current mood: john marshall having a misadventure in the library of congress
Well, the 13th roommate - is the production team. branding? perception. that key part of adolescent identity formation where you try to reconcile what you know and feel about yourself with what people know and feel about you. Jay knows he’s the kind of guy that would respect his ex-girlfriend’s feelings on national television, so he frantically tries to erase the scene where he gets another girl’s number - he doesn’t lie, because he knows he’s not the kind to guy to lie, he just denies and dances around the words and waves his hands in dismay whenever someone brings up dangerous phrases in the presence of a cameramen, who are everywhere in this season (maybe they’ve always been as forthright as they are now, but it is interesting to literally see them walking in the crowd of roommates, shining a light on their grinding in the club so that the camera can pick them out of the murky bar scene). Tom knows he’s not a bad guy, look at how he talks to his dad for advice and his dad gives them the most wholesome dad-sigh and dad-advice you can get. That’s why he shoves the blame for Jamie’s pain onto Jamie (omg why do you want a label?! omg why are you talking to other guys and not talking to me? omg why are your friends angry with me?) - that last point is key, I think, that he actually inserts himself into Jamie’s conversation with her best friend, perhaps the person least likely to want a full and complete picture of Tom, and tries to do some damage-control on his image. Because Tom knows he’s not the kind of guy that best friends hate with all the sheer force of best friend hate.
I can’t think of any examples happening with the lady roommates quite yet - they all seem to know exactly where they stand, even coming to a kind of friendly understanding about sleeping with the same guy because they know he placed different value-judgements, different emotional-worth on those encounters. Is that because, at this age, ladies are more likely to have already struggled with the dissonance of their self-image and the images projected onto them by the world, by their relationships, by the people around them?