recovering alcoholic from Massachusetts, claims he wants to avoid labeling, and succeeds in arousing curiosity in his housemates. Convinced innocent-looking Chris must be a virgin, Keri and Cara rush into his room to gnaw it out of him. He tells them point blank that he lost his virginity as a twelve-year old, but fails to mention his homosexuality.

The final two women, Keri and Cara, may prove more fruitful in acquiring unwanted reputations. Both profess their attraction to Kyle, the all-American, football playing Princeton graduate from Illinois.

If they can't have explicit sexual material, "Real World" junkies at least want to see the cast members to bicker and backstab like true buddies. In short, the more censored the scene, the better. If that is the case, then viewers should be in for a treat from Chicago's dim-witted and boisterous crew.