"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!

Sunday's Show: What You Didn't See

August 4, 2008 12:32 PM

Michele Greppi: Last night’s episode of “Big Brother 10” was a major letdown because we rabid fans knew late Thursday night that April had won the endurance Head of Household competition, which had shown that she, tough-talking Michelle and even wacky Renny had unexpected fortitude. Over the next two days, “BB” producers accelerated the eviction nominations and the Power of Veto competition. But none of that was reflected in Sunday’s show.

Even more distressing: The biggest “BB” house donnybrook ever took place Friday night and none of that was reflected Sunday night, either. Instead, the clash of the femme titans ate up most of the show.

Heroic as the battle of the babes proved to be, it was nothing compared to the Friday night fight that started with some bruised feelings and some tattling by master strategist Jessie and quickly escalated into shouting, finger-pointing and name-calling of such insane and inane proportions that I was mesmerized for more than two hours.

It was jaw-droppingly, eye-poppingly great TV.

Everything about it, from the pinball-like spread of the emotional wildfire to the things that were said that were long overdue, to the surreal cease-fire to celebrate the Hooters-ific Keesha’s 30th birthday. Renny was furiously cutting up the huge cookie she’d baked. Everybody was furiously chewing on the cookie and not quite making eye contact with anybody else. Someone even said their mother had told them it was rude not to share a birthday cake.

Then, as fast as the cease-fire started, it ended and everybody once again was at everybody else’s throats.

I could have watched for 24 hours straight.

I wish Sunday’s show had been built around a Rashomon-style rehashing of who said what to whom.

And a sense of how it will prove to have lasting effects moving forward as alliance members diss and otherwise betray alliance members they think dissed and otherwise betrayed them.

Muscle-bound simile and metaphor master Jessie may have finally have done himself in with his pot-stirring.

I’m sorry about that, because he’s better bad TV than watching Dan, the Catholic school teacher, brag about throwing yet another competition and do the public’s secret bidding so ham-handedly that by Saturday night, during a boringly boozy “Big Brother After Dark,” Libra, Keesha and Renny were openly referring to him as America’s Player.

Josef Adalian: Patience, Ms. Greppi. There’s still time for producers to get to this weekend’s smackdown, hopefully on Tuesday’s show. I was actually very happy to see the epic HOH showdown play out over more than half the show. I never would have imagined that watching people stand on a ledge for two hours could be so compelling.

And let’s give props to April for hanging in there. Given her recent bedroom gymnastics with Ollie—they were at it again Sunday night!—it shouldn’t be surprising that she had the needed flexibility to hang on for so long.

But who knew Michelle and Renny had such fight in them? Makes me wish Renny hadn’t spent the first week of the show acting overly loopy and that Michelle hadn’t made the fatal error of aligning herself with the super-self-absorbed Jessie.

While I basically agree with you about Dan’s overall lack of personality, he’s at least smart enough to know when to shut up and when to be everybody’s buddy. His pep talks to the three remaining female HOH contestants were well-delivered and won him a few points. (His awkward lobbying against Jessie, as you pointed out, lost him just as many.)

Meanwhile, here’s hoping that April didn’t really mean it when she told Michelle that Jessie would be safe—or that Libra, Keesha, Jerry and Renny make good on their vows to dump Jessie, no matter what April wants.

As good as Jessie is for short-term entertainment, his continued presence in the house means the game stays stuck in the fourth-grade name-calling that has characterized the tenor of house arguments to date. If he goes, I’m hoping that Michelle and Memphis will find a way to form an alliance with another sub-alliance (Keesha-Renny-Libra, perhaps?) and shake things up big-time.

Michele Greppi: The fourth-grade name-calling, as you call it, Joe, will not stop until this season is over.

That’s who these people are. Whether they’re philosophizing, fighting, drinking or, judging by their drunken conversations, having sex, fourth grade seems to be the level on which they live life and wage their battles.

The sight of Dan, who has thrown competitions and has laid low while the rest of the house did the dirty work of picking targets and evicting threats, giving suck-it-up-and-gut-it-out speeches was truly hypocrisy in gag-inducing action. This is a loser who could not win one for the Gipper.

Ollie has got to man up soon, too—and I don’t mean in April’s bed. He’s just drafting his girl-friend and her childish alliance.

I agree that the HOH competition produced almost heroic moments from April, Michelle and Renny.

But as we saw over the next two nights on “BBAD,” heroism is the exception and not the rule in this house.

Josef Adalian: OK, you’re spot-on about Dan. I still thought his speeches were mildly amusing, but yeah—hypocrite, thy name is Dan. (Or Ollie, but that’s a whole other post.)

One more word about America’s Player: So far, producers aren’t using this as effectively as I’d like. Forcing Dan to hug one player for 10 seconds—my vote is for Jerry, by the way—might be mildly amusing. Or even very amusing. But it’s too obvious. As with Dan’s out-of-the-blue lobbying against Jessie, it will tip off the other players that he’s up to something. I’d much rather see Dan do something dangerous, like spread a rumor or admit a true secret.


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Comments (1)

Friday night, my friend and I decided we'd bust out some wine and watch BBAD. Little did we know we'd be in for a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions. It was fantastic. And yes, the cease-fire for the birthday was absolutely amazing. I literally watched the whole thing again on Sunday afternoon.

Nevertheless, there's a reason why the fight wasn't on Sunday's show. All the action happened after the nominations; so it couldn't be shown on Sunday.

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