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Real World: Brooklyn Recap – When Will These People Get Mugged? Thursday, January 8, 2009

Posted by The NY Kid in MTV, reality TV, undergroundBTO.

So this season MTV decided to head back to New York for their 3rd time in The Big Apple, settling the new cast in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Considering that they went with 8 strangers, rather than 7, this time, we have increased opportunities for one of the cast members to get mugged. After all, the introduction of an IKEA next to the Gowanus notwithstanding, this is a neighborhood that in the 1990s was referred to as one of the worst neighborhoods in America and the “crack” cocaine capital of the US. Join me after the jump to meet the new fish and see how much trouble they get into during their initial foray.

So for this time around we have 4 guys and 4 girls, with most of the castmates recently single. Your new targets of ridicule are:

Baya – 21 years old, from Salt Lake City (Utah); 1 of only approximately 12 people from SLC who are not Mormon, Baya is recently single, wants to be a professional hip-hop dancer, and suffers from severe panic attacks

Chet – 23 years old, a University of Utah frat boy punk rocker (i.e. skinny jeans); 1 of 10 children in a traditional Mormon family, Chet doesn’t believe in partaking of alcohol or premarital sex (clearly, he is the “fish out of water” castmate this season)

Devyn – 20 years old, from Kansas City (Missouri); the self-described “big flirt and tease” won Ms. Missouri Teen and Ms. America Teen pageants and wants to work in entertainment as a singer/actress/dancer/writer (that’s all?); Devyn, who is known to say “It’s easier to get into Heaven than into Devyn” (oh, you clever tart) recently broke up with her live-in boyfriend

JD – 22 years old, from Miami Beach (Florida); raised by an abusive father who was unhappy that his son was gay, JD transferred his energies towards getting a degree in marine biology from the University of Miami; at the age of 18 he became one of the youngest dolphin trainers in the world

Katelynn – 24 years old, from West Palm Beach (Florida); growing up in a close relationship with mom in a religious Italian (eh, that’s redundant) family, the young boy always wanted to be a mother; Katelynn began the transgender process in high school and began living as a woman at the age of 17; the (self-described) computer geek and black belt went to Thailand in July to have the last surgery and is now officially a woman; Katelynn recently started dating her first boyfriend

Ryan – 23 years old, from Gettsyburg (Pennsylvania, didn’t you pay attention in History class?);  enlisted in the army at 17 and spent time in Iraq, where after coming home one of his friends killed himself; Ryan enjoys being an amateur filmmaker and playing the guitar (no word on how he feels about long walks on the beach), and is in his first-ever relationship (oh, that’ll last)

Sarah – 22 years old, from San Francisco (California); a childhood victim of sexual abuse, Sarah now acts as an educator/advocate for other victims of abuse; although all of her previous relationships were with women, she now has a boyfriend with whom she was set up by her mother

Scott – years old, from Salem (New Hampshire); the beefy personal trainer who used to weigh 90 pounds (thanks, Charles Atlas!), Scott was raised in a broken home and helped out by starting his own DJ business; despite being the first in his family to graduate from college, he wants to take that degree and go into modeling

So, we have several people who are recently single, some youngsters in their first real relationships, a Mormon and a transgendered indivdual, and this is not the stereotypical “pretty” cast.


The season opens with a beautiful (sic) montage of Brooklyn, showcasing all of the places where the housemates may eventually be mugged. We first meet Chet hanging out by the Brooklyn Bridge (how cliche!) and we get the first ignorant comment of the season as he notes “I just don’t want to get shot.” Devyn shows up by the bridge and they grab a cab together to their new digs. During the cab ride Chet notes that he hopes to host TRL some day (um, I need to tell you something). Next we see Baya and Ryan meeting on the Boardwalk (Brooklyn cliche count =2), where they pick up the house car. Following that we see Sarah waiting for the ferry (she’s going to IKEA?) and she meets JD, who confides that he came on to the Real World to “have a family [he has] never had before.” Scott arrives at the airport (wow, so many ways to get to Brooklyn. What? The airports are both in Queens?) where he meets Katelynn, and they also take a cab to the Red Hook warehouse.

Chet and Devyn are the first to arrive at the house and they encounter the typical MTV pimp-pad – Rock Band, pool table, hot tub, Subway and real NYC cheesecake waiting for their first meal, “themed” bedrooms. As they expore they note that there are 8 beds. At some point Chet asks Devyn what she first thought of him, and she confides that she assumed he was gay (purple shoes and skinny jeans will do that). Baya and Ryan arrive, and Ryan also admits that he thought that Chet was gay. Katelynn and Scott arrive next, and Ryan immediately jokes around that Scott is “a small dude” and notes that “something is different” about Katelynn. Sarah and JD are the last to arrive, and everyone realizes that there will 8 roommates this season. Everyone goes off to grab their favorite bedrooms, and we get: Katelynn and Devyn; Sarah and JD; Scott and Baya (booty alert!);  and Ryan and Chet. As they all settle in, we find out that Chet is a virgin, and that Scott was recently in Men’s Health magazine after being voted “Best Abs on the East Coast” (I WAS ROBBED!).

That night, as Ryan tries to “get to know people” he casually asks other roommates if they think that Katelynn is transgendered. He then continues his subtle questioning be asking Sarah how she made the decision to start dating guys. Then the hot tub shenanigans begin and Ryan subtly looks at Devyn’s breasts, noting that her bathing suit indicates that she wants people to stare at them. At one point, Ryan, Chet and JD wind up somewhere else and JD confirms for them that Katelynn is transgendered, but Chet refuses to believe that she was born a man. Meanwhile, this leaves Scott in the hot tub with all of the girls, all of whom are drooling over his abs. The roommates eventually gather to play Rock Band, drink, eat, and get to know one another. Katelynn casually mentions a variety of her sexual experiences, including the fact that she once had a “5-some” which unnerves Ryan.

In the morning we see Ryan on the phone with his girlfriend. While talking to her about Katelynn’s secret, he mentions that he has not told anyone that he was in the military because he wants them to get to know him first. Everyone then goes out on a touristy jaunt of Brooklyn (I’m curious if MTV provided them with bodyguards), where they wind up playing stickball with some guidos. Later that evening they go out to a club and are all impressed by the sense of “Brooklyn pride” displayed by the band. Ryan overdoes the drinking a bit, and when they go up to the VIP room JD finally manages to get him to start drinking water.

The next morning Ryan and Sarah are eating breakfast and talking when Ryan mentions his military experience. He talks a little bit about what it was like in Iraq and the feeling of shooting people/being shot at. He says that although he doesn’t have any PTSD, one of his friends “snapped” after a little while at home and killed himself. Ryan mentions that he deals with his feelings by writing about them, and he shows Sarah a book that he is writing. After that conversation, Ryan and Chet discuss their mutual love of music, and Ryan plays him a song that he wrote about Iraq. The two of them then go on to compose a song about some of the roommates. Later in the day, when Katelynn walks into the kitchen Ryan tries to “spot her bulge” and everyone mentions that he is looking too closely at her underwear. As Chet and Ryan talk, Katelynn gets the feeling that they might not be tolerant of her being a transgendered individual. JD, perhaps noticing this, invites Katelynn out to dinner.

That night Ryan and Chet discuss their suspicion that JD is gay, noting that he is going out to dinner with Katelynn “because they have a common bond” and they decide to talk to JD about things. Ryan asks JD if he is gay, and JD confirms that he is, to which Ryan responds “now I know why you’re taking it to dinner.” This, of course, doesn’t sit well with JD, who tells Ryan not to refer to Katelynn as “It” and Ryan and Chet both say that they are simply confused about everything because they have not had any exposure to transgendered individuals. When Chet tells Scott all the details of the conversation, Scott notes that he will not confide in Chet because he will tell everyone in the house. Meanwhile, on the way to dinner JD opens up to Katelynn about his life (i.e. his abusive father), which leads to Katelynn telling him that she is transgendered, which leads to JD crying.

The episode ends with everyone in the house relaxing. The calm before the storm?



1. Jerkwheat - Thursday, January 8, 2009

I appreciate the new subgenre of Armo music that was unleashed in this episode tonight.

2. indyskye - Friday, February 13, 2009

I’m impressed that Ryan and JD could tell that Katelynn was transgendered. At least from the video, I don’t think I could tell.

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