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Cold Comfort
This week on "The Real World": How do you solve a problem like Amaya? A savage dis-fest that makes "The Blame Game" look like "Rosie", that's how.

BY ANDY DEHNART
STUDENT.COM STAFF WRITER

Andy Meets World
  Previously, on Andy Meets World ...
Episode 801/802: Aloha!/Ruthie's Problem
On the eighth-season premiere of MTV's "Real World," a bisexual alcoholic practically jumps out of the fish bowl. Our reality-TV correspondent gets the net.

Episode 803: Opening Dialogue
In our weekly "Real World" debriefing, hair-color conspiracy theories pile up, homosexual tension mounts, and Christians rock.

Episode 804: The Kiss
"I did what? With who?" Fun with plausible denial on the latest episode of "The Real World."

Episode 805: Will You Be My Valentine?
The twentysomething-going-on- twelve cast of "The Real World" explores the difference between "liking" someone and "liking liking" them.

Episode 806: Wild, Wild Ruthie
MTV's "The Real World" — it's gettin' to be ri-god-damn-diculous.

Episode 807: Treat Me Right
What happens when "Real World" roommates stop being impolite — and start getting mature? And did you hear the one about the minister's son who brought home a stripper?

Episode 808: Justin Gets Confrontational
This week on "The Real World": homophobes and heterophobes clash, a would-be-model refuses to eat and someone pukes without getting drunk first. Go figure.

Episode 809: Crossing the Line
Ruthie, the "Real World"'s one-woman party, drives drunk through the fourth wall — and slams into an ultimatum from the Powers That Edit.

Episode 810: Heartache
In a come-from-behind bid for the "Real World" drama-queen crown, Amaya shows us that her heart may have it even rougher than Ruthie's liver.

Episode 811: Fearless
The "Real World" cast says a remarkably un-contentious "Thank U" to an Indian vacation. Plus: Kaia dates a famous rapper and jumps off a cliff.

Episode 812: Glass Houses
Ruthie is called for a Teck-nical foul, and Matt intervenes in an intervention.

Episode 813: The Ultimatum
"The Real World" judges Ruth, and readers respond.

Episode 814: The Aftermath
If you weren't outraged by this week's "Real World", you weren't paying attention. Plus: Teck on heroin!

Episode 815: Excess Baggage
The "Real World" cast hits the Third World, where Justin plays Machiavelli and gives Colin and Amaya's relationship an Indian burn.

Episode 816: The Irony and the Pity
Facing his roommates' wrath, "The Real World"'s Justin cites a family emergency and pulls his rip cord. How convenient.

Episode 817: Amaya Takes A Stand
"The Real World"'s Amaya revokes her favorite frat boy's charter and jumps out of a plane. Plus: Teck helps Matt act out some of his favorite "Showgirls" moments.

Episode 818: Ruthie's Got Game
This season's "Real World" cast lives on an island. But lately, they've been treading water.

Episode 819: Charitable Institutions
Pencilling some selflessness into their busy schedule of immature self-involvement, the "Real World" roomies do some work for charity. Uhh, how about "Save This Show"?

Episode 820: Dealing With Dirty Laundry
This week on "Alanis Explains It All" — uhh, we mean, "The Real World" — we learn why women go to the gynecologist and how not to pick up girls. And they say MTV's not educational.

Episode 821: Stand and Deliver
This week on "The Real World": How do you solve a problem like Amaya? A savage dis-fest that makes "The Blame Game" look like "Rosie", that's how.

Episode 822/823: The Matt and Kaia Show
On "The Real World"'s jam-packed season finale, Matt, Ruthie, Amaya and the rest of the strangers catch the last wave outta town with little hugging and less learning.

End Of The World
"The Real World"'s already had its season finale, but Andy's gotta get his last licks in. Who's the most obnoxious housemate? Is temporary stardom as one of seven strangers really worth it? And in the words of Method Man, izzit really real?

The paper gives you papercuts. Get your weekly TV picks from Test Pattern. instead. Your fingers will thank you.

I'm not Amaya's biggest fan. She's annoying, worse than a tiny rock in the heel of your shoe. She baby-talks to guys while she slithers up to them. She clings worse than static. She cries and whines like the melodrama queen in a sixth-grade play. So, she's not the most perfect person in the world. But she certainly didn't deserve the treatment her fellow cast members — and the editors — gave her this week on "The Real World."

The Amaya-bashing has been building for a while, especially during the past few episodes, which have focused on her and her more annoying traits (never mind the weeks of Amaya and Colin cuddling we had to endure). This week, there was a subtle yet strong undercurrent of misogyny flowing through the episode, and it was coming from both sides of the camera.

The double standard has existed for a while, but after the second consecutive week of Amaya-portrayed-as-uncontrollable-tramp, it becomes obvious. Teck runs around town, picking up dozens of women, discarding them faster than tissue paper toilet seat covers. He comes off as a total player, but (wink wink) that's cool, 'cause he's a guy and that's what he's built to do, right? Yeah, man. Amaya, on the other hand, well, she's an ungainly slut for going after all of three guys in six months. The way the editors have presented the story, we could watch 22 whole minutes of Matt standing on a street corner in fishnet stockings, offering oral sex to everyone and anyone that walks by, and we'd still think him more restrained and dignified than Amaya. Again, Amaya isn't the poster child for likablity, but what did she do to deserve all of this?

Another of Colin's friends — desperate for some prime-time exposure for his chest — drops by, and hits it off with Amaya. The rest of the house, save Teck, jumps on Amaya's case, accusing her of slithering up to Tony just to make Colin jealous. Please: the guy sits at the table with her and eats cereal and reads Cosmo or some other women's magazine. It's obviously destiny.

But from here on out, hypocrisy and puppy-punting are the name of the game for the rest of the cast. It's always easy to pick on the weakest link, especially if that link is rusty and does things to make itself more vulnerable and inadequate. And Matt, Colin, Kaia and Ruthie pull out their chisels and start hammering away. There's something wretched and painfully ironic about the four of them discussing how evil Amaya is for backstabbing others and talking behind their backs. Since Amaya is the bitchy, cheap, pitiful whore who must be punished for her crimes against the four honorable saints, they're not doing anything wrong or hypocritical. Right?

Colin, while insisting that the time Tony and Amaya spend together "is not that big of a deal," says in almost the same breath that it's abhorrent because "Your best friend's already been there." Funny: suddenly, Amaya and Colin had a relationship — at least, now that it's convenient for Colin.

The woman bashing continues as Colin frets about Tony's "pathetic" behavior, which involves putting "women in front of his friends." It's not 2x4-to-the-temple obvious, but what Colin's really saying is that women are essentially toys men turn to for sex and amusement whenever their far superior, more significant guy friends aren't around. Not that someone who uses the phrase "anybody with a twig and berries" to refer to men deserves any serious consideration, but this is classic, '50s-era patriarchy manifested through a beefy, '90s teen idol wannabe. Which is rather sad, especially since Colin probably has and will forever have his pick of the desperate, weak women who will throw themselves at his studly feet.

Amaya turns to Ruthie, who turns out to be a fairly unsympathetic ear. After all, Amaya was snubbing Ruthie just a few short weeks ago. Ruthie's doesn't let her get away with it, but in the end, gives Amaya some good advice: "You gotta take care of yourself." But after her talk with Ruthie, when she tries to talk things out with the others, the situation continues to blow up.

"Hypocrisy" doesn't even begin to describe Matt's behavior at the end of the episode, when he tells Amaya to her face that "many individuals" in the house aren't happy with her. Seconds later, tells Kaia that "I said [to Amaya that] I'm tired of your negative attitude and I think that's the way the rest of the house feels." As if that unadulterated lie wasn't enough, he then says, in an interview, "She needs to learn a lesson: People will stop liking you if you continue to speak so negatively about everyone behind their back." Right, but betraying Ruthie — never mind the countless incidents where you took a breakfast-nook confession and then let it flow from your diarrhea mouth — was okay? Of course, both his lie and utter hypocrisy go unchecked, as usual. Probably because of the trance that crusty green shirt (which would send the Snuggle bear running for cover) has on everyone in his presence.

Watching Amaya be berated and taunted by the others — "You are not liked," says Colin — is almost too painful, especially since she looks horribly battered standing their, face drooping, arms limp. Maybe the four in question will see the episode and send Amaya flowers and their sincerest apologies for being such heartless pricks. We all know that an apology will occur precisely on the same day Matt changes his shirt, and even the impending millenium couldn't cause that to happen.

On a more happy note, next week is the end of the road, and it appears like it will be a rocky exit of the interstate Bunim-Murray, as Amaya is still detached from the group as everything wraps up, or, more appropriately, unravels. Just as Kaia was inching her way back into the Best (or maybe Most Tolerable) Cast Member spot, she goes and falls for Matt (!!) and even — stop reading if you're eating — kisses him. On the mouth. I almost needed Kleenex at the end of the Boston season. But next week, I'm pretty sure I'll need a handful of vomit bags.


Watching this season's "Real World" has helped Andy Dehnart develop the world's fastest gag reflex.


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