Grantland Reality TV Fantasy League: Hey, Look, ‘Real World’ Has Another Cast Member!

This week, reality TV spawned a mystery fetus on Real World, caused a woman to leave The Bachelor because of superior intelligence, and bid adieu to the surprise delight that was Season 2 of Vanderpump Rules. The Bach also teased us with a “next time on” segment that promised Andi leaving the fantasy suite VERY unhappy, while Real World has a lot of ‘splainin to do about this mystery fetus.

Let’s start off with that mystery fetus, shall we?

Mystery Fetus (Real World: Ex-Plosion, 139 points)

Lauren is one of the “exes” who recently joined the house, sparking a drastic shift in the show’s format and philosophy. The hope was that the ex twist would create a few love triangles, a dozen arguments, and a season of excellent reality television. Instead, it’s so far created a mediocre stretch of reality TV and a mystery fetus. A. Mystery. Fetus.

My sense is that Lauren showed up to the house approximately two or three weeks before this episode was taped. I don’t know this for a fact; it’s more of a feel. Anyway, she arrived to the whatever-the-opposite-of-delight-is of her ex-boyfriend, Cory. You see, Cory had been coitusing his roommate Jenny, but as soon as Lauren showed up, he acted like the Jenny thing never happened and jumped into the shower with Lauren. Before we knew it, Jenny had paired up with her ex, Brian, and the house began giving off a real Couples Therapy vibe (sadly, sans Ghostface). This week, Cory and Lauren snuck off under the blankets to get coitusy, but other than that, the episode was honestly kind of boring. The most exciting thing that happened was a beer pong game. That is, until Lauren announced that she “had to go to Walgreens. ALONE.”

When she got back to the house, she insisted that Jenna, Jay’s ex, go to the bathroom with her to help administer the pregnancy test that Lauren had acquired on the aforementioned solo Walgreens mish. They then had the cliché debate about whether pluses or minus mean pregnant or not pregnant, and then settled on … pregnant.

Now, I’ve never taken a pregnancy test. That’s because I know it would be negative. I know it would be negative because I’m a dude. But I’m guessing the main reason a woman decides to take a pregnancy test is because she’s missed a period. A distant second might be chronic nausea. And third, so far in the distance we can barely see it because of the curve of the Earth, is Lauren’s reason. Read her back-and-forth with the producers:

Lauren: “I’m going to the drugstore because I woke up and I was nauseous. Like, I didn’t puke or anything. I just … I just want to be reassured that everything is OK and I can enjoy my time here.”

Producer: “Were you missing your period?”

Lauren: “No, I’m supposed to get it this week.”

Producer: “Were you feeling weird? What was the intuition to go get a test, though?”

Lauren: “Um, I felt like I was getting fat.”

Do you believe her? I suppose there’s really no reason not to. I mean, only an asshole dude would question a woman’s motivations for getting a pregnancy test. Only an asshole dude would think a young lady in such a pickle would lie about something so important on national TV. Well, guess what? I’m an asshole.

So here’s my theory: Sure, Lauren may very well have woken up a little nauseous (after a night of drinking) and felt a little fat (after two weeks of drinking), and those factors alone may very well have been grounds enough to cause her to suspect that she was pregnant despite not being late for her period. But let’s imagine another possibility, a hypothetical scenario in which a pre–Real World, single, sexually active Lauren is living in New York. Remember, Lauren and Cory weren’t dating at the time. Lauren then moves into the Real World house and quickly falls back into a relationship with Cory, whom she’s been dating on and off since middle school. While at the Real World house, Lauren notices that she’s actually late for her period. She pays it no mind, chalking it up to travel and stress and whatnot. She starts coitusing Cory, loves the reunion, and loves even more that Cory is choosing her over Jenny. Life is grand. There’s only one problem: She’s still late. Freaked out, she goes to Walgreens, takes the test, and finds out that she’s pregnant.

Now, in this hypothetical second scenario that only an asshole would imagine, Lauren has two options:

Option 1: She can tell the truth and admit to Cory that she might be carrying another dude’s baby. (Yeah, right.)

Option 2: She can build a world in which Cory has to be the dad.

Methinks Lauren chose option B. Check out how she broke the news to Cory:


What’s really bad, Lauren?


Oh, what’s so bad about that?


Maybe the baby is Cory’s, and maybe it isn’t. Maybe Lauren was telling the truth about the whole thing, and maybe she wasn’t. I have no idea. And like I said, I’m an asshole for even asking the question. There’s one thing I know for sure, though: I’m DEFINITELY more excited for Real World than I’ve been in a long time.

Sharleen (The Bachelor, 60 points)

Sharleen never belonged on this show. She’s the sugar pill. It was almost like the producers were in a meeting and someone said, “You know what I’ve always wondered? I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have an intelligent, self-aware, balanced human on this show. Wanna try it this season?” And the dude who said it was the network exec’s nephew or something, so they threw him a bone and cast Sharleen.

This week Sharleen went all “Fuck this idiot, I’m out” on Juany Pabs, but not before making out with him a ton, just because making out with him is fun. The only thing she did more often this week than make out with Juan Pablo was sneak disses at him. In fact, this week’s GRTFL Top Five is the Top Five Ways Sharleen Said “Juan Pablo Is an Idiot” Without Saying “Juan Pablo Is an Idiot,” listed from “That could have been a compliment, right?” to “When he sees this, EVEN HE will pick up on the fact that she’s dissing him:”

5) “Juan Pablo is not my typical type, but there’s no denying the chemistry is there. I have trouble not kissing Juan Pablo when we’re close and having a conversation.” (Translation: “I can’t have a conversation with him.”)

4) Another girl talking about Sharleen: “She was talking to me about her type, talking about how she likes intellectual guys.” (Translation: “Juan Pablo is not intellectual.”)

3) “I am surprised by how attracted to him I am.” (Translation: “I don’t usually fall for idiots.”)

2) “It’s one of the things, like, it gives me great pause. Because I’m like, ‘I should be able to have a conversation.’ It makes me worry about what’s propelling this relationship.” (Translation: “This man is incapable of having a conversation. Unless you count him saying ‘look at me’ over and over as a conversation.”)

1) “I’m still missing that cerebral connection that I so need.” (Translation: “Juan Pablo is an idiot. There’s a 100 percent chance that if I said this sentence to him, he’d respond by asking: ‘Oh, you want cereal? I like cereal. Look at me. Look at me. Look at me.’”)

Sharleen, you will be missed. My pod partner Juliet and I theorized about which contestant from this season would likely be the next Bachelorette, and while I think it would make for the best season, there’s little chance it’s going to be our favorite, Sharleen the Sugar Pill. Doubt I’ll see you again, Sharleen the Sugar Pill, as there’s as poor of a chance that you’ll end up on Bachelor Pad as there is that I’ll end up at the opera.

Thought Records (Real World: Ex-Plosion, 186 points)

Jenny and her “ex” Brian have a tumultuous relationship. How tumultuous? Well, this tumultuous:


As Jenny held the knife, she told Brian: “You’re pushing me to a level of insanity.” He responded by saying: “Don’t wave that knife around while you are talking to me.”

She, in turn …


… did a knife-wave dance.

After the two traded a couple of more insults, Jenny walked over to Brian, got in his face, and declared, “I think you need to shut up, right now. You’re embarrassing yourself and me. Go into another room and fill out a Thought Record and do something productive with yourself as opposed to making a fool of yourself.” Wait, A THOUGHT RECORD?

They briefly mentioned these “Thought Records” in an earlier segment, but I thought I’d hallucinated it. According to some Googling, a Thought Record is (1) a real thing, (2) a sort of flowchart for thoughts that is used by shrinks, and (3) NOT SOMETHING THAT NORMAL COUPLES SHOULD BE USING EVERY DAY. Check it out:

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 6.50.16 AM

I can’t think of anything more condescending, insulting, or infuriating than telling someone who’s mad at you that he’s embarrassing himself and needs to do something productive, like filling out a Thought Record.

I can’t wait to give this a test drive at my house. I’ll hide the knives.

Andy Cohen (Vanderpump Rules Reunion (Part 2), 67 points)

In honor of Stassi, Jax, the quest for fame, S(exy) U(nique) R(estaurants), and a breakout season for Vanderpump Rules, I’ll offer up a second GRTFL Top Five. The Special Edition of the GTRFL Top Five is the Top Five Quotes From the Vanderpump Rules Reunion (Part 2), Unsourced and Without Context, Because They’re Funnier That Way:

5) “I think she might go though my phone at this point so I’ll never text you again.”

4) “You can read the description for borderline personality disorder and it describes you to a tee.”

3) “This is why I date poor people. Rich people annoy me.”

2) “There is no excuse, there is no justification.”

1) “It was like it was a surprise party, but instead of ‘happy birthday,’ it was like, ‘Hey, surprise! I fucked your girlfriend.’”

Like Vanderpump, this week’s GRTFL is coming to a close. Enjoy the weekend, make sure to listen to the Right Reasons podcast, and check Grantland on Monday for Juliet’s interview with Chris Harrison.

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Filed Under: Reality TV, TV, GRTFL, Real World: Ex-Plosion, Real World Mystery Baby, Yep, We Just Awarded GRTFL Points to a Mystery Fetus, The Bachelor, Juan Pablo, Vanderpump Rules, The Decline of American Civilization, Andy Cohen, David Jacoby

David Jacoby is an ESPN producer who somehow became a writer and editor for Grantland.

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