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.”
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