`Real World' movie tries for too much

Today's TV

August 06, 2002|By Sarah Kickler Kelber

The makers of The Real World Movie: The Lost Season apparently couldn't decide whether to make a reality show spoof or a thriller about kidnapping. The combination of the two really doesn't work.

The movie follows the fictional Vancouver cast moving into the house and experiencing the quintessential Real World moments - running around the bizarrely decorated space, choosing bedrooms, getting to know one another. But then they're kidnapped by Roland, a Real World reject who is so desperate to be on the show that he's built a secluded house set, filled it with cameras, and threatened to blow them all up if they don't cooperate.

The spoof elements - particularly the way each member of the fictional cast fills a particular role, from Frat Guy to Reserved and Sensitive Artist to Naive Small-Town Virgin - are fairly amusing, but they should have taken the in-jokes further and avoided the whole "intrigue" story line. That falls flat if for no other reason than Roland, who gets more screen time than anyone else, comes across irritating instead of diabolical.

The most surreal thing about this movie is seeing former cast members pretending to act like themselves while obviously following a really bad script. Hawaii Amaya, New Orleans Melissa, Seattle David, Return to New York Mike, L.A. David, San Francisco Rachel and Chicago Aneesa play a team of former Real World-ers waiting for the newest cast to show up for an "Extreme Challenge."

If the urge to see the former cast members is enough to draw you in, try to catch tonight's premiere at 9 on MTV, when at least it will be commercial-free and slightly less interminable.

At a glance

Widows (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) - Women whose husbands were killed while trying to steal a priceless painting make another attempt at the same crime. This summer series, which will run for four weeks, stars Rosie Perez, Mercedes Ruehl, N'Bushe Wright and Brooke Shields. ABC.

Scrubs (9:30 p.m.-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) - When Turk seems to always be occupied with new girlfriend Carla and with work, a resentful J.D. feels abandoned by his buddy. Repeat. NBC.

American Idol: The Search for a Superstar (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) - The six remaining contestants perform songs from the '80s live, and tomorrow at 9:30, another one gets sent home. Fox.

The Mole II: The Next Betrayal (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) - The series concludes with all 14 players reunited to learn who is the Mole and who wins the jackpot. ABC.

Cable

Biography (8 p.m.-9 p.m., A&E) - Martin Lawrence was doing just fine until a "public breakdown" caused a big setback to his comedy and acting career. This program includes an interview in which he talks about his rise, fall and comeback. Among others interviewed are colleagues Steve Harvey and Will Smith.

Driven (9 p.m.-10 p.m., VH1) - Tonight's episode focuses on Christina Aguilera, following her from her birthplace on Staten Island, through her years as an Army brat and to her adopted hometown of Rochester, Pa., where she first began to uncover the talent that would make her a star.

Compiled from wire reports

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