Critic: Real World Denver’s domestic violence cliffhanger was “a cheap ploy”

I stopped watching The Real World Denver after its first horrifying fight, but that apparently wasn’t the end of the possibility of violence on the show. The Los Angeles Times’ Ann Donahue says that the last two episodes “address[ed] the shades of gray in a volatile relationship,” specifically between Tyrie and a woman he hooked up with, Jazalle.

It ended with Tyrie being arrested, but not for domestic violence; instead, he peed in public and was taken away for that. Before that, Donahue writes,

…Jazalle became profoundly upset upon finding out that Tyrie slept with the other woman. Shouting and crying, she barricaded herself in the bathroom — and Tyrie, screaming, followed her in. Viewers got a glimpse of Jazalle opening the door and trying to leave — and of Tyrie, quite roughly, grabbing her by the arm and yanking her back in the bathroom. And … cut to a “To be continued” placard.

She says that “was a cheap ploy for MTV to use the scene as a cliffhanger; the question of ‘Will Tyrie whump Jazalle?’ as a ratings stunt is downright repulsive.” The cliffhanger was resolved Wednesday, when “Tyrie was appropriately contrite when released from the drunk tank the next day, breaking down in tears in the back of a car and wailing that ‘Man, the world thinks I’m a … woman-beater now!'”

Last fall, after the Davis/Tyrie episode aired, the show’s creator, Jon Murray, said intervening in conflicts “would destroy our show if we were always to step in and resolve things for them. Yet at the same time we have a responsibility to make sure no one gets hurt.”

Tyrie is leading man in ‘Real World’ ratings stunt [Los Angeles Times]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.