Eerily calm weather typically indicates the eye of a storm, but we’re halfway through “Real World,” and the winds show no sign of slowing down. Joi’s choice to leave Portland led to the single most game-changing roomie-swap in the show’s history, and when Hurricane Nia tore into the house, she sent its tenants scrambling for cover. And then there was Lampgate. Let us review the first six episodes of “RW: Portland”:
The season’s original crop of seven strangers (plus Daisy The Dog) seemed to get along famously when they touched down in Portland. Optimist Jessica was ready to leave a bad breakup in her rear view mirror, Marlon was prepared to stay celibate to honor his religious convictions and Averey and Johnny quickly did the opposite, engaging in a sexual — and soon, official — relationship. But the happy-go-lucky routine could only last so long, and with a single, heated exchange over finances, Jessica and Jordan became the first housemates at odds.
In the days to come — as the novelty of the new experience wore off and the demands of real life set in — the brainy Anastasia welcomed the chance to try new things, including a tenure as a cashier at a local yogurt shop. But Joi didn’t want to settle for a job that she considered beneath her, and when her Bachelor’s degree failed to get her where she hoped it would in Portland, she jumped ship back to Seattle. Though they were sad to see her go, the remaining housemates continued on their own journeys, until a fateful call would soon ensure a major house interruption. Nia phoned in — complete with a fake heritage and Southern accent — and planted the seeds for one hell of a storm.
At first, Nia seemed to gel pleasantly with everyone. She thought Jordan was adorable, found common ground with Marlon and, oddly, was only rejected by Daisy’s canine sixth sense. But when Nia discovered that Jordan had been rubbing the housemates the wrong way, she silently declared warfare, and led Jordan to believe she was on his side while ultimately plotting to pull the rug out from under him. That is, of course, after an intensely erotic game of chicken, in which Nia — who later swore she was simply trying to expose Jordan’s insecurities — repeatedly offered him oral sex, which he continuously accepted in order to try and call her bluff. All the while, Jessica maintained her “no boys in the bed” policy until she was sure boyfriend prospect Tyler wouldn’t hurt her the same way her ex had.
Jordan’s next confrontation with Nia wasn’t such a playful one, and almost brought the two hard-headed housemates to blows. After a particularly booze-heavy night, Nia decided to strike on the intoxicated Jordan, and moved to incite a confrontation by masking her evildoing as lighthearted jabs. Eventually, Jordan took the bait, and drunken poking and prodding turned into total volatility (complete with lamp!). “You’re life is f***ing over,” Nia told her nemesis as she towered over him.
+ Is there hope for a happy household now that warfare has officially been declared? Tell us what you think about the season so far, and keep tuning in on Wednesday nights at 10/9c!
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Photo: Ian Spanier