This week on The Real World, the perplexingly chaste courtship between Zach and Ashley goes from tepid to lukewarm.
“It’s like watching a corny Taylor Swift music video,” says Frank.
After going to a club, Zach announces that he is sufficiently hammered and climbs into the backseat of the Real World van with Ashley. At some point, Sam notices that Zach and Ashley have gone to first base. “Wow!” she hollers, relieved that Zach and Ashley may actually be human.
“We give you permission to release sexual tension in the house,” says Priscilla, the season’s designated driver.
After Zach and Ashley return to the Real World house, they crawl into bed together, and crickets chirp.
“Zach and Ashley are not having sex. My question is, ‘Why aren’t they?'” queries Sam.
Zach and Ashley don’t even cuddle. This isn’t even a Taylor Swift video. It’s like staring at the default screensaver on your PC for an hour. Wait. Scratch that. The Windows symbol is actually moving and giving some pixel love. If Zach and Ashley were a screensaver, your monitor wouldn’t stand a chance.
To fill the void that has been this episode, Mike comes back to visit Frank, and Priscilla’s ex-boyfriend Dylan comes to visit Priscilla. A whole lotta nothing happens. Zach notes that when Mike is around, Frank is more grounded, which means when Mike is around, there will be no Franks-plosions.
Back to Zach and Ashley. In the Real Worldmobile, it becomes apparent that Zach is the one putting on the brakes in the relationship, which frustrates Ashley, and she starts crying. Zach and Ashley process drunkenly in the back seat after the rest of the roommates pile out, and Zach goes back into the house and takes out his frustrations on Sam. The climax of the spat between Zach and Sam is the moment Zach taunts Sam by daring her to eat pizza. No, it doesn’t make any sense to me either.
What also doesn’t make sense is Zach’s belief that Sam was the one who made Ashley cry. I think Zach needs to take a cue from Michael Jackson and look at the man in the mirror.
Then it’s time for the San Diego Zombie Walk at Comic-Con. The gang puts on makeup and stumble around the streets in broad daylight looking like the living dead, which, frankly, isn’t any different from how they behave at night.
Ashley has an idea. Maybe Zach will be more affectionate if she buys him a $500 pair of cowboy boots! The girls go to a shoe store to support Ashley in her efforts to bribe Zach into dropping his pants.
Then we find out why Zach is so repressed. It’s all about dad. On the phone Zach’s authoritarian father orders Zach to be a monk. “Don’t lower yourself to the lower common denominator in the land of fruits and nuts,” he tells Zach.
I think it’s too late, big poppa. That line was crossed when Zach signed the contract to appear on The Real World.
“Some guys have self control and are heroes, like me,” says Zach. “And some guys can’t function without [having sex].” Because of Zach’s heroism, Ashley is now down $500 and still horny.
Moments later, Priscilla runs out of her bedroom covered only in a blanket. Frank and Sam get excited that someone in the house could be getting action.
Says Frank, “I hope someone in this house is having sex.”
And then it’s time for Zach and Ashley’s big birthday bash – The Zash Bash. Both pick up friends from home at the airport. The Zash Bash ends with Zach and Ashley giving each other sterile, tongue-free kisses.
The roommates intervene by giving Zach and Ashley a “sex box” complete with fetish gear and a bottle of Astroglide, which, as Zach noticed, has already been opened.
“Do I want to knock boots? Sure I do, but I mean, would a respectful cowboy do that?” muses Zach.
“I think there is a better shot of Nate and I having sex than Zach and Ashley having sex,” says Frank, and the episode ends with Nate and Frank blowing up condom balloons in their bedroom.
Well, if Zach and Ashley are going to let the pile of rubbers collect dust, they might as well be put to good use.