The EXplosion continues. God save us all.
It’s week two of Real World: San Francisco EXplosion. Who knows what awaits us in this nearly 41-minute extravaganza of sex, alcohol consumption, and incisive documentary film-making. Will Drunk Ashley ever apologize for her erratic behavior? What happened to that guy who came back with Jenny in the last episode? Will Ed Lee make a surprise cameo, clubbing with the cast? Let’s find out!
It is again a bleary morning in the Real World house. Ashley and Jenny are having some early morning bedside catching up. Jenny says she’s scared. She says it a few times, her voice like a bucket of nails falling over the strings of a violin. Jenny wishes she had waited a little longer before having sex with Corey, but, oh well. They’re damned to spend the next three months mere feet from each other so they might as well get it over with. Pan to a shot of Corey emptying out a can and, like the good San Franciscan that he now is, adding the aluminum to the recycling pile. “I’m just waiting for the night that Tom and Jamie hook up, because then I’ll feel like less of a slut,” Jenny concludes.
Later, Arielle and Sober Ashley are sitting around a very large pillow talking about how Ashley splashed hot oil on Arielle the night before. “Whatever happened, I was trying to joke, and play,” Ashley explains. Arielle, by far the coolest of the crew, diplomatically explains that it was HOT OIL that was thrown on her face, and that it could have burned her. After Ashley cries, Arielle immediately forgives her and it is time for another well-advertised Subway lunch. Yum?
The screen flashes “LATER” and it’s Ashley and Jaime chatting over the make up table. They decide they aren’t friends even when they're sober. It’s boring and sad to watch.
Now the crew is on to a fire truck tour of San Francisco! Jay, the bard of the crew, informs us of this as we see everyone walk up to a fire truck. As they take selfies and drive around landmark after landmark, I have flashbacks to when I was a kid and I looked to this show for guidance about how to be an adult…Was every cast this inane and poorly scripted? They also seem so vulnerable. I just want to give them all a blanket and tell them that everything is going to be okay.
It’s now eight minutes into the episode and time for a montage of things to come: Corey is drunk and pushes a stranger so hard that he flies out of the frame. People are telling Corey that he is out of control. Yum?
It’s the next day and Jamie and Tom are talking about the number of people each has had sex with, and Tom tells us he is turned off by people with a high number of notches in their belts. He assumes Jamie is one such person and tells her that he doesn’t want to have sex with her. It’s very casual and I am surprised that neither one isn’t screaming or getting angry. It’s almost as if they are level-headed adults speaking openly about their feelings and giving the other space to respectfully discuss how they feel, too. It is actually really touching, despite Tom’s implicit slut-shaming (or it is just his Christian roots that keep him so prude?).
Meanwhile, Jenny and Corey have no real reservations about their blossoming relationship. Jenny does think that it is a little early to feel this strongly and Corey may not be telling anyone that they had sex, but deep in their hearts they are falling for each other and it is actually very sweet to watch. The rest of the cast thinks so, too. Cenny (Corey and Jenny) begin making out in the open and everyone pipes up in the confessional. Arielle didn’t see it coming. Jay thinks Corey is ”trying to pee on every tree.” Which is my new favorite metaphor.
Cut scene. 21 DAYS UNTIL THE EXES ARRIVE. There is a minute or two dedicated to the day—Ashley and Jenny walking in Chinatown discussing whether or not other countries have “Americatowns;” Jamie and Tom lifting weights and smiling at each other. That’s all.
After that, Arielle takes everyone to a bar in the Castro. Corey is having a hard time because girls aren’t looking at him. Jay continues his commentary and takes a photo of Tom and Jamie kissing. I am left wondering why he is even in the show. Perhaps they’re saving him for a plot line later in the season because right now he contributes nothing. The clubbing continues and Jenny kisses a drunk girl whose face is blurred out but still looks remarkably like Lorde. Anyway, that’s about all that happens at the club.
Back at home Corey is pissed off that Jenny has agency and kissed someone. Do I sense an EXplosion coming? It doesn’t happen. I am sad. Corey flips through photos of Jenny on his phone and they make up the next morning. It’s a little sweet but I still want a fight to happen. Where is the wine throwing? Where is the revenge grease splashing? I want someone to Mariah Carey-style smash every plate in the house. Alas…
Thankfully that’s over before too long and Jenny and Ashley are going to have a Girls’ Night Out!!! “America,” Ashley proclaims. “We’re about to get buck-wild!” Ashley looks like the madam of an old western saloon (which is kind of San Francisco, right?). Jenny is full on Anna Nicole Smith again and I love it. “Buck. Wild. In. This. Bitch,” she repeats five times.
Meanwhile the other roomies are at a bar where Tom flirts with a blurred-faced girl who tells us her name is Nicole, which seems to totally defeat the point of being blurred to begin with. Nicole are you reading this? Did you know your face was going to be blurry? This leads to a brief confrontation where Jamie gets Tom to say the she is his girl. They’re official. Never have I seen a relationship develop from guilt so purely.
It’s suddenly later and what’s left of the cast—Arielle, Jay, Corey, and Arielle’s cute-girl hook up—are walking down the street when hordes of drunken SFers begin to grumble and shove themselves into the frame. It’s late and everyone wants their blurred face on camera. Corey shoves one back as hard as he can (as foretold earlier) and when the stranger flies back at him like a World War Z zombie Arielle lashes out with her gangly arms and pushes the blurred face aside. “They wanted the drama they got the drama,” Ray chimes in. Everyone is pissed off and I finally get my wish for kitchenware destruction when Corey smashes a glass. The shot fades to a commercial break with Jenny in the foreground wearing a fedora with sunglasses on the brim, tears rolling down her luscious porcelain cheeks, as Corey limps into the back room behind her.
The final scene, much like the last episode, is Jenny and Corey in the confessional. But this time it’s war, not love, that the camera captures. It’s not clear how they got into a fight but what is certain is that Corey is not up Jenny’s standard of maturity. They part ways and the screen flashes “20 DAYS UNTIL THE EXES ARRIVE,” followed by rapid tick-tock noises. Can you even wait? Are you going to burst from anticipation? See y’all next week!