"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!

On the Spelling Beat

August 6, 2008 12:28 PM

Big Brother's Jesse

Michele Greppi: If the new Keesha-Libra-Renny-Dan alliance pulls it off, we’re finally going to have a nail-biter of an eviction Thursday night. It will be the first eviction upset of “Big Brother 10.”

I’ve already cast 10 votes for Dan, aka America’s Player, to vote to evict Jessie, the mental midget stumbling under the weight of his overdeveloped body and ego. If I’m in the majority, Jessie will be gone, baby, gone, rather than Memphis, the laconic mixologist who has been allied with Jessie but who has taken advantage of some of the bruised feelings left over from last Friday night’s fight. Lindsay Lohan-ish HOH April, her showmancer Ollie and geezer Jerry, who left April’s nominations for eviction stand, will be F-ing S.H.O.C.K.E.D.

Michelle, who is actually stylin’ in the red unitard she has to wear for a week, is going to be F-ing F.U.R.I.O.U.S. As we’ve seen, she can be pretty F-ing funny when she’s mad.

Michelle also will be better off without Jessie, whose attempts to soothe her this week reveal him to be a cad with an occasionally gold-plated heart. Watching Dan use a predictable ploy to get a 10-second hug from Jessie, as viewers demanded, was almost touching. But that, as Jessie said in a diary-room declaration Tuesday night, is just who he is, “standing up for the little people.” He was F-ing S.E.R.I.O.U.S.

Big Brother's Michelle

One more round of the similes and metaphors he prides himself on and he’s going to be sitting next to Julie Chen, trying to explain why he, April’s pawn, got played like a fiddle.

Happy, happy, joy, joy.

Josef Adalian: I am so F-ing with you, G.R.E.P.P.I. Jessie’s ouster will be a beautiful thing to behold—if the cast of “We’re Not Smarter Than a 5th Grader” can manage to pull themselves together and do what’s in their best interest rather than April’s. The way April was talking on Tuesday’s show, it was if she thought the rules of the game mandated that the house vote the way the HOH wants. Um, no.

But before discussing strategy, I really think we need to give props to producers for what just might be the Best. Episode. Ever. Granted, the hamsters did all the hard work with their epic battle of the bruised egos on Friday night. But so many other reality shows would’ve felt the need to embellish or overproduce the fireworks. The “Big Brother” brain trust wisely let the drama unfold with little commentary, save for the always spot-on musical cues.

As amazing as it was to see the real-time war play out on “Big Brother After Dark,” the cut-down version had its own pleasures. I hadn’t caught Memphis’s sexist remark, “This is what you get when you put a bunch of 30-year-old women in the house.” (Gee, I though Jessie was only 22.) Renny’s rant against Jerry’s finger-pointing played better in the network cut. And Jessie’s glee in trying to stir the pot between April and Libra/Keesha was sickening (but not surprising).

Of course, the TV take also made a few other things clear to me. While Jessie must go this week, Libra needs to get the boot pretty soon as well.

Sure, April was dumb to just dismiss Libra as a POV competitor. I mean, how hard would it have been for her to offer a fake, “Oh, of course, Libra—you’re my real hope! Go get ’em.” Do these people not get the meaning of the word “alliance”? You’re all supposed to be on the same team. And yet, as Keesha rightly pointed out, April never misses a chance to mention her distrust of her team members. It eventually turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

That said, I gotta say that I kinda sympathize with Jerry when he screamed at Libra, “Shut up!” His manner might be all wrong, but I feel his pain over Libra’s never-ending hurt feelings. So what if April is a snotty kid who ignores you and your so-far-unproven competition skills? You’re trying to win $500,000 for those two kids you left behind for the summer. If you can’t check your pride when you walk through the “Big Brother” doors, eventually those doors are gonna hit you in the butt.

And yes, Michele, I know: You told me so!

Michele Greppi: Joe, I would never say I told you so. That’d make me just another geezer with a long, point-free, punchline-free and doomed-to-be-repeated story.

On “Big Brother After Dark” last night, Dan actually asked Jerry to tell, not for the first time, the story of how he got hired at a company Jerry told us was Jewish-run. Talk amongst yourselves about what that might mean, folks. Dan, whom you’ll remember is a Catholic school teacher, had a classic moment on “BBAD.”

Memphis was describing a Jell-O wrestling party, complete with hay bales. Except with his accent, it came out hay bells. Keesha was amazed that Dan had never heard of hay bells. Renny thought he was saying hay bells, too. Dan and Renny tried to coach Memphis on how to correctly pronounce bales. “Bale,” Dan said. “B.A.I.L.”

Nobody corrected him.

The next food competition should be a spelling bee. Everybody would end up on slop, including Keesha, who has observed that Victoria’s Secret clothes run too big for her and whose apparent food issues are really beginning to show. The Hooter’s waitress, who carries no body fat except in her bra cups, was swathed in plastic wrap and sitting in the sauna while the bale-bell discussion took place. She’s trying to lose about five pounds quickly. Weigh [sick] to go, girl. All spelling puns intended, of coarse.

Josef Adalian: It always is hilarious listening to “BB” houseguests talk about their weight, especially since most of them are seriously undernourished and overly muscled. I also caught Jerry’s story about his Jewish employers. It could serve as Exhibit A for why Barack Obama isn’t further ahead in the polls.

Speaking of which, I’m sort of hoping the producers come up with an election-themed challenge. We haven’t seen much of Dan’s pro-McCain leanings or Libra’s Obama Mama credentials. It’d be interesting to see what would happen if the houseguests started fighting over something…real.


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