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"Big Brother" is the reality show critics love to hate. But for passionate fans of the unscripted CBS soap opera, summer would be a bummer without it. That includes TVWeek editors Michele Greppi and Josef Adalian, who’ve decided to chronicle their “Brother”-ly love via regular blog postings. From the first HOH competition to the last "But first…" to fall from the lips of the Chenbot, they’ll be serving up their unfiltered take on life inside TV’s most dysfunctional house of horrors.

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Oh Brother!



Weeks One and Two: The Greppi-Adalian E-Mail Exchange

July 24, 2008 10:55 AM

Michele Greppi: So, Joe, here’s how it looks from here after the second eviction on “Big Brother 10.” Steven, the funny, sweet, tart, gay rodeo champ from Texas, was sent packing last night. I liked him and am truly sorry to see him go, but it was all done in the ants-nibbling-on-elephants-until-they-bring-the-stronger-beast-down style that I so relish about “Big Brother.” Steven’s parting words before the vote didn’t help his cause. “Suck it, bitches,” he said on live TV.

This is not Ayn Rand country.

It’s been a busy two weeks. The first head of household, Jerry, the 75-year-old retired Marine and the oldest “BB” houseguest ever, capitulated to the herd of ants who turned on Brian the first week after he let his Machiavellian slips show.

Left in the house now is Keesha, the blond Hooters waitress who seems mostly sweetness but has bite and won head of household last night, which means she will have to nominate the next candidates for eviction.


Will she go gunning for the folks who demanded a unanimous vote (including hers) to kick out out her beloved Steven? The rest of the crowd: Memphis, the L.A. mixologist who looks like he’ll shake things up when he sees an opening; Angie, the pharmaceutical sales rep who made the mistake of choosing the wrong side and of having a sense of humor; Dan, the Catholic school teacher, who escaped eviction last night; Libra, the Texan who left her 5-month-old twins (one white, one black) at home to be a TV reality star and complain about everything; Jessie, the “natural” bodybuilder whose never-ending arrogance is his best trait; Michelle, the tough-talking Rhode Island real estate agent, who has made clear she’s up for a showmance with Jessie; Renny, the 53-year-old New Orleans salon owner whose “BB10” fashion parade has been like Mrs. Roper meets manny tranny in a train wreck; and last, but by no means least, April, the real busty blond finance manager and Lindsay Lohan look-alike from Arizona who is having sex under the lights, cameras and blankets with Ollie, the easygoing preacher’s son who promised not to embarrass his dad.

All this and “Big Brother After Dark” on Showtime Too, which is a live, nightly three-hour window into this human ant farm. (More about that in future entries, I’m sure.)

Who could ask for anything more in the first two weeks, Joe?

Joe Adalian: Well, I could ask for one thing: Specifically, that the smart people figure out a way not to get kicked out of the house so soon. Brian will go down in “Big Brother” history as one of the biggest morons ever to play the game. He clearly had a mind built for strategy, but he fell so in love with his own craftiness, he got himself booted in week one! Likewise Steven, who also seemed to have more brains than muscles, somehow found himself on the outs with the majority of the house. My biggest fear is that we’ll soon be left with a house full of well-sculpted, overly groomed simpletons who lack the mental capacity for creative gamesmanship.

That caveat aside, I have to agree with you, Greppi: This is the best “Big Brother” cast in years. Rarely have I bonded so quickly with a bunch of houseguests.

During week one, I took an immediate liking to Obama mama Libra. The way she galvanized the house against Brian was legendary. She showed she had game in a major way.

Since then, however, Libra seems to have taken leave of her senses. Maybe it’s because she’s been on slop for so long. But the woman who seemed so wise early on is now flailing about the house, yelling at her houseguests over the smallest irritations. She sees enemies where there are none. With Keesha in power, Libra needs to chill out and let other folks do the dirty work.

Speaking of Keesha, her failed efforts on behalf of Steven showed some guts—and some smarts. Steven clearly would have been a good ally for anyone not in the Jessie-Michelle axis of idiocy. Hopefully, Keesha will use her week in power to get rid of Jessie, whose 18-inch guns could make him a threat in endurance challenges. (The real reason Jessie must go—now—is because I simply can’t take another week of his self-absorbed stupidity. I mean, he used his goodbye speech to Steven as an excuse to tout himself as a “role model” for aspiring muscleheads.)

As for Jessie’s would-be Eva Peron, Michelle, she’s a dope. But a colorful, entertaining dope with a wicked awesome accent. She can stay for a few more weeks.

As for lovebirds Ollie and April: Once again, “Big Brother” shows itself to be in touch with cultural Zeitgeist. The same summer America seems poised to elect its first African-American president, “BB” is home to an inter-racial romance—OK, carnal fling—in which race simply isn’t an issue. (Actually, producers so far have shown very little of their romance, something I trust will change in coming days.) Eventually, their showmance will make them a target, but for now, it’s fun to watch these two get to know each other.

Meanwhile, right-wing weirdo Dan has been hiding his true colors to get ahead, and so far it seems to be working. I’m still not sure if he’s a secret genius—or just in love with his own conniving. Ditto Angie, who has widely hid her disdain for many of her fellow houseguests and could thus go far. And while Brian pegged Memphis as a potential powerhouse, I’m just not seeing it. Maybe I just can’t get too attached to a guy who wears his name on his shirt.

The biggest disappointment in the house, for me at least, has to be Jerry. “BB’s” oldest-ever houseguest is showing none of the wisdom past AARP-member contestants have demonstrated. His rant against Libra, while intended to provoke sparks, ended up making him look silly.

By contrast, Renny has been a blast. The woman is a couple tacos short of a combination plate, but she’s got personality to spare. She could make it to the final four if she plays her cards right.

So much to love, and we’re only two weeks into the madness that is “Big Brother.” I also need to give some props to the “BB” brain trust for finally sprucing up the show’s graphics and opening credits. Details, I know—but when you devote far too many hours of your summer to one show, it’s nice to spruce things up every once in a while.

Anyway, Greppi, here’s my question for you: Who do you think will be in the final four come September? How ‘bout we start a new post for that one….

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