"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.


Oh Brother!

Dumb, Dumber and Dumber-est

August 11, 2008 1:22 PM

Michele Greppi: Joe, if someone made a movie based on “Big Brother 10,” it would be called “Dumb, Dumb-Dumb, Dumb-Dumb-Dumber, and Dumb-Dumb-Dumb-Dumbest.” Most of the houseguests are their own worst enemies.

The coolest heads in the house are on the shoulders of Memphis, Ollie and Dan, and all three have their vulnerabilities. But if they can duck when the screaming and mud-slinging starts, as it did again Saturday night, they’ll probably emerge relatively unscathed from the HOH week of Michelle, who has nominated Keesha and Libra for eviction.

Last night on “BB10,” we saw the screaming match that erupted after Jessie, contrary to April’s wishes and Michelle’s fervent hopes, got evicted by an alliance of Keesha, Libra, Renny and Dan.

Somehow, there are houseguests who seem to think that conniving and surreptitious alliances are only kosher if it’s them doing the scheming. Everybody else should roll over and play dead. And God help the person who swears on something someone else holds sacrosanct, whether it’s a pinky swear or an oath on their children, or who lets someone they don’t like and are about to betray bake them a birthday cake.

Lies are part of this game. Lies are lies. The best lies are not found out until it’s too late.

The houseguests have watched previous seasons. They know all this. They worship the most manipulative players, not the ones who kept their word. And yet most of them get all how-could-you? when someone pulls the wool over their eyes.

Friday night, when the houseguests were deep into a surf-and-turf feast—one of the two meals they’ll have during an otherwise slop-for-all week—the alcohol kicked in. Note to “BB” producers: Whatever you made available that night is the perfect amount—just enough to make great reality TV happen.

Another note to “BB” producers: Some of the “Big Brother After Dark” sessions might find a great aftermarket with 12-steppers trying to stay sober. It wouldn’t hurt any of us see how unattractive we look when we’ve had more than we can handle.

When “Big Brother After Dark” started on Showtime Too, the houseguests were sloppy tipsy and going around the table and, apparently at Keesha’s suggestion, trying to find something nice to say about their housemates. It was, for the most part, mawkish—a word not many of the “BB10” houseguests could define, much less spell.

All of a sudden, Libra has Ollie (who is going to be hurt by his showmance with April) cornered in the storage room, where she went from soft-spoken and heaving sobs to full beeeeeyatch fury in the blink of an eye. Keesha had Michelle in the spa room, undergoing a similar transformation. April got teed off because she was barred from the spa room while there was a conversation that’s none of her business going on.

Before long, the women of the house were at each other again. It went on for more than two hours, with the men sometimes being dragged in and forgotten.

The last explosion before the live feed stopped at 3 a.m. was Michelle’s solo tantrum, which, as near as I could figure, seemed to be triggered because she’d been shut out of her own HOH room while others waged their pitched battles.

Michelle’s rages really are the most entertaining. April’s are the most ridiculous and repetitive. Libra’s are the most tiresome and repetitive. And Keesha’s are the most childish and repetitive … and hers are delivered at pitches so high that the next octave is for dogs only. As for Renny, she says a few nonsensical things that nevertheless make an odd kind of sense and then she calms down.

If the guys can keep lay low, except for Jerry, whose grandfatherly shuffle can’t quite disguise some reprehensible attitudes, they’ve got a pretty good chance to let the volatile gals take the heat at nomination and eviction time.

Flame on. Tune in Tuesday for the cut-down version of the second knock-down, drag-out match in less than a week. In the “BB10” house, every night is a bumpy ride. And mental seat belts are in short supply.

Josef Adalian: This year, I’m beginning to think HOH stands for “House of Hypocrites.” Because, really, that’s what most of these folks are.

The biggest of them all, surprisingly, is Grandpa Simpson, er, Jerry. The man who betrayed an alliance within hours of entering the house—and justified his actions by not wearing any Marine gear—has the nerve to throw a hissy fit over Dan’s actions this week? Really? So while taking off one’s Marine hat grants one immunity from sin, removing one’s crucifix (as Dan did) is a meaningless action? Somebody’s a few troops short of a platoon.

(Of course, as Zap2It’s Daniel Feinberg just Twittered, Dan’s cross removal strategy is equally “weak.” Wearing a cross may ward off vampires, but not wearing a cross doesn’t make one any less of a … hypocrite).

Meanwhile, I only caught the first part of Saturday’s “BBAD”—it’s preserved on DVR for future viewing—so I missed the major fireworks. But I couldn’t believe Ollie’s protestations to Libra that what really hurt him was that she and Keesha didn’t warn anybody about their plans to vote out Jessie. Libra wisely resisted the temptation to slap Ollie on his bald forehead and ask, “Do you not have ears?” Instead, she gently reminded him that, um, yeah, she and Keesha lobbied April hard to get her to get over her obsession with ousting Memphis. I still don’t think Ollie understood.

Back on the hypocrisy tip, Michelle this week may just be the Head of Hypocrites. During her Saturday spa session with Keesha—or maybe they were in the HOH room on Friday, I can’t recall—Michelle once again swore up and down that she saw Keesha’s name on a banner. A banner that Julie Chen has informed the world (but not the houseguests) had nothing to do with the show.

She followed up her lie with a side order of lies by insisting … she’s one of the few people in the house who doesn’t lie. Whatevs, Michelle.

I agree with you, Greppi, that most of the guys are sitting pretty, particularly Dan and Memphis. Dan might eventually be hurt by his competitors’ disgust with his “I’m such a weak player” BS or by their correct assumption that he (was) America’s Player.

Ollie could be hurt by his closeness to April, though I’m sensing the horny couple might stage a faux fight pretty soon. Or maybe not so faux: April looked a bit peeved by Ollie’s panting over the return of Janelle, still the Alpha Blond in the “Big Brother” pantheon.

Speaking of Janelle, I kinda enjoyed seeing some ex-houseguests return. Poor Jun got virtually no camera time. And Mike “Boogie” got too much face time—which is unfortunate, given how odd his face looks these days. (Paging Dr. Will…).

Finally, Renny remains my favorite player in the game. She’s honest without being annoying, and she actually knows how to act like an adult—sometimes.

Michele Greppi: How quickly things change in the house. After I sent my first e-mail to you, much of the conversation on “BBAD” was dedicated to chalking up everything Dan has done since he entered the house to proof that he came in as America’s Player. They also tried to add up all the fights in the house since “BB10” started and kept losing count.

They also are trying to prove their growing theory that he is in cahoots with Libra, who was, I’m happy to say, off-camera most of the night because she was crying about being made the crazy bad guy and licking her wounds in bed. But she was seldom far from Topic A of conversation.

Michelle is indeed still working her banner lie, down to explaining to Keesha the placement of the comma after Keesha’s name meant that it was directed to her, not implicating her.

But back to Dan, who has been so unnaturally shy about using the group shower or the bathroom while anyone is in there that he’s constantly asking the HOH permission to use their bathroom: The others are thinking he makes money for every trip to the HOH bathroom. Or he’s just plain weird. (I’m inclined to vote the latter.)

On “BBAD,” they teased him to his face about that—Michelle even making “ch-ching” noises and telling him he has to split his take with her and ordering him not to paw through her things.

So what does Dan do? He comes back downstairs with an idea that he should put pantyhose over his head and chase the houseguests in a game of “intruder.” Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dummmmb.

Libra’s still on track to be the first to go, but it will take a miracle for Dan to avoid going up on the block the following week. It’s time for him to stop playing weak and show us he can actually win a competition. If indeed he can. But that would only confirm the houseguests’ most paranoid conspiracy theories. So he’s dumbed if he does, dumbed if he doesn’t.

As for still not having watched the last big blow-up on “BBAD,” I even e-mailed you a bulletin that it was another doozy while I was watching it live.

So, in the spirit of “BB10,” Joe, you’re either a slacker or you’re actually leading a life. Have you no shame?

Josef Adalian: I got the bulletin, Greppi. And good thing I did, because I probably wouldn’t have watched any of that night’s show. But, alas, I needed to (literally) hit the road so I could get back to Los Angeles. This is why I need a Slingbox, that miraculous device that lets you watch your DVR or cable via any computer in the world. Or, better yet, Showtime.com ought to offer “BBAD on Demand.” I’m sure all the good bits are on YouTube.

Anyway, back to the game. Dan needs to do a better job of denying he’s America’s Player. He has mounted little or no defense as far as I can tell. Since he’s no longer AP—the job lasted just one week—he’d be free to swear on his cross, Libra’s kids and Jerry’s Marine memorabilia that he is NOT working for anyone but himself.

I can’t wait for tomorrow night’s episode. As those of us who cheat know—SPOILER ALERT—Jerry somehow managed to win the POV. Again. If he had any guts, he’d demand Michelle let him use it and put up Dan. And if Michelle had any brains, she’d realize that there’s still a women’s alliance to be had, if only she’d put up Dan, Ollie or Memphis.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment