Reality Bites: Friendzone
Here's the thing: The people who still make jokes about how MTV *used* to play music long ago fell out of step with reality (no pun intended). The Real World debuted in 1992, and if we're to listen to the whinier members of Generation X, that's when things apparently started falling apart for the vaunted network that gave us Riki Rachtman and 14 daily airings of Duran Duran's "Rio."
Thanks, but I've got enough friends.
MTV's primary function (a place for bored teenagers to idle away their youth) remains the same. It's just that now they accomplish the same feat with dumbass reality shows instead of dumbass Styx and April Wine videos. I'd like to say I'd have avoided a show like Friendzone when I was 15, but you'd have had to drag me away from Loverboy's "Hot Girls in Love" for more than ten seconds to admit it.
You're all familiar with the mythical "friend zone," I assume. It's that terrible place one finds themselves when the object of their affection holds them in merely platonic regard. Wait, that might be too complicated. Here's a handy graphic:
The "contestants" on the episode I watched (maybe they aren't actually called that, but this really has all the hallmarks of an exceedingly cruel game show) were Stormy and Antonio. Aspiring musician Antonio is smitten with the winsome Megan, his promoter, while Stormy is longtime BFFs with Grover. The first dilemma seems fairly straightforward (and right out of most guys' experience): Dude nurses lengthy crush on girl and must profess his love or suffer an eternity of not knowing if she might have been The One.
Stormy's problem is a little stickier: Grover is gay.
Yeah, let's stay with Antonio. He met Megan at a club in Florida, the two hit it off, she promotes his musical career by doing things like getting him into a VIP meet with Slick Rick and Coolio (who I understand are two significant "rap" personalities). I wouldn't have the heart to tell him that it sounds like *she* thinks *he's* gay, especially if they're in the habit of rollerblading together and he hasn't made a move in two years.
He's feeling "anxiousness" as the big day approaches. And my theory looks a little more solid as she checks him out before his "mystery date" (everybody uses their secret crush as an adviser for some fake rendezvous, which might throw them off if it wasn't for the omnipresent cameras): "You look so *cute*! Do a spin for me!" I'm sorry, but those phrases are not in the vocabulary of a woman who wants to get freaky with you.
He confesses, and it appears I was wrong, even if she sounds less than enthused at the prospect ("I want Antonio and I to get to know each other." Hardly a ringing endorsement), I'm not buying that this is going anywhere, but whatever. Everybody said Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes wouldn't last, either.