3rd day of reality TV: Three people fighting on Real World, and “it wasn’t not funny”

The scene below is responsible for my addiction to reality TV as a teenager, and I suppose is responsible for my work over the past 11 years, so it’s definitely a gift worth celebrating on this, the third day of reality TV. It’s playfulness between three The Real World Los Angeles cast members–Tami Roman, David Edwards, and Beth Stolarczyk–that turns into a more aggressive but still all-in-good-fun game, and then into ugliness. Coincidentally, Tami returns to reality TV on Monday when she appears on VH1′s Basketball Wives.

The incredible thing about this scene, besides the contrast from the kind of fights we’re used to now, is how quickly it turns from fun to fight, as Tami goes from laughing and playing around to being super-pissed. And Beth’s role is just classic, since she injects herself into it and makes it even worse. I remember flipping channels and stopping on this and being immediately hooked; I wasn’t quite sure what was going on or who to side with, but that was part of its immediate appeal. And it culminates in that now-classic line of Tami’s: “It wasn’t not funny.” Agreed!

And yes, it’s impossible to watch this scene without being reminded of old-school Real World: people with jobs and problems and, yes, ridiculous conflicts with their roommates.

Tami is now 40 (!), and in an interview with Jezebel, Tami said her 14- and 16-year-old daughters “don’t watch The Real World so much. I would have to say that it has changed so much over the years since i was on it. But they’ve seen my season through tapes. They enjoyed it. They didn’t have anything negative to say about it. They commended me for having opened myself up and showing as many different facets of my life and personality as I could. Or at least, as much as you could in a 22-minute episode.”

The 12 Days of Reality TV (introduction)

  1. Richard Hatch it a tree
  2. Two dog bites in the vagina
  3. Three people fighting on Real World, and “it wasn’t not funny”
  4. Four seasons of The Mole
  5. Five golden vetoes
  6. Six Deadliest Catch seasons
  7. Charla and Mirna race around the world
  8. Joe Millionaire’s slurps, Joe Schmo’s schmo
  9. Bands running on VH1′s Bands on the Run give birth to Magical Elves
  10. Osbournes ham-throwing
  11. Regifting 11 years of reality blurred end-of-year recaps
  12. 12 reader suggestions, from Erik giving up immunity to The Real World’s Pedro

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.